Selenium (Se) is one of many important dietary minerals. But the intake of excessive Se would endanger health or may even lead to selenium poisoning. A study of the research group of Associate Professor Jiang Li from School of Food Science and Engineering made a breakthrough in the mitigation of plant stress and anti-oxidation by Se through providing new genetic resources and technology for Se-rich and Se polluted plants.
Studies show that reasonable intake of Se would strengthen human immunity, prevent cancer and postpone aging, but the excessive intake of Se would induce malignant effects. In some parts of China where the soils are contaminated by Se, people suffer from Kashin-Beck Disease due to overexposure to Se. Therefore, the study of Mechanisms of Selenium Mitigating Stress and Accumulation is of both theoretical and applicative value, which, on one hand, satisfies basic human needs for Se through modulating the content of Se in agricultural products by expressing key genes involved in selenium metabolism, on the other hand, harness Se pollution through genetic modification technology.
In this intriguing study, Jiang and colleagues used a range of molecular and physiological tools to characterize the function of the cytosolic ascorbate peroxidase (APX1). They provide compelling evidence that knocking out APX1 leads to selenium resistance most likely by activation of the antioxidant system. The results provide genetic evidence indicating that loss-of-function of APX1 results in tolerance to Se stress.
The work has been published on Plant, Cell & Environment -- a top journal in botany as “Loss-of-function mutations in the APX1 gene result in enhanced selenium tolerance in Arabidopsis thaliana”. Jiang is the first author and corresponding author of the paper.
Written by: the Department of Publicity
Edited by: Zhou Hui