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Malkeet S. Padda and David H. Picha

Phenolic compounds and antioxidant activity were quantified in the principal sweetpotato cultivars marketed in the European Union. Total phenolic content, individual phenolic acids, and antioxidant activity in each cultivar were determined using Folin-Denis reagent, reversed-phase HPLC, and 1,1-diphenyl-2-picrylhydrazyl (DPPH) methods, respectively. Significant differences in phenolic composition and antioxidant activity were found between cultivars. A Jamaican-grown, white-fleshed cultivar had the highest total phenolic content [4.11 mg·g-1 chlorogenic acid (dry tissue weight)], while the highest antioxidant activity [3.60 mg·g-1 Trolox (dry tissue weight)] was observed in the orange-fleshed California-grown cultivar Diane. Chlorogenic acid and 3,5-dicaffeoylquinic acid were the predominant phenolic acids, while caffeic acid was the least abundant in most cultivars. The highest content of chlorogenic acid (0.42 mg·g-1 dry tissue weight); 3,5-dicaffeoylquinic acid (0.43 mg·g-1 dry tissue weight); and 3,4-dicaffeoylquinic acid (0.25 mg·g-1 dry tissue weight) was present in the white-fleshed Jamaican cultivar. The orange-fleshed cultivars Diane and Beauregard had the highest content of caffeic acid (0.13 mg·g-1 dry tissue weight) and 4,5-dicaffeoylquinic acid (0.32 mg·g-1 dry tissue weight), respectively.

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Carol Auer, Jerry D. Cohen, and Todd Cooke

The uptake and metabolism of exogenous tritium-labelled benzyl adenine was studied during the shoot induction period of petunia leaf explants in tissue culture. Transfer experiments with Petunia `MD1' leaf explants (1 cm2) on MS media with 2.2 uM BA show that 27% and 100% of the leaf explants are committed to shoot induction on days 6 and 10, respectively. To study BA uptake and metabolism, leaf explants were placed on media containing tritium-labled BA for 1, 3, 6 and 10 days. BA was taken up from the media on days 1-6. BA metabolizes were analyzed using HPLC, a UV absorbancc detector and enzymatic techniques. Metabolizes produced include: BA, BAdo, BA 7G, BA 9G, BAdoMP, BAdoDP, BAdoTP and 3 unidentified compounds. BA and BAdo were detected on days 1 and 3 but not during day 6-10, the time of shoot induction. The pool of ribotide metabolites decreased from days 1 to 10, from 26.5% of all metabolites to 1.6%. Glucosylated compounds, BA 7G and BA 9G, increased continuously from 24.9% to 69.8% between days 1 and 10. An unidentified compound C increased from 13% on day 3 to 24.8% on day 10. In separate experiments, BA uptake and metabolism were compared in two Petunia hybrida lines, St40 and TLV1, with different shoot organogenic responses in tissue culture. These data show interesting patterns of BA metabolism in relationship to shoot induction and organogenesis.

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Howard F. Harrison, Joseph K. Peterson, and Maurice E. Snook

Bioasssay-guided investigation of constituents possibly contributing to the allelopathic potential of sweetpotato led to the isolation of a nonpolar seed germination inhibitor in sweetpotato (Ipomoea batatas L.) roots. Mass spectral data supported by HPLC s pectroscopic analyses and data obtained from hydrolysis products revealed the presence of three monogalactosyl-diglycerides (MGDGs) (galactosyl-di-linoleneoyl glyceride, galactosyl-linoleneoyl-linoleoyl glyceride, and galactosyl-di-linoleoyl glyceride) in storage roots. The compounds inhibited proso millet germination, and at 100 ppm inhibition was about 90%. MGDG with fully saturated fatty acids (galactosyl-distearoyl glyceride) was not inhibitory in the bioassay. An efficient method for quantitation of individual MGDGs was developed, and the contents of each compound in the storage root tissues of 12 genetically diverse cultivars and breeding lines were determined. On a dry weight basis, total MGDG contents ranged between 107 and 452 μg/g in the periderm, 298 and 807 μg/g in the cortex, and 296 and 755 μg/g in the stele. Also, large differences in the ratios of the three compounds between clones and between tissues within a clone were noted. The differences between clones indicate that manipulating total content and ratios of MGDGs through plant breeding is feasible.

