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Pure Appl. Chem., 2012, Vol. 84, No. 2, pp. 259-268

Published online 2012-01-10

Selenium compounds in selenium-enriched cabbage

Špela Mechora1*, Mateja Germ1 and Vekoslava Stibilj2

1 Biotechnical Faculty, University of Ljubljana, Jamnikarjeva 101, 1000 Ljubljana, Slovenia
2 Jožef Stefan Institute, Jamova 39, 1000 Ljubljana, Slovenia

Abstract: For the study, cabbage (Brassica oleracea var. capitata L.) and red cabbage (Brassica oleracea var. capitata L. f. rubra) were treated with Na selenate. Cabbage was foliarly sprayed twice with 20 mg Se(VI) L–1, while red cabbage was fertilized twice with 0.5 mg Se(VI) L–1. Despite the high dose of Se, no toxic effects were observed on cabbage plants. The total Se concentration in cabbage leaves was 4.80 ± 0.25 μg Se g–1 (DM) and in red cabbage 0.96 ± 0.04 μg Se g–1 (DM). Soluble Se compounds were extracted from parts of cabbage with protease XIV, resulting in 49 % of soluble Se from roots, 59 % from leaves, and 65 % from stems. In red cabbage, the corresponding figures were 28 % of soluble Se in roots, 31 % in stems, and 43 % in leaves. Se species were determined in the enzymatic extracts using ion exchange high-performance liquid chromatography-inductively coupled plasma-mass spectrometry (HPLC-ICP-MS). The main Se species found in all parts of cabbage and red cabbage was selenomethionine (SeMet), which in roots represented 94 and 55 % of the soluble Se content in cabbage and red cabbage, respectively. In stems and leaves of cabbage, SeMet represented only 23 % of the soluble Se content. In stems of red cabbage SeMet represented 80 % and in leaves 41 % of the soluble Se content. We observed that traces of Se(VI) were present in upper parts of both plants.