Featured Research

from universities, journals, and other organizations

Breeding Better Broccoli: Research Points To Pumped Up Lutein Levels In Broccoli

Date:
November 8, 2009
Source:
American Society for Horticultural Science
Summary:
Plant carotenoids are the most important source of vitamin A in the human diet and are considered to be valuable antioxidants capable of protecting humans from chronic diseases including macular degeneration, cancer and cardiovascular disease. Researchers investigating the carotenoid content of field-grown broccoli discovered that when it comes to breeding broccoli, lutein levels were linked to the plants' genetics; the environment in which the vegetables were grown had little effect on carotenoid production.

Carotenoids -- fat-soluble plant compounds found in some vegetables -- are essential to the human diet and reportedly offer important health benefits to consumers. Plant carotenoids are the most important source of vitamin A in the human diet; the carotenoids lutein and zeaxanthin, found in corn and leafy greens vegetable such as kale, broccoli, and spinach, are widely considered to be valuable antioxidants capable of protecting humans from chronic diseases including age-related macular degeneration, cancer, and cardiovascular disease.

Vegetables in the cabbage family (such as kale, cauliflower, and broccoli) have long been known as especially good sources of dietary carotenoids. Recently, broccoli has emerged as the stand-out member of the species, providing more carotenoids to American consumers than any of its cabbage-family relatives. Yet, little has been understood about the carotenoid make-up of this popular green vegetable -- until now.

Mark W. Farnham of the U.S. Department of Agriculture, Agricultural Research Service, Charleston, South Carolina, and Dean A. Kopsell from the Plant Sciences Department, University of Tennessee, Knoxville, designed a research study aimed at finding out more about the carotenoid content of field-grown broccoli and determining the effects of genetics and the environment on carotenoid levels. The duo's research confirmed that broccoli heads contain abundant levels of lutein, an antioxidant commonly thought to provide nutritional support to eyes and skin. Other carotenoids like beta-carotene, violaxanthin, neoxanthin, and antheraxanthin were also found in broccoli heads, but lutein was clearly the most significant, accounting for about half of all carotenoids measured.

The researchers also discovered that when it comes to breeding broccoli, lutein levels were linked to the plants' genetics; the environment in which the vegetables were grown had little effect on carotenoid production.

The full study, published in a recent issue of HortScience, includes recommendations for vegetable breeders interested in producing vegetables that feature higher lutein levels. "Ultimately," reported Farnham and Kopsell, "this research indicates that breeding cultivars with increased levels of this particular carotenoid may be feasible."


Story Source:

The above story is based on materials provided by American Society for Horticultural Science. Note: Materials may be edited for content and length.


Journal Reference:

  1. Farnham, Mark W., Kopsell, Dean A. Importance of Genotype on Carotenoid and Chlorophyll Levels in Broccoli Heads. HortScience, 2009; 44: 1248-1253 [link]

Cite This Page:

American Society for Horticultural Science. "Breeding Better Broccoli: Research Points To Pumped Up Lutein Levels In Broccoli." ScienceDaily. ScienceDaily, 8 November 2009. <www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2009/11/091104132824.htm>.
American Society for Horticultural Science. (2009, November 8). Breeding Better Broccoli: Research Points To Pumped Up Lutein Levels In Broccoli. ScienceDaily. Retrieved October 20, 2014 from www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2009/11/091104132824.htm
American Society for Horticultural Science. "Breeding Better Broccoli: Research Points To Pumped Up Lutein Levels In Broccoli." ScienceDaily. www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2009/11/091104132824.htm (accessed October 20, 2014).

Share This



More Plants & Animals News

Monday, October 20, 2014

Featured Research

from universities, journals, and other organizations


Featured Videos

from AP, Reuters, AFP, and other news services

Raw: Rare Lion Cubs Make Debut at Belgrade Zoo

Raw: Rare Lion Cubs Make Debut at Belgrade Zoo

AP (Oct. 17, 2014) Two white lion cubs were born in Belgrade zoo three weeks ago. White lions are a rare mutation of a species found in South Africa and some cultures consider them divine. (Oct. 17) Video provided by AP
Powered by NewsLook.com
The Best Foods To Boost Your Mood

The Best Foods To Boost Your Mood

Buzz60 (Oct. 17, 2014) Feeling down? Reach for the refrigerator, not the medicine cabinet! TC Newman (@PurpleTCNewman) shares some of the best foods to boost your mood. Video provided by Buzz60
Powered by NewsLook.com
Sweet Times for Hard Cider Makers

Sweet Times for Hard Cider Makers

AP (Oct. 16, 2014) With hard cider making a hardcore comeback across the country, craft makers are trying to keep up with demand and apple growers are tapping a juicy new revenue stream. (Oct. 16) Video provided by AP
Powered by NewsLook.com
Meet Garfi the Angry Cat

Meet Garfi the Angry Cat

Buzz60 (Oct. 16, 2014) Garfi is one frowny, feisty feline - downright angry! Ko Im (@koimtv) introduces us to the latest animal celebrity taking over the Internet. You can follow more of Garfi's adventures on Twitter (@MeetGarfi) and Facebook (Garfi). Video provided by Buzz60
Powered by NewsLook.com

Search ScienceDaily

Number of stories in archives: 140,361

Find with keyword(s):
Enter a keyword or phrase to search ScienceDaily for related topics and research stories.

Save/Print:
Share:

Breaking News:

Strange & Offbeat Stories


Plants & Animals

Earth & Climate

Fossils & Ruins

In Other News

... from NewsDaily.com

Science News

Health News

Environment News

Technology News



Save/Print:
Share:

Free Subscriptions


Get the latest science news with ScienceDaily's free email newsletters, updated daily and weekly. Or view hourly updated newsfeeds in your RSS reader:

Get Social & Mobile


Keep up to date with the latest news from ScienceDaily via social networks and mobile apps:

Have Feedback?


Tell us what you think of ScienceDaily -- we welcome both positive and negative comments. Have any problems using the site? Questions?
Mobile: iPhone Android Web
Follow: Facebook Twitter Google+
Subscribe: RSS Feeds Email Newsletters
Latest Headlines Health & Medicine Mind & Brain Space & Time Matter & Energy Computers & Math Plants & Animals Earth & Climate Fossils & Ruins