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United States Department of Agriculture

Agricultural Research Service

Research Project: Genetic and Genomic Basis of Vegetable and Fruit Biology, Quality and Nutrient Content

Location: Plant, Soil and Nutrition Research

Title: Impact of selenium supply on se-methylselenocysteine and glucosinolates accumulation in selenium-biofortified brassica sprouts

Authors
item Avila, Fabricio -
item YANG, YONG
item Faquin, Valdemar -
item Ramos, Silvio -
item Guilherme, Luiz -
item THANNHAUSER, THEODORE
item LI, LI

Submitted to: Food Chemistry
Publication Type: Peer Reviewed Journal
Publication Acceptance Date: May 25, 2014
Publication Date: N/A

Interpretive Summary: Brassica sprouts are marketed as functional foods with chemopreventive properties. Selenium as an essential micronutrient for humans and animals has been implicated to serve as an anticancer agent. However, antagonistic relationship between selenium and sulfur metabolism is observed in plants. In this study, we examined the effect of selenium treatment on the accumulation of anticancer compounds Se-methylselenocysteine and glucosinolates in sprouts of six Brassica crop species. We found that these Brassica sprouts exhibit different capacity in accumulating these health beneficial compounds and Brassica vegetable sprouts can be biofortified with selenium for the accumulation of bioactive selenium compounds without negative effects on glucosinolate contents. Moreover, we analyzed the glucosinolate profiles from sprouts of individual Brassica crop and found they were not affected by selenium treatment. Hence the Se-biofortified Brassica sprouts further enhance their chemopreventive activities.

Technical Abstract: Brassica sprouts are widely marketed as functional foods. Here we examined the effects of Se treatment on the accumulation of anticancer compound Se-methylselenocysteine (SeMSCys) and glucosinolates in Brassica sprouts. Cultivars from the six most extensively consumed Brassica vegetables (broccoli, cauliflower, green cabbage, Chinese cabbage, kale, and Brussels sprouts) were used. We found that Se-biofortified Brassica sprouts all were able to synthesize significant amounts of SeMSCys. Analysis of glucosinolate profiles revealed that each Brassica crop accumulated different types and amounts of glucosinolates. Cauliflower sprouts had high total glucosinolate content. Broccoli sprouts contained high levels of glucoraphanin, a precursor for potent anticancer compounds. Although the literature has reported an inverse relationship between accumulation of Se and glucosinolates in mature Brassica plants, Se supply generally did not affect the glucosinolate accumulation in Brassica sprouts. Thus, Brassica vegetable sprouts can be biofortified with Se for the accumulation of SeMSCys without negative effects on chemopreventive glucosinolate contents.

Last Modified: 8/19/2014
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