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Title: Genotype and Environment Effects on Carotenoid Content of Broccoli

item Farnham, Mark
item Kopsell, Dean - University Of Tennessee

Submitted to: HortScience
Publication Type: Abstract Only
Publication Acceptance Date: 3/27/2009
Publication Date: 7/1/2009
Citation: Farnham, M.W., Kopsell, D.A. 2009. Genotype and Environment Effects on Carotenoid Content of Broccoli. HortScience. 44:1017-1018.

Interpretive Summary: N/A

Technical Abstract: Carotenoids are secondary plant metabolites in vegetables reported to confer various positive health-promoting effects when consumed. Brassica oleracea L. vegetables are recognized as excellent sources of dietary carotenoids. Broccoli has emerged as the most important B. oleracea crop in the US and it likely supplies more carotenoids to the US diet than the other crops of the species. Little is known about the general carotenoid profile of this important vegetable or the levels of specific carotenoids and how they might vary among genotypes. Thus, the objectives of this study were: to assess carotenoid profiles of different inbred broccoli heads; to assess chlorophyll concentrations measured simultaneously during carotenoid assays; to determine the relative effects of genotype versus environment in influencing head carotenoid levels; and to examine phenotypic correlations between carotenoid levels and other traits. Results show lutein to be the most abundant carotenoid in broccoli heads ranging from 65.3 to 139.6 ug/g dry mass (DM) among nine inbreds tested in three environments. Genotype had a highly significant effect on lutein levels in broccoli heads and the ratio of genetic variance to phenotypic variance for this carotenoid was 0.84. Violaxanthin also exhibited a significant genotype effect but it was found at lower levels (17.9 to 35.4 ug/g DM) than lutein. ß-carotene and neoxanthin were detected at levels similar to violaxanthin, but genotypic differences were not detected when all environments were compared. Significant genotypic differences were observed for both Chlorophyll a and b among the studied inbreds. Results indicated that most carotenoids measured were positively and significantly correlated with one another, indicating that higher levels of one carotenoid were typically associated with higher levels of others. This study emphasizes the relative importance of lutein in broccoli heads and the key role that genotype plays with this compound.