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J Agric Food Chem. 2004 Nov 17;52(23):6950-5.

Correlation of glucosinolate content to myrosinase activity in horseradish (Armoracia rusticana).

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Department of Natural Resources and Environmental Sciences, University of Illinois-Urbana/Champaign, 1201 West Gregory Drive, Urbana, Illinois 61801, USA.


Fully developed horseradish (Armoracia rusticana Gaertn., Mey., & Scherb.) roots from 27 accessions and leaves from a subset of 9 accessions were evaluated for glucosinolates and myrosinase enzyme activity. Eight different glucosinolates were detected (based on HPLC retention times as desulfoglucosinolates) in both root and leaf tissues. The sum of these glucosinolates, referred to as total, ranged from 2 to 296 micromol g(-1) of dry weight (DW) in both tissues. Four glucosinolates (sinigrin, glucobrassicin, neoglucobrassicin, and gluconasturtiin) were detected in major quantities. In fully developed roots, sinigrin concentration represented approximately 83%, gluconasturtiin approximately 11%, and glucobrassicin approximately 1% of the total glucosinolates. Approximately the same proportions of individual glucosinolates appeared in fully developed leaves, except that glucobrassicin was substituted by neoglucobrassicin and gluconasturtiin concentration was significantly lower (<1%). At least four other glucosinolates were detected in very small quantities (<1%) in both roots and leaves. Myrosinase (beta-thioglucoside glucohydrolase, EC is the enzyme responsible for the hydrolysis of the parent glucosinolates into biologically active products. Very little is known about myrosinase activity and the correlation of its activity to total and individual glucosinolates in plant tissues. Significant differences in myrosinase activity were detected between the roots and leaves, ranging from 1.2 to 57.1 units g(-1) of DW. Data showed no correlation between myrosinase activity and total and/or individual glucosinolates in the roots. However, in the leaves, significant correlations were found between myrosinase activity and total glucosinolates (0.78 at P = 0.01) and between myrosinase activity and sinigrin (0.80 at P = 0.01). Glucosinolates content and myrosinase activity were also correlated in young and fully developed roots and leaves and during tissue crushing. Glucobrassicin concentration in the roots and neoglucobrassicin concentration in the leaves were significantly higher in young than in fully developed tissue. Crushing of the tissue resulted in rapid hydrolysis of sinigrin and glucobrassicin, as expected, from the presence of myrosinase. Likewise, myrosinase activity declined rapidly after crushing, perhaps due to inactivation by the reaction products and/or the depletion of its substrates.

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