Forum for Science, Industry and Business

Sponsored by:     3M 
Search our Site:

 

Shelf-Life Science: Good Genes Could Stop Broccoli Going Bad

10.04.2002


Broccoli is one of western Europe`s most popular and widely consumed vegetables. However, its shelf life is restricted to about 5 days at room temperature, making distribution and storage of the product difficult. Recent research presented today at the Society for Experimental Biology conference in Swansea could help us understand the genetics of this situation and may even lead to `supervarieties` of broccoli.



The popularity of broccoli is on the increase and it is used increasingly in value added products such as frozen foods and ready meals. In the UK, broccoli available in the summer is produced domestically. However, during the winter months the majority of the broccoli available in supermarkets has made the long journey from Spain - not an easy thing when the product itself has a shelf life of only 5 days.

Evy Mathas, a PhD student at Horticultural Research International, Wellesbourne, is attempting to understand this relatively rapid deterioration - research which may lead to improved commercial varieties. Senescence - the deterioration of the product - is characterised by a yellowing of the broccoli floret and a loss of water. In order to study this process, Ms Mathas carried out an extensive field trial in 2001, growing different varieties of broccoli and carrying out a detailed analysis on each post-harvest day. She has found a dramatic difference between these varieties. Some senesce in as little as 2 days, whilst others remain edible for 4 at room temperature. Her biochemical and molecular analysis has shown that this senescence is a result of a rather rapid loss of chlorophyll and a slight loss of protein from the floret.


Gene expression work using gene probes for known senescence causing genes has shown that the expression of these genes also increases as the product deteriorates, suggesting a genetic basis for senescence. The expression of these genes occurs earlier and is stronger in broccoli varieties with a short shelf life. Ms Mathas now hopes to identify the quantitative trait loci (QTL) for these genes - in essence, the region on the broccoli chromosome where the senescence-causing genes are found - allowing a physical map of the chromosome to be built up. The next step would be to identify the specific genes involved. Potentially, this could allow modification of these genes enabling us to develop `supervarieties` of broccoli.

"This research isn`t simply limited to broccoli. We can also learn a lot about physiology and senescence in general and may be able to apply these findings in other types of vegetable or crop".

Jenny Gimpel | alphagalileo

More articles from Agricultural and Forestry Science:

nachricht Light green plants save nitrogen without sacrificing photosynthetic efficiency
21.11.2017 | Carl R. Woese Institute for Genomic Biology, University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign

nachricht Filling intercropping info gap
16.11.2017 | American Society of Agronomy

All articles from Agricultural and Forestry Science >>>

The most recent press releases about innovation >>>

Die letzten 5 Focus-News des innovations-reports im Überblick:

Im Focus: Frictional Heat Powers Hydrothermal Activity on Enceladus

Computer simulation shows how the icy moon heats water in a porous rock core

Heat from the friction of rocks caused by tidal forces could be the “engine” for the hydrothermal activity on Saturn's moon Enceladus. This presupposes that...

Im Focus: Nanoparticles help with malaria diagnosis – new rapid test in development

The WHO reports an estimated 429,000 malaria deaths each year. The disease mostly affects tropical and subtropical regions and in particular the African continent. The Fraunhofer Institute for Silicate Research ISC teamed up with the Fraunhofer Institute for Molecular Biology and Applied Ecology IME and the Institute of Tropical Medicine at the University of Tübingen for a new test method to detect malaria parasites in blood. The idea of the research project “NanoFRET” is to develop a highly sensitive and reliable rapid diagnostic test so that patient treatment can begin as early as possible.

Malaria is caused by parasites transmitted by mosquito bite. The most dangerous form of malaria is malaria tropica. Left untreated, it is fatal in most cases....

Im Focus: A “cosmic snake” reveals the structure of remote galaxies

The formation of stars in distant galaxies is still largely unexplored. For the first time, astron-omers at the University of Geneva have now been able to closely observe a star system six billion light-years away. In doing so, they are confirming earlier simulations made by the University of Zurich. One special effect is made possible by the multiple reflections of images that run through the cosmos like a snake.

Today, astronomers have a pretty accurate idea of how stars were formed in the recent cosmic past. But do these laws also apply to older galaxies? For around a...

Im Focus: Visual intelligence is not the same as IQ

Just because someone is smart and well-motivated doesn't mean he or she can learn the visual skills needed to excel at tasks like matching fingerprints, interpreting medical X-rays, keeping track of aircraft on radar displays or forensic face matching.

That is the implication of a new study which shows for the first time that there is a broad range of differences in people's visual ability and that these...

Im Focus: Novel Nano-CT device creates high-resolution 3D-X-rays of tiny velvet worm legs

Computer Tomography (CT) is a standard procedure in hospitals, but so far, the technology has not been suitable for imaging extremely small objects. In PNAS, a team from the Technical University of Munich (TUM) describes a Nano-CT device that creates three-dimensional x-ray images at resolutions up to 100 nanometers. The first test application: Together with colleagues from the University of Kassel and Helmholtz-Zentrum Geesthacht the researchers analyzed the locomotory system of a velvet worm.

During a CT analysis, the object under investigation is x-rayed and a detector measures the respective amount of radiation absorbed from various angles....

All Focus news of the innovation-report >>>

Anzeige

Anzeige

Event News

Ecology Across Borders: International conference brings together 1,500 ecologists

15.11.2017 | Event News

Road into laboratory: Users discuss biaxial fatigue-testing for car and truck wheel

15.11.2017 | Event News

#Berlin5GWeek: The right network for Industry 4.0

30.10.2017 | Event News

 
Latest News

Underwater acoustic localization of marine mammals and vehicles

23.11.2017 | Information Technology

Enhancing the quantum sensing capabilities of diamond

23.11.2017 | Physics and Astronomy

Meadows beat out shrubs when it comes to storing carbon

23.11.2017 | Life Sciences

VideoLinks
B2B-VideoLinks
More VideoLinks >>>