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United States Department of Agriculture

Agricultural Research Service

Research Project: Management of Plant Genetic Resources and Associated Information

Location: Plant Germplasm Introduction and Testing

Title: L-Dopa Concentration Variation in the Leaf and Flower Tissues of Six Faba Bean Lines with Common and Rare Flower Colors

Authors
item Hu, Jinguo
item Kwon, Soon
item Park, Jeong-Jin -
item Landry, Eric -
item Mattinson, D -
item Gang, David -

Submitted to: Functional Foods and Bioactive Compounds Symposium
Publication Type: Proceedings
Publication Acceptance Date: July 17, 2013
Publication Date: August 20, 2013
Citation: Hu, J., Kwon, S.J., Park, J., Landry, E., Mattinson, D.S., Gang, D.R. 2013. L-DOPA concentration variation in the leaf and flower tissues of six faba bean lines with common and rare flower colors. Functional Foods and Bioactive Compounds Symposium. p.35-37.

Interpretive Summary: Faba bean is grown worldwide for different end-uses such as food, feed, forage and green manure. The US faba bean germplasm collection is maintained by the ARS Plant Germplasm Introduction and Testing research Unit at Pullman, WA. Faba bean is one of the few plant species that can produce the medicinally important molecule, L-DOPA, the major ingredient of several prescription drugs used to treat Parkinson’s disease. We examined the variation of L-DOPA concentration in the leaf and flower tissues of six faba bean accessions with common and rare flower colors. The data from two years indicated that the differences of L-DOPA concentration in the leaf and flower tissues among the six lines are statistically significant, varying from 37.7 to 64.2 mg/g in flower buds and from 20.5 to 48.4 mg/g in leaves, based on dry weight. The brown flowered faba bean line is the most promising resource for developing a functional food crop for PD patients, because of the high concentration of the compound in the leaves.

Technical Abstract: Faba bean is one of the a few plant species that can produce the medicinally important molecule, L-3,4-dihydroxy phenylalanine (L-DOPA), the major ingredient of several prescription drugs used to treat Parkinson’s disease. L-DOPA can cross the blood-brain barrier, where it is converted to dopamine, a monoamine neurotransmitter. It has been reported that L-DOPA is present in several tissues of faba bean, with the highest concentration in young leaves and flower buds. in this study, we examined the variation of L-DOPA concentration in the leaf and flower tissues of six faba bean accessions with common and rare flower colors. Leaf and flower samples were taken from field grown plants of six lines: two lines with flowers of pink color with purple vines and black dot, two lines with flowers of pure white, one brown flowered and one crimson flowered. The differences of L-DOPA concentration in the leaf and flower tissues among the six lines were statistically significant, varying from 37.7 to 64.2 mg/g in flower buds and from 20.5 to 48.4 mg/g in leaves, based on dry weight. The brown flowered line seems to be the most promising genetic resource, to date, for developing faba bean as a functional food crop for PD patients, because of the high concentration of L-DOPA in its leaves. Further investigation is needed to elucidate the genetic basis of this useful trait, which can be addressed by further evaluation of the extensive collection of faba bean lines in the USDA collection.

Last Modified: 11/27/2014
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