Date of Graduation


Document Type


Degree Type



Davis College of Agriculture, Natural Resources and Design


Animal and Nutritional Sciences

Committee Chair

Janet Tou

Committee Co-Chair

Nicole Waterland

Committee Member

Youyoun Moon


Selenium (Se) biofortification of plants has been suggested as a method for enhancing dietary Se intake. Popular herbs such as basil (Ocimum basilicum), cilantro (Coriandrum sativum), and scallions (Allium fistulosum) are used for enhancing flavors. Microgreens are young seedlings harvested with one to two true leaves and are increasingly popular in the consumer marketplace. In this study, basil, cilantro, and scallion microgreens were treated with various concentrations of Se as sodium selenate in hydroponic conditions to investigate the effect on plant yield, mineral content (selenium, sulfur, sodium, potassium, phosphorus, calcium, magnesium, copper, iron, manganese, zinc, and boron), total phenolic compounds, and antioxidant capacity. Results showed scallions had the largest increase in Se content by 98, 202, and 507 times (p < 0.05) in 2.5, 5.0, and 10.0 mg‧L-1 Se treatments, respectively. At 10.0 mg‧L-1 Se, scallions demonstrated increases in all minerals analyzed, total phenolic compounds (113.7%), and total antioxidant capacity (152.2%), but yield decreased by 68.0%. At the highest Se treatment for basil and cilantro, 5.0 mg‧L-1, basil increased in potassium, phosphorus, sulfur, total phenolic compounds (102.6%), and antioxidant capacity (68.6%) but decreased plant yield by 35.5%. Cilantro demonstrated increased sodium, total phenolic compounds (50.3%), and antioxidant capacity (66.0%) without an effect on plant yield. Overall, results showed Se biofortification enhances the content of Se, other minerals relevant to human health, and antioxidants in culinary herb microgreens. Nutritionally, scallions at 10.0 mg‧L-1 Se can offer the highest source of Se with added benefits of increases in other minerals and antioxidants.

Embargo Reason

Publication Pending