Selenium: a potent regulator of ferroptosis and biomass production

Muthusamy Ramakrishnan, Jaison Arivalagan, Lakkakula Satish, Manikandan Mohan, Johnson Retnaraj Samuel Selvan Christyraj, Sam Aldrin Chandran, Ho Jong Ju, Anoopa John L, Thiyagarajan Ramesh, Savarimuthu Ignacimuthu, Kalimuthu Kalishwaralal

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

15 Scopus citations


Emerging evidence supports the notion that selenium (Se) plays a beneficial role in plant development for modern crop production and is considered an essential micronutrient and the predominant source of plants. However, the essential role of selenium in plant metabolism remains unclear. When used in moderate concentrations, selenium promotes plant physiological processes such as enhancing plant growth, increasing antioxidant capacity, reducing reactive oxygen species and lipid peroxidation and offering stress resistance by preventing ferroptosis cell death. Ferroptosis, a recently discovered mechanism of regulated cell death (RCD) with unique features such as iron-dependant accumulation of lipid peroxides, is distinctly different from other known forms of cell death. Glutathione peroxidase (GPX) activity plays a significant role in scavenging the toxic by-products of lipid peroxidation in plants. A low level of GPX activity in plants causes high oxidative stress, which leads to ferroptosis. An integrated view of ferroptosis and selenium in plants and the selenium-mediated nanofertilizers (SeNPs) have been discussed in more recent studies. For instance, selenium supplementation enhanced GPX4 expression and increased TFH cell (Follicular helper T) numbers and the gene transcriptional program, which prevent lipid peroxidase and protect cells from ferroptosis. However, though ferroptosis in plants is similar to that in animals, only few studies have focused on plant-specific ferroptosis; the research on ferroptosis in plants is still in its infancy. Understanding the implication of selenium with relevance to ferroptosis is indispensable for plant bioresource technology. In this review, we hypothesize that blocking ferroptosis cell death improves plant immunity and protects plants from abiotic and biotic stresses. We also examine how SeNPs can be the basis for emerging unconventional and advanced technologies for algae/bamboo biomass production. For instance, algae treated with SeNPs accumulate high lipid profile in algal cells that could thence be used for biodiesel production. We also suggest that further studies in the field of SeNPs are essential for the successful application of this technology for the large-scale production of plant biomass.

Original languageEnglish
Article number135531
StatePublished - 1 Nov 2022


  • Algae
  • Ferroptosis
  • Lipid peroxidase
  • Nanoparticles
  • Selenium accumulation
  • Selenium fertilization
  • Selenium-induced

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Public Health, Environmental and Occupational Health
  • Pollution
  • General Chemistry
  • Health, Toxicology and Mutagenesis
  • Environmental Engineering
  • Environmental Chemistry


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