Variation of glucosinolates in vegetable crops of Brassica rapa

Guillermo Padilla, María Elena Cartea, Pablo Velasco, Antonio de Haro, Amando Ordás
Phytochemistry 2007, 68 (4): 536-45
Glucosinolate levels in leaves were determined in a collection of 113 varieties of turnip greens (Brassica rapa L.) from northwestern Spain grown at two sites. Sensorial attributes were also assessed by a consumer panel. The objectives were to determine the diversity among varieties in total glucosinolate content and glucosinolate profile and to evaluate their sensory attributes in relation to glucosinolate content for breeding purposes. Sixteen glucosinolates were identified, being the aliphatic glucosinolates, gluconapin and glucobrassicanapin the most abundant. Other aliphatic glucosinolates, such as progoitrin, glucoalyssin, and gluconapoleiferin were relatively abundant in varieties with a different glucosinolate profile. Indolic and aromatic glucosinolate concentrations were low and showed few differences among varieties. Differences in total glucosinolate content, glucosinolate profile and bitterness were found among varieties, with a total glucosinolate content ranging from 11.8 to 74.0micromolg(-1) dw at one site and from 7.5 to 56.9micromolg(-1) dw at the other site. Sensory analysis comparing bitterness with variation in glucosinolate, gluconapin and glucobrassicanapin concentrations suggested that these compounds and their breakdown products are not the only determinants of the characteristic flavour of this vegetable. Other phytochemicals are probably involved on the characteristic bitter flavour. The varieties MBG-BRS0132, MBG-BRS0082, MBG-BRS0173, and MBG-BRS0184 could be good candidates for future breeding programs since they had high total glucosinolate content and good agronomic performance. The presence of glucoraphanin in some varieties should be studied more extensively, because this aliphatic glucosinolate is the precursor of sulforaphane, a potent anti-cancer isothiocyanate.


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