Green synthesis of Se nanoparticles and its effect on salt tolerance of barley plants

Document Type : Reasearch Paper


Department of Biology, Payame Noor University (PNU), Iran.


In this study, selenite ions were reduced to selenium nanoparticles using a leaf extract of barley (Hordeum vulgare L.) plants. Characterization of synthesized nanoparticles using Scanning Electron Microscopy (SEM) and UV-visible spectrophotometry indicated the formation of variable size of selenium nanoparticles, suggesting that leaf extract could form polydispersed nanoparticles. Then we used these synthesized selenium nanoparticles to mitigate salt stress in barley plants under hydroponic conditions. Inductively Coupled Plasma-Mass Spectroscopy (ICP-MS) analyses suggested that the hydroponically nano-Se application resulted in direct accumulation of Se in the leaves of barley. Shoot growth was negatively affected by salinity levels up to 100 mM, whereas this reduction was mitigated by application of exogenous Se nanoparticles. Our results indicated that high salinity stress decreased the activity of superoxide dismutase (SOD), and enhanced the levels of malondialdehyde (MDA) in the leaves of barley seedlings, whereas application of Se nanoparticles increased total phenolic levels, and also resulted in a significant reduction of MDA (a marker for the ROS-mediated cell membrane damage) contents, which could influence the metabolism and be responsible for the increasing shoot dry weight. These results provided the first evidence that the green Se nanoparticles promote the growth of barley seedlings under salt stress.


