Concentrations of over 100 ppm (mg/kg) selenium (Se) have been found in aquatic plants and insects associated with irrigation drainwater and toxicity to fish and wildlife. Composition of diet for wild ducklings may vary in selenium-contaminated environments. Earlier studies have compared toxicities and oxidative stress of Se as selenite to those of seleno-DL-methionine (DL) in mallards (Anas platyrhynchos). This study compares DL, seleno-L-methionine (L), selenized yeast (Y) and selenized wheat (W). Day-old mallard ducklings received an untreated diet (controls) containing 75% wheat (22% protein) or the same diet containing 15 or 30 ppm Se in the above forms except for 30 ppm Se as W. After 2 weeks blood and liver samples were collected for biochemical assays and Se analysis. All forms of selenium caused significant increases in plasma and hepatic glutathione peroxidase activities. Se as L at 30 ppm in the diet was the most toxic form, resulting in high mortality (64%) and impaired growth (>50%) in survivors and the greatest increase in ratio of oxidized to reduced hepatic glutathione (GSH). Se as both L and DL decreased the concentrations of hepatic GSH and total thiols. Se as Y accumulated the least in liver (approximately 50% of other forms) and had less effect on GSH and total thiols. In a second experiment, in which the basal diet was a commercial duck feed (22 % protein), survival was not affected by 30 ppm Se as DL, L, or Y and oxidative effects on GSH metabolism were less pronounced than with the wheat diet.
Additional Publication Details
Toxicity and oxidative stress of different forms of organic selenium and dietary protein in mallard ducklings
Archives of Environmental Contamination and Toxicology