Planting Date Affects Total Glucosinolate Concentrations in Six Commercial Cabbage Cultivars

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  • 1 Department of Horticulture and Crop Science, The Ohio State University, Ohio Agricultural Research and Development Center (OARDC), 1680 Madison Avenue, Wooster, Ohio 44691-4096

Glucosinolates are secondary plant metabolites derived from amino acids and they influence human health, pest populations and crop flavor. Our primary objective was to determine the independent and interactive effects of planting date (PD) and cultivar (C) on total glucosinolate concentrations in cabbage, in part to help develop management systems that optimize them. A second objective was to explore the reported link between total glucosinolate concentrations and pungency in fresh cabbage. Six commercial fresh market cabbage cultivars were planted in May and June 2001 and 2002 at the Ohio Agricultural Research and Development Center (OARDC) Vegetable Crops Research Branch in Fremont, Ohio. Total glucosinolate concentrations in horticulturally mature heads were determined using a glucose evolution procedure. In 2001, 12 to 14 experienced panelists also scored sample pungency. Total glucosinolate concentrations were significantly affected by PD and C, but the PD × C interaction was not significant. Mean glucosinolate concentrations were greater in Maythan June-planted cabbage in both years. Cultivar ranking with regard to glucosinolate concentrations was similar between planting dates in both years. `Cheers' had the highest mean glucosinolate concentrations (23.1 and 29.5 mmol·kg-1 dry weight in 2001 and 2002, respectively) and `Solid Blue 790' the lowest (17.1 and 19.7 mmol·kg-1 dry weight in 2001 and 2002, respectively). In 2001, panelists generally scored cultivars highest in glucosinolates as more pungent than cultivars lowest in glucosinolates. These data suggest that planting date and cultivar effects on total glucosinolate concentrations in cabbage are largely independent. Climatic data suggest that higher air temperatures during head development of May-compared to June-planted cabbage induced plant stress and resulted in higher glucosinolate concentrations in May-planted cabbage.

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Associate professor and corresponding author.
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