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JOURNAL ARTICLE

Exogenous methyl jasmonate treatment increases glucosinolate biosynthesis and quinone reductase activity in kale leaf tissue

Kang-Mo Ku, Elizabeth H Jeffery, John A Juvik
PloS One 2014, 9 (8): e103407
25084454
Methyl jasmonate (MeJA) spray treatments were applied to the kale varieties 'Dwarf Blue Curled Vates' and 'Red Winter' in replicated field plantings in 2010 and 2011 to investigate alteration of glucosinolate (GS) composition in harvested leaf tissue. Aqueous solutions of 250 µM MeJA were sprayed to saturation on aerial plant tissues four days prior to harvest at commercial maturity. The MeJA treatment significantly increased gluconasturtiin (56%), glucobrassicin (98%), and neoglucobrassicin (150%) concentrations in the apical leaf tissue of these genotypes over two seasons. Induction of quinone reductase (QR) activity, a biomarker for anti-carcinogenesis, was significantly increased by the extracts from the leaf tissue of these two cultivars. Extracts of apical leaf tissues had greater MeJA mediated increases in phenolics, glucosinolate concentrations, GS hydrolysis products, and QR activity than extracts from basal leaf tissue samples. The concentration of the hydrolysis product of glucoraphanin, sulforphane was significantly increased in apical leaf tissue of the cultivar 'Red Winter' in both 2010 and 2011. There was interaction between exogenous MeJA treatment and environmental conditions to induce endogenous JA. Correlation analysis revealed that indole-3-carbanol (I3C) generated from the hydrolysis of glucobrassicin significantly correlated with QR activity (r = 0.800, P<0.001). Concentrations required to double the specific QR activity (CD values) of I3C was calculated at 230 µM, which is considerably weaker at induction than other isothiocyanates like sulforphane. To confirm relationships between GS hydrolysis products and QR activity, a range of concentrations of MeJA sprays were applied to kale leaf tissues of both cultivars in 2011. Correlation analysis of these results indicated that sulforaphane, NI3C, neoascorbigen, I3C, and diindolylmethane were all significantly correlated with QR activity. Thus, increased QR activity may be due to combined increases in phenolics (quercetin and kaempferol) and GS hydrolysis product concentrations rather than by individual products alone.

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