Submitted to: Crucifer Genetics Workshop
Publication Type: Abstract Only
Publication Acceptance Date: 12/8/1998
Publication Date: N/A
Technical Abstract: Broccoli (Brassica oleracea L. Italica Group) is an excellent source of Calcium (Ca) and Magnesium (Mg), two critical minerals in human nutrition. Studies have shown that bioavailability of Ca from broccoli is comparable to that from milk. Thus, broccoli is an important alternative source of Ca in segments of the population that consume limited amounts of or no dairy products. The goal of this research was to examine genetic variation in Ca and Mg content among USDA inbreds and commercial hybrids of broccoli and the feasibility of enhancing Ca and Mg content in this crop. In field studies, significant differences among inbreds and hybrids were observed for Ca and Mg concentrations of heads. In 1996, Ca concentrations ranged from 1.9 to 5.1 mg/g dry weight (DW), and in 1997 from 1.7 to 5.1. Mg concentrations in 1996 and 1997 ranged from 1.6 to 2.6 and from 2.0 to 3.7 mg/g DW, respectively. Although some inbreds and hybrids had consistent Ca or Mg content in both test environments, significant genotype by environment interaction was evident. Since minerals are taken up from the soil, it is expected the environment, as well as genotype, will significantly influence Ca and Mg content of broccoli heads.