The diet of millions of people around the world is deficient in selenium (Se). Bread-making wheat has been successfully used in Se biofortification programs under temperate climate to remedy Se deficiency. However, its suitability under Mediterranean conditions and its effect on the grain yield and quality parameters are not well known. In a wheat field in south-western Spain, two foliar Se fertilisers (sodium selenate and sodium selenite) were applied at four application rates (0, 10, 20, 40 g ha–1) in 2010–11 and 2011–12. Results showed a strong and linear relationship between total Se in grain and Se dose for both fertilisers, although selenate was much more efficient. A dose of 10 g sodium selenate ha–1 was able to increase significantly the Se in grain to close to the recommended values, although Se loss of 28% during the milling process might be expected. Grain yield was not negatively affected by fertilisation, but grain protein and dry gluten were slightly negatively affected, but only in the dry year. Alveograph parameters were either not affected or slightly favoured by Se fertilisation in any studied year. Bread-making wheat is a good candidate to be included in biofortification programs under semi-arid Mediterranean conditions.
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Vol. 65 • No. 4