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Improving the efficacy of selenium fertilizers for wheat biofortification

Ramkissoon, Chandnee; Degryse, Fien; da Silva, Rodrigo C.; Baird, Roslyn; Young, Scott D.; Bailey, Elizabeth H.; McLaughlin, Mike J.


Chandnee Ramkissoon

Fien Degryse

Rodrigo C. da Silva

Roslyn Baird

Scott D. Young

Associate Professor

Mike J. McLaughlin


© 2019, The Author(s). Increasing the selenium (Se) concentration of staple crops by fertilization is a valuable pathway to increase Se in the human diet, thus preventing Se deficiency. A pot trial was set up to investigate whether the application of 3.33 µg kg−1 of Se (equivalent to 10 g ha−1) to wheat can be made more efficient by its co-application with macronutrient carriers, either to the soil or to the leaves. In the soil, Se was applied either on its own (selenate only) or as a granular, Se-enriched macronutrient fertilizer supplying nitrogen, phosphorus, potassium or sulfur. Selenium was also applied to leaves at head emergence with, or without, 2% w/v N fertilizers. With grain Se concentrations varying from 0.13–0.84 mg kg−1, soil application of selenate-only was 2–15 times more effective than granular Se-enriched macronutrient fertilizers in raising grain Se concentrations. Co-application of foliar Se with an N carrier doubled the Se concentration in wheat grains compared to the application of foliar Se on its own, the majority of which was in the highly bioavailable selenomethionine fraction. Results from this study demonstrate the possibility of improving the efficacy of Se fertilizers, which could enrich crops with Se without additional application costs in the field.


Ramkissoon, C., Degryse, F., da Silva, R. C., Baird, R., Young, S. D., Bailey, E. H., & McLaughlin, M. J. (2019). Improving the efficacy of selenium fertilizers for wheat biofortification. Scientific Reports, 9,

Journal Article Type Article
Acceptance Date Nov 12, 2019
Online Publication Date Dec 20, 2019
Publication Date Dec 20, 2019
Deposit Date Feb 3, 2020
Journal Scientific Reports
Print ISSN 2045-2322
Electronic ISSN 2045-2322
Publisher Nature Publishing Group
Peer Reviewed Peer Reviewed
Volume 9
Article Number 19520
Public URL
Publisher URL


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