Background: Selenium (Se) is a crucial component of selenoaminoacids and selenoproteins.
Therefore, Se-enriched agricultural products can reduce health complications induced by Se deficiency.
Objective: This research was carried out to investigate the effects of Se bio-enrichment on Basil
grown in calcareous and non-calcareous soil systems and also to evaluate the changes in Se concentration
in the soil after harvesting.
Methods: The experiment executed in two calcareous and one non-calcareous soil systems, and different
Se application methods (control, soil application, seed inoculation, foliar application, and soil
+ foliar application) were administered. Selenobacteria, a plant growth-promoting rhizobacteria
(PGPR), derived from the soil was used as a biofertilizer, compared to the other Se sources.
Results: The results showed that both soil types and the methods of Se application had significant
effects (P ˂ 0.01) on root and shoot dry weights and concentrations of P, K, Zn, Fe, and Se in both
of the root and shoot. Shoot dry weight of plants treated with foliar Se was maximum in the calcareous
soil. Compared to the control treatment, foliar application of Se increased shoot Se content in
both calcareous and non-calcareous soils by 242% and 204%, respectively. Furthermore, the increase
in shoot Se concentration in calcareous soil induced by Se application increased the concentration
of other nutrients in the shoot and root. Plant growth parameters and concentrations of nutrients
were significantly increased by using selenobacter inoculum.
Conclusion: The application of Se-containing compounds can improve vegetable quality. Considering
the daily requirement of the human body for minerals and nutrients, enriching basil with Se
can play an important role in community health. Moreover, some patents have reported the effectiveness
of endophyte bacteria.