Chemopreventive glucosinolate accumulation in various broccoli and collard tissues: Microfluidic-based targeted transcriptomics for by-product valorization

PLoS One. 2017 Sep 25;12(9):e0185112. doi: 10.1371/journal.pone.0185112. eCollection 2017.


Floret, leaf, and root tissues were harvested from broccoli and collard cultivars and extracted to determine their glucosinolate and hydrolysis product profiles using high performance liquid chromatography and gas chromotography. Quinone reductase inducing bioactivity, an estimate of anti-cancer chemopreventive potential, of the extracts was measured using a hepa1c1c7 murine cell line. Extracts from root tissues were significantly different from other tissues and contained high levels of gluconasturtiin and glucoerucin. Targeted gene expression analysis on glucosinolate biosynthesis revealed that broccoli root tissue has elevated gene expression of AOP2 and low expression of FMOGS-OX homologs, essentially the opposite of what was observed in broccoli florets, which accumulated high levels of glucoraphanin. Broccoli floret tissue has significantly higher nitrile formation (%) and epithionitrile specifier protein gene expression than other tissues. This study provides basic information of the glucosinolate metabolome and transcriptome for various tissues of Brassica oleracea that maybe utilized as potential byproducts for the nutraceutical market.

MeSH terms

  • Anticarcinogenic Agents / analysis
  • Anticarcinogenic Agents / metabolism*
  • Brassica / chemistry
  • Brassica / genetics*
  • Brassica / metabolism*
  • Dietary Supplements / analysis
  • Flowering Tops / metabolism
  • Gene Expression Profiling
  • Genes, Plant
  • Glucose / analogs & derivatives
  • Glucose / analysis
  • Glucose / genetics
  • Glucose / metabolism
  • Glucosinolates / analysis
  • Glucosinolates / genetics*
  • Glucosinolates / metabolism*
  • Humans
  • Hydrolysis
  • Imidoesters / analysis
  • Imidoesters / metabolism
  • Metabolome
  • Microfluidic Analytical Techniques
  • NAD(P)H Dehydrogenase (Quinone) / biosynthesis
  • Plant Leaves / metabolism
  • Plant Proteins / biosynthesis
  • Plant Roots / metabolism
  • RNA, Plant / genetics
  • RNA, Plant / metabolism
  • Tissue Distribution


  • Anticarcinogenic Agents
  • Glucosinolates
  • Imidoesters
  • Plant Proteins
  • RNA, Plant
  • gluconasturtiin
  • glucoerucin
  • NAD(P)H Dehydrogenase (Quinone)
  • Glucose

Grant support

Young-San Lee was funded by Soonchunhyang University. Kang-Mo Ku was funded by the West Virginia Agricultural and Forestry Experiment Station (WVA00698: Scientific Article No. 3327). The funders had no role in study design, data collection and analysis, decision to publish, or preparation of the manuscript.