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M. Cantwell, G. Hong, R. Voss, D. May, and B. Hanson

Garlic (cv California Late) was produced under four irrigation regimes (110% and 130% evapotranspiration with two water cut-off dates, 10 and 24 May 1999) in combination with three nitrogen fertilization levels (100, 250, and 400 lb total N). Bulbs were manually harvested mid-June, cured 3 weeks shaded at ambient temperatures and the outer whorl of cloves manually peeled. Samples were freeze-dried, and carbohydrate (fructan and free sugars) and alliin (substrate for alliinase activity and indicator of potential pungency) concentrations were determined by HPLC. The percent dry weight was not affected by the irrigation treatment, but was reduced with increased N rate (41.3% to 39.0%). Alliin concentrations varied from 8.3 to 13.8 mg/g DW for 110% and 130% Eto irrigation treatments. Alliin concentrations were not affected by N fertilization (average = 11.5 mg/g DW). Fructan concentrations were affected by N fertilization treatment, with the highest content (802 mg/g DW) associated with the lowest N level, and the lowest (717 mg/g DW) content in samples from the highest N rate. Sucrose concentrations increased with increased N, but glucose and fructose concentrations did not vary with N fertilization. Fructan as percent of total carbohydrate remained constant across irrigation treatments (96.6% + 0.2%) and across N fertilization treatments (96.6% + 0.3%).

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Md. Shahidul Islam, Makoto Yoshimoto, Koji Ishiguro, Shigenori Okuno, and Osamu Yamakawa

The phenolic content and the radical scavenging activity were compared in leaves of sweetpotato (Ipomoea batatas L.) cultivars Shimon-1, Kyushu-119 and Elegant Summer grown under different temperature and shading conditions. Compared to cultivar differences, there was less effect of temperature and shading on the total phenolic content in sweetpotato leaves, however certain polyphenolic components differed widely among the treatments. The positive correlation between the radical scavenging activity and the level of total phenolics (r = 0.62) suggests that phenolic compounds are important antioxidant components of sweetpotato leaves. All the reverse-phase high-performance liquid chromatography (RP-HPLC) profiles of the cultivars tested showed peaks at the same retention times but peak areas of individual phenolic compounds differed with respective temperature and shading treatments. The phenolic compounds identified in the sweetpotato leaf were caffeic acid, chlorogenic acid, 4,5-di-O-caffeoylquinic acid, 3,5-di-O-caffeoylquinic acid, 3,4-di-O-caffeoylquinic acid, and 3,4,5-tri-O-caffeoylquinic acid. Most of the phenolic compounds were highest in leaves from plants grown at 20 °C without shading except 4,5-di-O-caffeoylquinic acid. The results indicate that growing leaves under moderately high temperatures and in full sun enhances the accumulation of phenolic components. These phenolic components have possible value in enhancing human health.

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Penelope Perkins-Veazie, Julie Collins, Richard Hassell, Steve Olson, Donald Maynard, Jonathan Schultheis, Missy O'Hern, Toni Magby, and Shelli Magby

Mini watermelons are the size of cantaloupes and weigh 1.5 to 3 kg (4 to 8 lbs). Melons of 18 selections were grown in replicated trials in North Carolina, South Carolina, and north and south Florida. Melons were harvested when ripe, and samples of heart and locule tissue were frozen and sent to Lane, Okla. A total of 960 samples, representing 6-12 melons per selection per location, were analyzed for total lycopene content using colorimeter and spectrophotometer methods. Subsamples of `Mohican', `Hazera 6007', `Vanessa', `Petite Treat', and `Precious Petite' were analyzed by HPLC for carotenoid profiles. Total lycopene content ranged from 52 to 108 μg·g-1, depending on variety. Selections were grouped into two levels of lycopene content. The varieties Precious Petite, Petite Perfection, Betsy, Bonny, Petite Treat, Valdoria, Vanessa, Hazera 5133 and 5138, RWT 8149, 8155, 8162 had 60 to 79 μg·g-1 lycopene and the varieties Hazera 6007, 5123, 5109, 5177, Mohican, and Extazy had 80 to 100 μg·g-1. Melons harvested from the Florida locations had more total lycopene than those from North and South Carolina. `Precious Petite' had more β-carotene as a percentage of total carotenoids than other varieties tested. These results indicate that lycopene content is affected primarily by germplasm and also by environment.

