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  Eur.J.Hortic.Sci. 80 (5) 199-207 | DOI: 10.17660/eJHS.2015/80.5.1
ISSN 1611-4426 print and 1611-4434 online | © ISHS 2015 | European Journal of Horticultural Science | Original article

Glucosinolate analysis of wild rocket [Diplotaxis tenuifolia (L.) DC] from different Slovenian regions cultivated on two growing systems

M. Kovacic1, R. Veberic1, K. Ugrinovic2 and M. Jakše1
1University of Ljubljana, Biotechnical Faculty, Department of Agronomy, Ljubljana, Slovenia
2Agricultural Institute of Slovenia, Ljubljana, Slovenia

The present study investigates yield and leaf glucosinolate (GLS) content of 10 wild rocket (Diplotaxis tenuifolia) accessions collected from different regions of Slovenia. Accessions are compared with two commercially available rocket cultivars. Plants were grown in rock wool flakes (soilless floating system) and on peat (conventional system). The yield was significantly higher on the floating system (1,169.6 ± 54.5 g m-2) in comparison with the conventional system (361.6 ± 54.5 g m-2). Leaf extracts were analysed using a high performance liquid chromatography – HPLC system with a diode array detector and peak identification was performed on a mass spectrometer – MS. A significantly higher content of total glucosinolates (GLSs) per dry matter (DM) has been measured on the floating system (7.81 ± 0.59 g kg-1 DM) compared to the conventional system (4.91 ± 0.59 g kg-1 DM), but the results per fresh matter (FM) did not differ significantly between the two systems analysed. Five GLSs have been identified in wild rocket leaves – glucoraphanin, glucoalyssin, gluconapin, glucosativin and glucoerucin. Glucoraphanin was the most abundant GLS with an average content of 6.85 ± 0.51 g kg-1 DM in the soilless and 3.68 ± 0.51 g kg-1 DM in the conventional system. No significant differences in total GLSs content have been detected among wild rocket accessions. Two cuts were performed on a soilless system and no significant differences in total GLSs have been determined between the first and second cut. Moreover, no interactions between the sample origin and growing systems have been noted.

Keywords soilless system, glucoalyssin, glucoerucin, gluconapin, glucoraphanin, glucosativin

Significance of this study

What is already known on this subject?

  • Glucosinolates levels vary according to species, environmental factors, geographic location, developmental stage or type of tissue. The correlation between their content and different growing techniques is important, since floating system production of baby leaf vegetables has often been associated with a lower quality of produce.
What are the new findings?
  • The results are in support of the hydroponic production of wild rocket as fresh leafy vegetables as it enables much higher yields and comparable total glucosinolates content. Several individual glucosinolates were affected by the harvest time but total glucosinolates content was comparable between the first and second cut.
What is the expected impact on horticulture?
  • The topic could be of great interest for horticulturists dealing with “health food” and interested in interactions between growing techniques and content of different secondary metabolites in edible plants, since new growing techniques can produce soilless crops without quality losses.

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Received: 12 September 2014 | Revised: 21 February 2015 | Accepted: 19 May 2015 | Published: 23 October 2015 | Available online: 23 October 2015

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