Adaptive alterations in glutathione (GSH) metabolism were studied during oxidative stress induced by selenium (Se) deficiency in germinating seedlings of Trigonella foenum-graecum grown for 72 h and the response to supplementation individually of Se or mimosine was explored. Growth enhancement with improved mitochondrial efficiency was elicited by supplementation of Se at 0.5-0.75 ppm or mimosine at 0.1-0.2 mM. Total thiol and protein levels of mitochondrial and soluble fractions, in general, did not vary significantly with supplementation of either Se or mimosine except that the mitochondrial protein levels in mimosine groups (0.1-0.2 mM) decreased by 20-30%. Mitochondrial glutathione peroxidase (GSH-Px) increased by twofold in activity toward H2O2, cumene hydroperoxide (CHP), and t-butyl hydroperoxide (tBHP) in Se groups, and by 50-60% increase toward H2O2 and CHP but by a twofold enhancement in enzyme activity with tBHP in mimosine groups. Soluble GSH-Px activity increased by 30-40% only in mimosine groups and remained unaltered in Se groups. Glutathione S-transferase activity (GST) in the soluble fraction of both Se and mimosine groups increased dramatically by fivefold to sixfold. Distinct differences were noted in the response of the stressed seedlings toward exposure to Se or mimosine and included a decline in glutathione reductase (GR) activity by 50-60% in both mitochondria and soluble fractions of Se groups and an increase in GR activity of the mitochondria by twofold and of the soluble enzyme activity by 30% in the mimosine groups. Mimosine exposure resulted in a dose-dependent decrease in the γ-glutamy transpeptidase levels, but, in contrast, a significant enhancement by 50% was noted in the Se group at 0.75 ppm. The results including the differential response of GR activity to Se or mimosine supplementation are reflective of an effective reductive environment in Se group, and increased turnover of GSH in the presence of mimosine.