Document Type

Thesis - Open Access

Award Date


Degree Name

Master of Science (MS)

Department / School



Selenium exhibits unusual biological properties in that it is a micro nutrient for animals (1) and some plants (2) and yet at slightly higher levels it may be very toxic (3,4). Neither the active forms of selenium nor the mechanisms by which its biological effects are produced are well understood. Thus, many aspects remain to the investigated in this area. Franke (9), while working with the affected grain at South Dakota State College, produced the toxic symptoms experimentally. Following the discovery by Robinson (10) of selenium in toxic forages and grains. Franke (12) further deduced that plants incorporate soil selenium since the toxicity occurred in areas of high soil selenium. Evidence is now accumulating that selenium has a nutrient role in animals and some plants. The requirement is not adequately defined but various investigators have shown that selenium can correct certain diseases. From the time selenium was first studied as a toxicant it was believed to have metabolic properties similar to sulfur since the elements have very similar chemical and physical properties. The relation of the gross abnormalities of selenium toxicity or selenium metabolism has not been adequately investigated. Liver damage, heart and spleen hypertrophy, edema, bilirubinuria, and jaundice are common symptoms of the toxicity in animals such as the rat. This study was undertaken to observe the effects of a short-term, toxic selenium treatment of rats on the concentration of certain tissue and urine components, specifically the lipids and amino acids. (see more in full text)

Library of Congress Subject Headings

Amino acids




South Dakota State University