, Volume 63, Issue 1–2, pp 71–83 | Cite as

Leaf glucosinolate profiles and their relationship to pest and disease resistance in oilseed rape

  • Richard Mithen


Glucosinolates are sulphur-containing glycosides which occur within vegetative and reproductive tissue of oilseed rape. Following tissue damage, glucosinolates undergo hydrolysis catalysed by the enzyme myrosinase to produce a complex array of products which include volatile isothiocyanates and several compounds with goitrogenic activity. Many of these products have been implicated in the interaction betweenBrassica and their pests and pathogens and some may have a role in defence mechanisms. Low glucosinolate (00) oilseed rape cultivars have been shown to possess similar concentrations of leaf glucosinolates as high glucosinolate (0) oilseed rape cultivars. Likewise, despite considerable speculation to the contrary, 00 cultivars have been shown not to be more susceptible to pests and pathogens than 0 cultivars. The potential to enhance pest and disease resistance of oilseed rape by manipulating the leaf glucosinolate profile without reducing seed quality is discussed.

Key words

Brassica napus ssp.oleifera disease resistance glucosinolates isothiocyanates oilseed rape 


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Copyright information

© Kluwer Academic Publishers 1992

Authors and Affiliations

  • Richard Mithen
    • 1
  1. 1.Cambridge Laboratory, Institute of Plant Science ResearchJohn Innes CentreNorwichUK

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