Chin J Plant Ecol ›› 2023, Vol. 47 ›› Issue (6): 756-769.DOI: 10.17521/cjpe.2022.0163

Special Issue: 根系生态学 微生物生态学

• Reviews • Previous Articles     Next Articles

Selenium biofortification in plants and application potential of microorganisms in selenium biofortification

LI Liu1,2, LIU Qing-Hua1, YIN Chun-Ying1,*()   

  1. 1CAS Key Laboratory of Mountain Ecological Restoration and Bioresource Utilization & Ecological Restoration and Biodiversity Conservation Key Laboratory of Sichuan Province, Chengdu Institute of Biology, Chinese Academy of Sciences, Chengdu 610041, China
    2University of Chinese Academy of Sciences, Beijing 100049, China
  • Received:2022-04-25 Accepted:2022-09-28 Online:2023-06-20 Published:2022-09-28
  • Contact: * (
  • Supported by:
    Sichuan Science and Technology Program(2022YFS0499);National Natural Science Foundation of China(32071500)


Selenium is an essential micronutrient element for humans. The range between “beneficial” and “harmful” levels of selenium is very narrow, so biofortification through plants is a safe and effective way to supplement selenium. This article reviewed the processes of selenium uptake, transport, and metabolism in plants. Plants mainly absorb selenate, selenite, and organic selenium from soil. The root system has different absorption mechanisms for different forms of selenium, and the absorption process is participated by different transporters. The absorbed selenium is mainly transported in plants in the form of selenate ion, transported to the aboveground through the xylem and the phloem, and metabolized under the action of various enzymes. Finally, part of the selenium absorbed by the roots is stored in the plant as organic selenium, and the other part is released into the atmosphere in the form of selenide. This article also focuses on the effects of different types of rhizosphere microorganisms on plant selenium biofortification. Arbuscular mycorrhizal fungi, ectomycorrhizal fungi, and rhizosphere promoting bacteria can promote the absorption of selenium in plants to a certain extent, but their internal mechanisms are still unclear. Based on the current research status, the future research focuses are put forward: 1) the process of selenium absorption by plants and its gene regulation; 2) the underlying mechanism and application potential of microorganisms on selenium biofortification in plants.

Key words: selenium, rhizosphere microorganism, absorption, transportation, biofortification