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Int. J. Mol. Sci. 2017, 18(5), 1004; doi:10.3390/ijms18051004

Cultivar-Specific Changes in Primary and Secondary Metabolites in Pak Choi (Brassica Rapa, Chinensis Group) by Methyl Jasmonate

1
Division of Plant and Soil Sciences, West Virginia University, Morgantown, WV 26506, USA
2
Department of Bioscience and Biotechnology, Konkuk University, Seoul 143-701, Korea
3
Department of Crop Sciences, University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign, Urbana, IL 61801, USA
*
Author to whom correspondence should be addressed.
Academic Editor: Toshio Morikawa
Received: 14 March 2017 / Revised: 1 May 2017 / Accepted: 2 May 2017 / Published: 7 May 2017
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Biological Activity of Natural Secondary Metabolite Products)
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Abstract

Glucosinolates, their hydrolysis products and primary metabolites were analyzed in five pak choi cultivars to determine the effect of methyl jasmonate (MeJA) on metabolite flux from primary metabolites to glucosinolates and their hydrolysis products. Among detected glucosinolates (total 14 glucosinolates; 9 aliphatic, 4 indole and 1 aromatic glucosinolates), indole glucosinolate concentrations (153–229%) and their hydrolysis products increased with MeJA treatment. Changes in the total isothiocyanates by MeJA were associated with epithiospecifier protein activity estimated as nitrile formation. Goitrin, a goitrogenic compound, significantly decreased by MeJA treatment in all cultivars. Changes in glucosinolates, especially aliphatic, significantly differed among cultivars. Primary metabolites including amino acids, organic acids and sugars also changed with MeJA treatment in a cultivar-specific manner. A decreased sugar level suggests that they might be a carbon source for secondary metabolite biosynthesis in MeJA-treated pak choi. The result of the present study suggests that MeJA can be an effective agent to elevate indole glucosinolates and their hydrolysis products and to reduce a goitrogenic compound in pak choi. The total glucosinolate concentration was the highest in “Chinese cabbage” in the control group (32.5 µmol/g DW), but indole glucosinolates increased the greatest in “Asian” when treated with MeJA. View Full-Text
Keywords: glucosinolate; isothiocyanate; methyl jasmonate; pak choi; Brassica rapa glucosinolate; isothiocyanate; methyl jasmonate; pak choi; Brassica rapa
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MDPI and ACS Style

Kim, M.J.; Chiu, Y.-C.; Kim, N.K.; Park, H.M.; Lee, C.H.; Juvik, J.A.; Ku, K.-M. Cultivar-Specific Changes in Primary and Secondary Metabolites in Pak Choi (Brassica Rapa, Chinensis Group) by Methyl Jasmonate. Int. J. Mol. Sci. 2017, 18, 1004.

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