Proceedings of the XLVI Italian Society of Agricultural Genetics - SIGA Annual Congress
Giardini Naxos, Italy - 18/21 September, 2002
ASSESSEMENT OF VIOLET CAULIFLOWER LANDRACES FOR NUTRICEUTICAL TRAITS
Dipartimento di OrtoFloroArboricoltura e Tecnologie Agroalimentari (DOFATA), Sez. OrtoFloricoltura
Brassicaceae, cauliflower, landraces, antioxidants, glucosinolates
Cauliflower production (Brassica oleracea var. botrytis) is mainly based on white curded cultivars which nevertheless represent only a part of the genetic variability expressed for this crop. In fact, the Mediterranean basin - considered by several Authors the primary centre of origin and diversity of the crop – are diffused several types and forms, different for curd colour but also for other characteristics such as plant biology and curd size, shape and grane, which are often intermediate between several Brassica crops, such as cauliflower, broccoli and kale. That is consequence of frequent cross pollination between cultivated and wild Brassica species, some of which endemic, widespread in this area.
In this frame our attention has been mainly devoted to coloured cauliflower, and in particular to violet curded landraces widely cultivated in Sicily, in view to exploit them for a more qualified cauliflower production and for supporting environmental friendly production protocols. Results just acquired show the high value of these coloured landraces as concerns with antioxidant compounds such as carotenoids, anthocianins, glucosinolates. So these traits could be considered for the genetic improvement of this crop in view to develop functional product suitable for nutriceutical foods. In particular, glucosinolates, of which are rather rich the considered violet landraces, after eating are hydrolysed in several types of isothiocyanates, some of which them have been shown to inhibit tumor formation in several animal systems.
According to this data we have deepened the aspects related to glucosinolate content and composition of some cauliflower cultivar and landraces different for curd colour. Significative differences were ascertained for glucosinolate profile, with regards to nutriceutical traits, in favour of the coloured curd landraces. The accordance of these results with those previous obtained and reported in literature encourage us to continue our work with the aim to improve the violet curded landraces of cauliflower for the nutriceutical profile.