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Title: Broccoli pigment profile of six cultigens grown in five east coast locations

item KOPSELL, D - University Of Tennessee
item SAMS, C - University Of Tennessee
item Farnham, Mark
item GRIFFITHS, P - Cornell University
item HUTTON, M - University Of Maine
item DAVIS, J - North Carolina State University
item MORRIS, W - Virginia Polytechnic Institution & State University

Submitted to: HortScience
Publication Type: Abstract Only
Publication Acceptance Date: 7/2/2012
Publication Date: 10/15/2012
Citation: Kopsell, D.A., Sams, C.E., Farnham, M.W., Griffiths, P.D., Hutton, M., Davis, J.M., Morris, W. 2012. Broccoli pigment profile of six cultigens grown in five east coast locations. HortScience. 47(9):358-359.

Interpretive Summary: N/A

Technical Abstract: Brassica oleracea L. vegetables are recognized as excellent sources of nutritionally important dietary pigments, and broccoli (B. oleracea var. italica) makes major nutritional contributions to diets in the United States. Despite high consumption rates among eastern populations, very little broccoli is produced in this region. Unfortunately, current cultigens do not produce a consistently marketable product under eastern growing conditions. Our SCRI-Coordinated Agricultural Project consists of a multi-disciplinary team of breeders, physiologists, production specialists, and market developers with the goal of developing a substantial eastern broccoli industry in the next 5–10 years. Our project vision is to create a regional food network for broccoli, which may serve as a model network for popular and nutritiously important specialty crops. With the emergence of broccoli as the most important domestic brassica crop, it most likely supplies more dietary carotenoid and chlorophyll phytonutrients than the other crops of this species. However, very little is known about the broccoli head pigment profile, or the levels of specific pigments and how they might vary among cultigens and wide geographic locations. For initial project evaluations, six broccoli cultigens were grown in the five east coast locations of ME, NY, NC, SC, and VA under optimum and sub-optimum seasons during 2011. Pigments were extracted from freeze-dried floret tissues and measured for chlorophyll and carotenoid compounds. Floret tissue chlorophyll a was influenced statistically by location, cultigen, season, and their interactions, while chlorophyll b was influenced by location, cultigen, location x cultigen, location x season, and location x cultigen x season. Floret tissue ß-carotene, lutein, neoxanthin, and violaxanthin varied statistically with location, cultigen, and location x cultigen. Pigment data from evaluations in the first year of our SCRI project will be used by team breeders and production specialists to develop and refine germplasm and growing practices to support a developing eastern broccoli production system.