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Veronica L. Justen and Vincent A. Fritz

Turnips (Brassica rapa. subsp. rapa L.) produce glucosinolates (GSLs), thioglucosides whose hydrolyzed derivatives have been shown to provide chemopreventive benefits. Two cultivars of turnips [‘Just Right’ (JR) and ‘Scarlet Queen’ (SQ)] were grown under three different temperature regimes to assess the role of temperature on GSL production in roots and shoots. When compared with low-temperature treatments, high-temperature treatments increased total and individual GSLs in a tissue- and genotype-specific manner. When compared with low-temperature treatments, total GSLs were ≈70% and 130% higher in JR shoots and roots, respectively, grown at high-temperature treatments. High temperatures also increased total GSLs in SQ shoots and roots by ≈80% and 85%, respectively, when compared with low temperatures. Gluconasturtiin (GNS, 2-phenylethyl GSL) concentration was inversely correlated with temperature with high-temperature treatments resulting in 20% and 48% less GNS than low-temperature treatments in JR and SQ roots, respectively. The indolic GSL, 1-methoxyglucobrassicin (1MGB; 1-methoxy-3-ylmethyl GSL), was the root GSL most elevated by increased temperature resulting in a 1000% increase on average in both cultivars between the low- and high-temperature treatments. These results show promise for the use of temperature to enhance the health-promoting properties of turnip because 1MGB has potent chemopreventive effects. Gene expression analysis suggests that some BrMYB transcription factor expression levels are associated with temperature-dependent changes in GSL accumulation; however, this association varies between cultivar and tissue type.

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Vincent A. Fritz, Veronica L. Justen, Ann M. Bode, Todd Schuster, and Min Wang

Glucosinolates (GSL) are bioactive compounds found in cruciferous vegetables that have been shown to have chemopreventive benefits for human health. The objective of this study was to determine whether foliar application of jasmonic acid (JA) increases glucosinolate accumulation and yield in cabbage (Brassica oleracea L. Capitata group). Field studies were conducted in 2004 and 2005 with a green (‘Quisto’) and red (‘Ruby Perfection’) cabbage cultivar. Foliar JA application rates were 0.1 mm, 0.2 mm, and split application of 0.2 mm JA with surfactant, surfactant control, and water control. Yield of both cabbage cultivars was not changed by JA application in both years of the study. In both years, ‘Ruby Perfection’ had significantly higher glucosinolate concentrations than ‘Quisto’ with sinigrin being the predominant glucosinolate in both varieties. JA application consistently increased sinigrin, gluconapin, and glucoiberin concentrations across cultivars and years of the study. JA application also increased progoitrin and total GSL concentrations, but the effect was inconsistent between years and cultivars. In most cases, a split application of 0.2mm JA resulted in the highest GSL accumulation. GSL accumulation was significantly higher in 2005 than 2004 for both cultivars. Climatic data suggest that annual differences in temperature may have influenced the variability in glucosinolate concentration in cabbage.

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Veronica L. Justen, Jerry D. Cohen, Gary Gardner, and Vincent A. Fritz

Glucosinolates (GSLs) are thioglucosides with important properties for plant defense and human health. The objective of this study was to quantify yield and GSL concentration in turnip (Brassica rapa subsp. rapa) roots and shoots as influenced by colored plastic mulches. Four turnip cultivars (‘Just Right’, ‘Purple Top’, ‘Royal Crown’, and ‘Scarlet Queen’) were grown over five mulch treatments: white, yellow, silver, red, blue, and a bare soil control in both a May and an August planting in 2006 and 2007. Yield varied by variety; however, there was no consistent relationship between mulch treatment and yield. Glucosinolate concentrations and profiles varied with tissue type, genotype, and environmental factors, including temperature and planting date. Mulch-dependent increases in GSL concentrations were not consistent across tissue types, cultivars, planting dates, and years of the study, possibly as a result of differences in climatic factors and mulch-dependent changes in soil temperature between planting dates and years of the study.