[1] Zhang Y., Gladyshev V. N., (2009), Comparative genomics of trace elements: emerging dynamic view of trace element utilization and function. Chem. Rev. 109: 4828-4861.
[2] Hawrylak-Nowak B., Matraszek R., Pogorzelec M., (2015), The dual effects of two inorganic selenium forms on the growth, selected physiological parameters and macronutrients accumulation in cucumber plants. Acta Physiol. Plant. 37: 1-13.
[3] Babajani A., Iranbakhsh A., Ardebili Z. O., Eslami B., (2019), Differential growth, nutrition, physiology, and gene expression in Melissa officinalis mediated by zinc oxide and elemental selenium nanoparticles. Env. Sci. Pollut. Res. Int. 26: 24430-24444.
[4] Diao M., Ma L., Wang J., Cui J., Fu A., Liu H. Y., (2014), Selenium promotes the growth and photosynthesis of tomato seedlings under salt stress by enhancing chloroplast antioxidant defense system. J. Plant Growth Regul. 3: 671-682.
[5] Tang H., Liu Y., Gong X., Zeng G., Zheng B., Wang D., Zeng X., (2015), Effects of selenium and silicon on enhancing antioxidative capacity in ramie (Boehmeria nivea (L.) Gaud.) under cadmium stress. Environ. Sci. Pollut. Res.Int. 22: 9999-10008.
[6] Feng, R., Wei, C., Tu, S., (2013), The roles of selenium in protecting plants against abiotic stresses. Environ. Exp. Bot. 87:58-68.
[7] Khan M. I. R., Nazir F., Asgher M., Per T. S., Khan N. A., (2015), Selenium and sulfur influence ethylene formation and alleviate cadmium-induced oxidative stress by improving proline and glutathione production in wheat. J. Plant Physiol. 173: 9-18.
[8] Habibi G., (2014), Hydrogen peroxide (H2O2) generation, scavenging and signaling in plants, in: Ahmad, P. (Ed.), Oxidative Damage to Plants: Antioxidant Networks and Signaling, Elsevier, USA, 557-574.
[9] Gao X., Zhang J., Zhang L., (2002), Hollow sphere selenium nanoparticles: Their in-vitro anti hydroxyl radical effect. Adv. Mater. 14: 290-296.
[10] El-Ramady H., Abdalla N., Taha H. S., Alshaal T., El-Henawy A., Salah E. D. F., Elhawat N., (2016), Selenium and nano-selenium in plant nutrition. Environ. Chem. Lett. 14: 123-147.
[11] Peng D., Zhang J., Liu Q., Taylor E. W., (2007), Size effect of elemental selenium nanoparticles (Nano-Se) at supranutritional levels on selenium accumulation and glutathione S-transferase activity. J. Inorg. Biochem. 101: 1457-1463.
[12] Sepeur S., (2008), Nanotechnology: technical basics and applications. Vincentz Network GmbH & Co KG.
[13] Gan P. P., Li S. F. Y., (2012), Potential of plant as a biological factory to synthesize gold and silver nanoparticles and their applications. Rev. Environ. Sci. Bio/Technol. 11: 169-206.
[14] Hutchison J. E., (2008), Greener nanoscience: A proactive approach to advancing applications and reducing implications of nanotechnology. Acs. Nano. 2: 395-402.
[15] Dwivedi S., AlKhedhairy A. A., Ahamed M., Musarrat J., (2013), Biomimetic synthesis of selenium nanospheres by bacterial strain JS-11 and its role as a biosensor for nanotoxicity assessment: A novel Se-bioassay. PLoS One. 8: e57404.
[16] Wang T., Yang L., Zhang B., Liu J., (2010), Extracellular biosynthesis and transformation of selenium nanoparticles and application in H2O2 biosensor. ‎Colloids Surf. B. 80: 94-102.
[17] Srivastava N., Mukhopadhyay M., (2015), Biosynthesis and structural characterization of selenium nanoparticles using Gliocladium roseum. ‎J. Cluster Sci. 26: 1473-1482.
[18] Premarathna H. L., McLaughlin M. J., Kirby J. K., Hettiarachchi G. M., Beak D., Stacey S., Chittleborough D. J., (2010), Potential availability of fertilizer selenium in field capacity and submerged soils. Soil Sci. Soc. Am. J. 74: 1589-1596.
[19] Domokos-Szabolcsy E., Marton L., Sztrik A., Babka B., Prokisch J., Fari M., (2012), Accumulation of red elemental selenium nanoparticles and their biological effects in Nicotinia tabacum. Plant Growth Regul. 68: 525-531.
[20] Haghighi M., Abolghasemi R., Da Silva J. A. T., (2014), Low and high temperature stress affect the growth characteristics of tomato in hydroponic culture with Se and nano-Se amendment. Hortic. Sci. 178: 231-240.
[21] Domokos-Szabolcsy E., Abdalla N., Alshaal T., Sztrik A., Márton L., El-Ramady H., (2014), In vitro comparative study of two Arundo donax L. ecotypes’ selenium tolerance. Int. J. Hortic. Sci. 20: 119-122.
[22] Prasad K. S., Patel H., Patel T., Patel K., Selvaraj K., (2013), Biosynthesis of Se nanoparticles and its effect on UV-induced DNA damage. ‎Colloids Surf. B. 103: 261-266.
[23] Zhang J. S., Gao X. Y., Zhang L. D., Bao Y. P., (2001), Biological effects of a nano red elemental selenium. Biofactors. 15: 27-38.
[24] Raliya R., Franke C., Chavalmane S., Nair R., Reed N., Biswas P., (2016), Quantitative understanding of nanoparticle uptake in watermelon plants. Front. Plant. Sci. 7: 1288-1293.
[25] Johnson C. M., Stout P. R., Broyer T. C., Carlton A. B., (1957), Comparative chlorine requirements of different plant species. Plant Soil. 8: 337-353.
[26] Liu K. L., Gu Z. X., (2009), Selenium accumulation in different brown rice cultivars and its distribution in fractions. J. Agric. Food Chem. 57: 695-700.
[27] Lichtenthaler H. K., Wellburn A. R., (1983), Determinations of total carotenoids and chlorophylls a and b of leaf extracts in different solvents. Biochem. Soc. Transact. 11: 591-592.
[28] Habibi G., Hajiboland R., (2012), Comparison of photosynthesis and antioxidative protection in Sedum album and Sedum stoloniferum (Crassulaceae) under water stress. Photosynthetica. 50: 508-518.
[29] Velikova V., Yordanov I., Edreva A., (2000), Oxidative stress and some antioxidant systems in acid rain-treated bean plants-protective role of exogenous polyamines. Plant Sci. 151: 59-66.
[30] Zucker M., (1965), Induction of phenylalanine deaminase by light, its relation to chlorogenic acid synthesis in potato tuber tissue. Physiol. Plant. 40: 779-784.
[31] Velioglu Y. S., Mazza G., Gao L., Oomah B. D., (1998), Antioxidant activity and total phenolics in selected fruits, vegetables, and grain products. J. Agric. Food Chem. 46: 4113-4117.
[32] Meda A., Lamien C. E., Romito M., Millogo J., Nacoulma O. G., (2005), Determination of the total phenolic, flavonoid and proline contents in Burkina Fasan honey, as well as their radical scavenging activity. FoodChemi. 91: 571-577.
[33] Barbasz A., Kreczmer B., Oćwieja M., (2016), Effects of exposure of callus cells of two wheat varieties to silver nanoparticles and silver salt (AgNO3). Acta Physiol. Plant. 38: 1-11.
[34] Munns R., Husain S., Rivelli A. R., James R. A., Condon A. T., Lindsay M. P., Lagudah E. S., Schachtman D. P., Hare R. A., (2002), Avenues for increasing salt tolerance of crops, and the role of physiologically based selection traits, in: Progress in Plant Nutrition: Plenary Lectures of the XIV International Plant Nutrition Colloquium, Springer Netherlands, 93-105.
[35] Han G., Li J., Song M., Liu H., (2010), Effects of selenium on the germination of tomato seeds and protective system against active oxygen under salt stress. Nat. Sci. 4: 005-009.
[36] Hu T., Li H., Li J., Zhao G., Wu W., Liu L., Wang Q., Guo Y., (2018), Absorption and bio-transformation of selenium nanoparticles by wheat seedlings (Triticum aestivum L.). Front. Plant Sci. 9: 597-603.
[37] Zhang P., Ma Y., Zhang Z., (2015), Interactions between engineered nanomaterials and plants: Phytotoxicity, uptake, translocation, and biotransformation, in: Nanotechnology and Plant Sciences, Springer International Publishing, 77-99.
[38] Li K. E., Chang Z. Y., Shen C. X., Yao N., (2015), Toxicity of nanomaterials to plants, in: Nanotechnology and Plant Sciences, Springer International Publishing, 101-123.
[39] Elguera J. C. T., Barrientos E. Y., Wrobel K., Wrobel K., (2013), Effect of cadmium (Cd (II)), selenium (Se (IV)) and their mixtures on phenolic compounds and antioxidant capacity in Lepidium sativum. Acta Physiol. Plant. 35: 431-441.
[40] Leija-Martínez P., Benavides-Mendoza A., Robledo-Olivo A., Ortega-Ortíz H., Sandoval-Rangel A., González-Morales S., (2018), Lettuce biofortification with selenium in chitosan-polyacrylic acid complexes. Agronomy. 8: 275-279.
[41] Iqbal M., Hussain I., Liaqat H., Ashraf M. A., Rasheed R., Rehman A. U., (2015), Exogenously applied selenium reduces oxidative stress and induces heat tolerance in spring wheat. Plant Physiol. Biochem. 94: 95-103.