Effect of Selenite and Selenate Application on Mineral Composition of Lettuce Plants Cultivated Under Hydroponic Conditions: Nutritional Balance Overview Using a Multifaceted Study
The effect of selenate and selenite enrichment on mineral composition of a red type of lettuce cv. “Veneza roxa” was evaluated using inductively coupled plasma-optical emission spectroscopy (ICP OES), molecular modeling and principal component analysis (PCA). Both Se species did not show toxicity, while selenate promoted the greatest Se accumulation by the plant. There was an increase of 886 µg of Se per 100 g of fresh sample at different concentrations of selenate, but for selenite the maximum variation was only of 114 µg per 100 g. Selenate promoted the absorption of Mo and S and the reduction of K, Mn and P, meanwhile selenite increased Mn and decreased Mo accumulation. Copper and Fe absorption was negatively affected, Ca and Mg showed a slight increase, and Na and Zn were not affected by Se species. Despite the changes in the nutritional balance, Se-enriched lettuce can still be considered a potential dietary source of this essential element.