A set of 216 polymerase chain reaction-based molecular markers was screened for polymorphisms using two morphologically dissimilar broccoli (Brassica oleracea L. ssp. italica Plenck) lines, ‘VI-158’ and ‘‘Brocolette Neri E. Cespuglio’. Fifty-nine of these simple sequence repeat (SSR) and sequence-related amplified polymorphic (SRAP) primer pairs generated 69 polymorphisms that were used to construct a linkage map of broccoli from a population of 162 F2:3 families derived from the cross between these two lines. Ten linkage groups were generated that spanned a distance of 468 cM with an average interval width of 9.4 cM. The map was used to identify quantitative trait loci (QTL) associated with differences in harvest date maturity and head weight in the population grown in the same location over 2 years. Heritability estimates for days to maturity and head weight were 0.84 and 0.64, respectively. Four QTL for harvest maturity were identified that described 55.6% of the phenotypic variation in the first year with two of these QTL also detected in the second year of the experiment that described 29.2% of the phenotypic variation. Five QTL were identified as associated with head weight in 1999 and accounted for 71.8% of the phenotypic variability. Two of these QTL accounted for 24% of the phenotypic variability in head weight in 2000. To our knowledge, this is the first linkage map of broccoli and the first combined SSR and SRAP map of B. oleracea, which should provide a useful tool for the genetic analysis of traits specific to ssp. italica.
Ten broccoli [Brassica oleracea L. (Botrytis Group)] accessions were grown in several environments to estimate glucosinolate (GS) variability associated with genotype, environment, and genotype × environment interaction and to identify differences in the stability of GSs in broccoli florets. Significant differences in genetic variability were identified for aliphatic GSs but not for indolyl GSs. The percentage of GS variability attributable to genotype for individual aliphatic compounds ranged from 54.2% for glucoraphanin to 71.0% for progoitrin. For total indolyl GSs, the percentage of variability attributable to genotype was only 12%. Both qualitative and quantitative differences in GSs were detected among the genotypes. Ten-fold differences in progoitrin, glucoraphanin, and total aliphatic GS levels were observed between the highest and lowest genotypes. Only two lines, Eu8-1 and VI-158, produced aliphatic GSs other than glucoraphanin in appreciable amounts. Differences in stability of these compounds among the cultivars were also observed between fall and spring plantings. Results suggest that genetic factors necessary for altering the qualitative and quantitative aliphatic GS profiles are present within existing broccoli germplasm, which makes breeding for enhanced cancer chemoprotectant activity feasible.