Plants, selenium and human health

D R Ellis, D E Salt

Research output: Contribution to journalLiterature reviewpeer-review

390 Citations (Scopus)


Selenium is an essential nutrient for animals, microorganisms and some other eukaryotes. Although selenium has not been demonstrated to be essential in vascular plants, the ability of some plants to accumulate and transform selenium into bioactive compounds has important implications for human nutrition and health, and for the environment. Selenium-accumulating plants provide unique tools to help us understand selenium metabolism. They are also a source of genetic material that can be used to alter selenium metabolism and tolerance to help develop food crops that have enhanced levels of anticarcinogenic selenium compounds, as well as plants that are ideally suited for the phytoremediation of selenium-contaminated soils.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)273-279
Number of pages7
JournalCurrent Opinion in Plant Biology
Issue number3
Early online date3 Apr 2003
Publication statusPublished - Jun 2003


  • SE accumulating plants
  • Indian mustard
  • chlamydomonas-Reinhardtii
  • volatile selenium
  • wild-type
  • selenocysteine
  • selenate
  • methylmethionine
  • volatilization
  • sulfurylase


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