High potential for selenium biofortification of lentils ( Lens culinaris L.)

TitleHigh potential for selenium biofortification of lentils ( Lens culinaris L.)
AuthorsThavarajah Dil, Ruszkowski Jamie, Vandenberg Albert
TypeJournal Article
JournalJournal of agricultural and food chemistry
Journal AbbreviationJ. Agric. Food Chem.
Journal CountryUnited States
Language Abbreng
Publication Date2008 Nov 26
Publication ModelPrint


<p>Beneficial forms of selenium (Se) and their impact on human health are a global topic of interest in public health. We are studying the genetic potential for Se biofortification of pulse crops to improve human nutrition. Lentils ( Lens culinaris L.) are an important protein and carbohydrate food and are a valuable source of essential dietary components and trace elements. We analyzed the total Se concentration of 19 lentil genotypes grown at eight locations for two years in Saskatchewan, Canada. We observed significant genotypic and environmental variation in total Se concentration in lentils and that total Se concentration in lentils ranged between 425 and 673 microg kg(-1), providing 77-122% of the recommended daily intake in 100 g of dry lentils. Over 70% of the Se was present as selenomethionine (SeMet) with a smaller fraction (<20%) as inorganic Se and very small amounts as selenocysteine (SeCys). We found that soils from the locations where the lentils were grown were rich in Se (37-301 microg kg(-1)) and that lentils grown in Saskatchewan have the potential to provide an excellent natural source of this essential element. Our analyses gave us a preliminary understanding of the genetic basis of Se uptake in lentil and indicated that any potential strategy for micronutrient biofortification in lentil will require choice of field locations that minimize the spatial variability of soil Se content.</p>


Thavarajah D, Ruszkowski J, Vandenberg A. High potential for selenium biofortification of lentils ( Lens culinaris L.). Journal of agricultural and food chemistry. 2008 Nov 26; 56(22):10747-53.

Related Species
Related Species 

Lentil (Lens culinaris Medik.) is an important pulse crop with annual production of 3-4 Mt across 70 countries (Cubero et al. 2009. DOI 10.1079/9781845934873.0000; pg. 13). Lentils are a good source of protein, carbohydrates, micronutrients and vitamins for human nutrition and is consumed in more than 120 countries. Furthermore, their small seed size and flat shape make them relatively quick cooking and easily decorticated compared to most other grain legumes (Sharpe et al. 2013. BMC Genomics. DOI 10.1186/1471-2164-14-192). The Lentil plant has a bushy growth habit with a height of about 40 cm; the seeds are lens-shaped and usually grow two per pod. ... [more]

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PMID: PubMedPMID:18954072
Research Area
Research Area 
Breeding & Genetics

Plant breeding is the art and science of changing the traits of plants in order to produce desired characteristics. Plant breeding can be accomplished through many different techniques ranging from simply selecting plants with desirable characteristics for propagation, to more complex molecular techniques. ... [more]