Quality aspects in breeding Brassica species

C. Möllers
The genus Brassica comprises a large number of species and subspecies that are consumed either as shoots, leaves, roots, turnip roots, etc. or in form of the seeds. Vegetative plant parts are merchandized mainly as raw product, whereas generative parts are marketed predominantly in a processed form either as oil, meal, powder, protein, condiment, etc. The glucosinolate content and composition of vegetative and generative Brassica plant parts have been for a long time subject of many scientific and sensoric investigations. Plant breeding efforts have led to the development of canola seed quality cultivars in Brassica napus and in Brassica juncea, whereas this goal has not yet been achieved in Brassica carinata. Meanwhile, the scientific interest has shifted towards phytosterols, tocopherols, phenolic acids and proanthocyanidins (condensed tannins) and their effects on oil and protein content and quality. Furthermore, degradation products generated during processing of raw material that may positively or negatively affect quality and flavor of end products are getting into focus. The economic benefit of the Brassica oil crops is mainly due to their high oil content. The oil extracted meal is less valued and currently is used mainly in feed mixtures. However, with the ever increasing human demand for vegetable proteins, attempts are undertaken to improve the quality and the palatability of Brassica seed proteins in food products. Different 'omics' technologies are available allowing the identification of natural product components, their encoding genes and differences in their expression. Once critical components are identified, natural genetic variation for these components and genome editing techniques can be harnessed for an efficient and targeted quality improvement of Brassica crops. Recent developments in breeding for quality traits in Brassica species will be reviewed.
Möllers, C. (2018). Quality aspects in breeding Brassica species. Acta Hortic. 1202, 151-156
DOI: 10.17660/ActaHortic.2018.1202.22
erucic acid, oleic acid, sinapine, napin, cruciferin, ADF, ADL, phytosterol, glucosinolate

Acta Horticulturae