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Article

Effects of Short-Term Root Cooling before Harvest on Yield and Food Quality of Chinese Broccoli (Brassica oleracea var. Alboglabra Bailey)

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Forschungszentrum Jülich, IBG-2: Plant Science, Wilhelm-Johnen-Straße, 52428 Jülich, Germany
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Forschungszentrum Jülich, IBG-3: Agrosphere, Wilhelm-Johnen-Straße, 52428 Jülich, Germany
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Institute of Crop Science and Resource Conservation, Faculty of Agriculture, Campus Klein-Altendorf 1, University of Bonn, 53359 Rheinbach, Germany
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School of BioSciences, University of Melbourne, Parkville, Melbourne 3010, Australia
*
Author to whom correspondence should be addressed.
Academic Editors: Maria Gonnella and Brian Farneti
Agronomy 2021, 11(3), 577; https://doi.org/10.3390/agronomy11030577
Received: 27 February 2021 / Revised: 15 March 2021 / Accepted: 17 March 2021 / Published: 19 March 2021
Vegetable product quality is an important consideration for consumers. Long-term root cooling could improve certain food quality of horticultural crops, but often comes at the expense of reduced shoot biomass or yield. Since few studies have investigated how fast Chinese broccoli (Brassica oleracea var. alboglabra Bailey) responds to changes of root temperature, we shortened the duration of the root cooling treatment to one week before harvest to make the production system more effective. The aim of this study was to improve the food quality of Chinese broccoli without causing deleterious effects on plant growth and yield. The seedlings were cultivated hydroponically at two root temperatures (10 and 20 °C) during the last week prior to harvest in summer 2018 (Exp-1) and autumn 2019 (Exp-2). Plant growth, yield, physiological variables, soluble sugars, total chlorophyll, glucosinolates and mineral elements concentration were examined. The results showed that the yield reduction was alleviated compared to results over the long-term. Specifically, yield was not affected by root cooling in Exp-1 and reduced by 18.9% in Exp-2 compared to 20 °C. Glucose and fructose concentrations of the leaves were increased when the root temperature was 10 °C in both experiments with a more pronounced impact in Exp-2. In addition, root cooling produced a significant accumulation of individual glucosinolates, such as progoitrin, gluconapin, 4-methoxyglucobrassicin and 4-hydroxyglucobrassicin, in the stems of Exp-1 and the leaves of Exp-2. Minerals, such as N, showed reductions in the shoot, but accumulation in the root. Therefore, compared to long-term root cooling, short-term (one week) reduction of the root temperature is more economical and could help improve certain quality characteristics of Chinese broccoli with less or even no yield reduction. View Full-Text
Keywords: yield; biomass; glucosinolates; soluble sugars; chlorophyll; starch; minerals yield; biomass; glucosinolates; soluble sugars; chlorophyll; starch; minerals
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MDPI and ACS Style

He, F.; Thiele, B.; Kraus, D.; Bouteyine, S.; Watt, M.; Kraska, T.; Schurr, U.; Kuhn, A.J. Effects of Short-Term Root Cooling before Harvest on Yield and Food Quality of Chinese Broccoli (Brassica oleracea var. Alboglabra Bailey). Agronomy 2021, 11, 577. https://doi.org/10.3390/agronomy11030577

AMA Style

He F, Thiele B, Kraus D, Bouteyine S, Watt M, Kraska T, Schurr U, Kuhn AJ. Effects of Short-Term Root Cooling before Harvest on Yield and Food Quality of Chinese Broccoli (Brassica oleracea var. Alboglabra Bailey). Agronomy. 2021; 11(3):577. https://doi.org/10.3390/agronomy11030577

Chicago/Turabian Style

He, Fang, Björn Thiele, David Kraus, Souhaila Bouteyine, Michelle Watt, Thorsten Kraska, Ulrich Schurr, and Arnd J. Kuhn 2021. "Effects of Short-Term Root Cooling before Harvest on Yield and Food Quality of Chinese Broccoli (Brassica oleracea var. Alboglabra Bailey)" Agronomy 11, no. 3: 577. https://doi.org/10.3390/agronomy11030577

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