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 Researchers discover natural product that could lead to new class of commercial herbicide
16.07.2018 | UCLA Samueli School of Engineering

nachricht Advance warning system via cell phone app: Avoiding extreme weather damage in agriculture
12.07.2018 | Leibniz-Zentrum für Agrarlandschaftsforschung (ZALF) e.V.

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: Future electronic components to be printed like newspapers

A new manufacturing technique uses a process similar to newspaper printing to form smoother and more flexible metals for making ultrafast electronic devices.

The low-cost process, developed by Purdue University researchers, combines tools already used in industry for manufacturing metals on a large scale, but uses...

Im Focus: First evidence on the source of extragalactic particles

For the first time ever, scientists have determined the cosmic origin of highest-energy neutrinos. A research group led by IceCube scientist Elisa Resconi, spokesperson of the Collaborative Research Center SFB1258 at the Technical University of Munich (TUM), provides an important piece of evidence that the particles detected by the IceCube neutrino telescope at the South Pole originate from a galaxy four billion light-years away from Earth.

To rule out other origins with certainty, the team led by neutrino physicist Elisa Resconi from the Technical University of Munich and multi-wavelength...

Im Focus: Magnetic vortices: Two independent magnetic skyrmion phases discovered in a single material

For the first time a team of researchers have discovered two different phases of magnetic skyrmions in a single material. Physicists of the Technical Universities of Munich and Dresden and the University of Cologne can now better study and understand the properties of these magnetic structures, which are important for both basic research and applications.

Whirlpools are an everyday experience in a bath tub: When the water is drained a circular vortex is formed. Typically, such whirls are rather stable. Similar...

Im Focus: Breaking the bond: To take part or not?

Physicists working with Roland Wester at the University of Innsbruck have investigated if and how chemical reactions can be influenced by targeted vibrational excitation of the reactants. They were able to demonstrate that excitation with a laser beam does not affect the efficiency of a chemical exchange reaction and that the excited molecular group acts only as a spectator in the reaction.

A frequently used reaction in organic chemistry is nucleophilic substitution. It plays, for example, an important role in in the synthesis of new chemical...

Im Focus: New 2D Spectroscopy Methods

Optical spectroscopy allows investigating the energy structure and dynamic properties of complex quantum systems. Researchers from the University of Würzburg present two new approaches of coherent two-dimensional spectroscopy.

"Put an excitation into the system and observe how it evolves." According to physicist Professor Tobias Brixner, this is the credo of optical spectroscopy....

All Focus news of the innovation-report >>>

Anzeige

Anzeige

VideoLinks
Industry & Economy
Event News

Leading experts in Diabetes, Metabolism and Biomedical Engineering discuss Precision Medicine

13.07.2018 | Event News

Conference on Laser Polishing – LaP: Fine Tuning for Surfaces

12.07.2018 | Event News

11th European Wood-based Panel Symposium 2018: Meeting point for the wood-based materials industry

03.07.2018 | Event News

 
Latest News

A smart safe rechargeable zinc ion battery based on sol-gel transition electrolytes

20.07.2018 | Power and Electrical Engineering

Reversing cause and effect is no trouble for quantum computers

20.07.2018 | Information Technology

Princeton-UPenn research team finds physics treasure hidden in a wallpaper pattern

20.07.2018 | Materials Sciences

VideoLinks
Science & Research
Overview of more VideoLinks >>>