The oilseeds of the commercially important oilseed rape (Brassica napus) and turnip rape (Brassica rapa) were investigated with (1)H NMR metabolomics. The compositions of ripened (cultivated in field trials) and developing seeds (cultivated in controlled conditions) were compared in multivariate models using principal component analysis (PCA), partial least squares discriminant analysis (PLS-DA), and orthogonal partial least squares discriminant analysis (OPLS-DA). Differences in the major lipids and the minor metabolites between the two species were found. A higher content of polyunsaturated fatty acids and sucrose were observed in turnip rape, while the overall oil content and sinapine levels were higher in oilseed rape. The genotype traits were negligible compared to the effect of the growing site and concomitant conditions on the oilseed metabolome. This study demonstrates the applicability of NMR-based analysis in determining the species, geographical origin, developmental stage, and quality of oilseed Brassicas.
Keywords: Brassica napus; Brassica rapa; Metabolomics; NMR; Oilseed rape; Turnip rape.
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