Alba secondment in Rome

Last week Dr Laura Simonelli from Alba and Prof. Federico Marini from the University of Rome La Sapienza applied multivariate analysis (MCA) to extract the main common spectral components of the x-ray absorption data collected at ALBA on September 2022 at the Se K-edge on Se-enriched alfalfa shoots by foliar application. That approach allows access to the Se chemical speciation and its evolution as a function of several empirical parameters as the concentrations (45 or 90 g ha-1) and kind of Se salts provided (selenate, selenite, and the 50:50 fraction of the two) with (con) and without (sin) the co-application of a plant biostimulant (Fig. below). 

Interestingly the MCA analysis evidenced an additional component not present in the measured reference set (selenite (SeIV), selenate (SeVI), Selenomethionine (SeMet), SelenoCystine (SeCyst) and Se-methylselenocysteine (SeMeCys)), which could correspond to an intermediate Se protein (SeUnk). 

The exploitation of the biostimulant on average increases the inorganic at the expenses of the organic Se components for the lowest Se concentration, while for 90 g ha-1 the Se protein formation seems decreased by the biostimulant. The SeCyst is found in a minor amount in the samples and shows an opposite trend, it increases in weight by adding the biostimulant. Interestingly the increase of the SeVI fraction in the feeding induces the SeVI present in the alfalfa with a consequent decrease of the Se organic fraction (SeProtein and SeMet or SeMeCys).

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Dr. Laura Simonelli is the CLÆSS (Core Level Absorption and Emission spectroscopy) beamline responsible at the ALBA light source (Barcelona, Spain) since September 2013. She got the PhD in Material Science in 2007 at the University of Rome “La Sapienza”. From 2007 to 2013 she become an expert on inelastic x-ray techniques by working at ESRF synchrotron (Grenoble, France). Her research activities are focused on the investigation of functional materials (mainly battery materials, environments or health correlated materials, and high-Tc superconductors), with particular interest into the study of the interplay between lattice and electronic properties. She is expert in several synchrotron techniques focusing on multi-modal empirical approaches. After 18 years of research, she is co-author of more than 110 papers (Scopus H-Index: 25)

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