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 21, 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 21, 2014).

Share This



More Plants & Animals News

Tuesday, October 21, 2014

Featured Research

from universities, journals, and other organizations


Featured Videos

from AP, Reuters, AFP, and other news services

'Cadaver Dog' Sniffs out Human Remains

'Cadaver Dog' Sniffs out Human Remains

AP (Oct. 21, 2014) Where's a body buried? Buster's nose can often tell you. He's a cadaver dog, specially trained to find human remains and increasingly being used by law enforcement and accepted in courts. These dogs are helping solve even decades-old mysteries. (Oct. 21) Video provided by AP
Powered by NewsLook.com
White Lion Cubs Born in Belgrade Zoo

White Lion Cubs Born in Belgrade Zoo

AFP (Oct. 20, 2014) Two white lion cubs, an extremely rare subspecies of the African lion, were recently born at Belgrade Zoo. They are being bottle fed by zoo keepers after they were rejected by their mother after birth. Duration: 00:42 Video provided by AFP
Powered by NewsLook.com
Traditional Farming Methods Gaining Ground in Mali

Traditional Farming Methods Gaining Ground in Mali

AFP (Oct. 20, 2014) He is leading a one man agricultural revolution in Mali - Oumar Diatabe uses traditional farming methods to get the most out of his land and is teaching others across the country how to do the same. Duration: 01:44 Video provided by AFP
Powered by NewsLook.com
Goliath Spider Will Give You Nightmares

Goliath Spider Will Give You Nightmares

Buzz60 (Oct. 20, 2014) An entomologist stumbled upon a South American Goliath Birdeater. With a name like that, you know it's a terrifying creepy crawler. Sean Dowling (@SeanDowlingTV) has the details. 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