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Bhimanagouda S. Patil and Ashok K. Alva

Accumulating epidemiological evidences indicate that citrus phytochemicals have prevented chronic diseases such cancer and heart diseases. To enhance nutraceutical levels, field experiments were conducted using `Ruby Red' grapefruit on Carrizo citrange rootstock to evaluate the effects of variable fertilizer rates on nutraceutical contents. The trees received annual nitrogen rates from 0 to 280 kg·ha-1 (using a 1 N: 0.25 P: 1 K blend) under optimal irrigation schedule. Subsamples of fruit were analyzed for nutraceutical levels. HPLC analysis showed that naringin concentrations of the fruit collected from the trees treated with different levels of nitrogen differ significantly, and naringin levels decreased with increased nitrogen levels. Fruit from the control treatment had 1316 mg·mL-1 of naringin compared to the fruit collected from 280 kg N/ha per year trees (1056 mg·mL -1). A similar trend was observed with tasteless flavonoid naringenin rutinoside (narirutin). Total vitamin C [ascorbic acid (AA) plus dehydroascorbic acid (DHAA)] content from the fruit collected decreased with the nitrogen levels increased. These results demonstrate that increased fertilizer rates have an influence on the nutraceutical levels; therefore, there is a potential for further investigations on fine tuning the preharvest production programs to improve the nutritional value of the fruit.

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Mark G. Lefsrud and Dean A. Kopsell

Chlorophyll and carotenoid pigments were measured with high-performance liquid chromatography (HPLC) during leaf development in kale (Brassicaoleracea L. var. acephala D.C). Lutein and β-carotene are two plant-derived carotenoids that possess important human health properties. Diets high in these carotenoids are associated with a reduced risk of cancer, cataracts, and age-related macular degeneration. Kale plants were growth-chamber grown in nutrient solution culture at 20 °C under 500 μmol·m-2·s-1 of irradiance. Pigments were measured in young (<1 week), immature (1-2 weeks), mature (2-3 weeks), fully developed (3-4 weeks) and senescing (>4 weeks) leaves. Significant differences were measured for all four pigments during leaf development. Accumulation of the pigments followed a quadratic trend, with maximum accumulation occurring between the first and third week of leaf age. The highest concentrations of lutein were recorded in 1- to 2-week-old leaves at 15.1 mg per 100 g fresh weight. The remaining pigments reached maximum levels at 2-3 weeks, with β-carotene at 11.6 mg per 100 g, chlorophyll a at 251.4 mg per 100 g, and chlorophyll b at 56.9 mg per 100 g fresh weight. Identifying changes in carotenoid and chlorophyll accumulation over developmental stages in leaf tissues is applicable to “baby” leafy greens and traditional production practices for fresh markets.

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J.B. Magee and C.L. Gupton

The organic acid composition of blueberries of three highbush (Vaccinium corymbosum) cultivars, three rabbiteye (V. ashei cultivars and nine southern highbush (V. corymbosun hybrids) cultivars or selections was determined by HPLC. Species means off the individual acids (citric, malic, succinic, and quinic), expressed as a percentage of total acid, formed profiles or patterns that are thought to be characteristic of the species. Citric (75%) was the predominant acid in highbush fruit with lesser percentages of succinic (13%), quinic (9.6%), and malic (2.7%). The percent composition of rabbiteye berries [quinic (49%), succinic (39%), citric (6.7%), malic (5%)] was distinctly different from highbush. The acid profile of southern highbush fruit reflected their V. corymbosum heritage with an acid profile similar to that of highbush. When related to a clone's pedigree, these results suggest that organic acid profiles may be a useful screening tool for studying the contribution of southeastern native species such as V. darrowi or V. ashei to the inheritance of organic acids.

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Alison R. Cutlan, John E. Erwin, and James E. Simon

Parthenolide, a biologically active sesquiterpene lactone found in feverfew [Tanacetum parthenium (L.) Schultz. Bip.], has been indirectly linked to the antimigraine action of feverfew preparations. Commercial products of feverfew leaves vary widely in parthenolide content (0-1.0%/g dwt). No comprehensive studies have quantified parthenolide variation among feverfew populations or cultivars, and whether morphological traits are correlated with this natural product. In this study, 30 feverfew accessions were examined for parthenolide content, morphological traits, and seed origin. Statistically significant differences in parthenolide levels were found among the populations studied. Parthenolide content ranged from (0.012% ± 0.017 to 2.0% ± 0.97 /g dwt) as determined by HPLC-UV-MS. Higher parthenolide levels tended to be in wild material (0.41% ± 0.27) as opposed to cultivated material (0.19% ± 0.09). Parthenolide levels correlated with flower morphology: disc flower (0.49% = B1 0.36), semi-double (0.38% ± 0.13), double (0.29% ± 0.16), and pompon-like flower (0.22 ± 0.14). Leaf color also appeared to be indicative of parthenolide levels, with the light-green/golden leafed accessions showing significantly higher parthenolide content than darker-leafed varieties, but whether this was due to inadvertent original selection of a high parthenolide-containing golden leaf selection is not yet known. This study does show that further selection for improved horticultural attributes and natural product content is promising to improve feverfew lines for the botanical/ medicinal plant industry.