Development of Brassica Oilseed Crops with Low Antinutritional Glucosinolates and Rich in Anticancer Glucosinolates

  • Naveen C. BishtEmail author
  • Rehna Augustine
Part of the Concepts and Strategies in Plant Sciences book series (CSPS)


Glucosinolates are a class of plant secondary metabolites of Brassicaceae family with diverse biological functions. Hydrolytic products of some glucosinolates are beneficial whereas some impart antinutritional properties. Sulforaphane, the degradation product of glucosinolate glucoraphanin is known as one of the most potent naturally occurring anticancer compound. Sulforaphane protects the body against a variety of chronic diseases. The major antinutritional effect of glucosinolates reported is its interference with thyroid function, especially in livestock and poultry which are routinely fed on rapeseed–mustard meal. For example, 2-hydroxy-3-butenyl glucosinolate forms an oxazolidine-2-thione upon hydrolysis which is goitrogenic. The presence of antinutritional glucosinolates drastically reduces its food and feed value and hence also its market value. It is therefore, imperative to develop Brassica oilseed crops which are rich in beneficial glucosinolates and low in antinutritional glucosinolates. Conventional breeding efforts as well as recent biotechnological advances have contributed largely toward this goal. Recently, using RNAi-mediated silencing of the GSL-ALK gene, high accumulation of glucoraphanin was achieved in the seeds of Brassica juncea with a concomitant decline in the concentrations of antinutritional glucosinolates. The chapter summarizes the health effects of glucosinolates, the genetics of beneficial glucosinolate accumulation in Brassica crops and the current status of research toward the enrichment of Brassica crops with beneficial glucosinolates.


Brassica Glucosinolates Antinutritional Glucoraphanin Sulforaphane GSL-ALK RNAi silencing 



Amplified fragment length polymorphism




Alkenyl hydroxyl producing


Branched-chain aminotransferases


Clustered regularly interspaced short palindromic repeats


CRISPR associated protein


Dry weight


Flavin monooxygenase






Glucosinolate transporter


Methylthioalkyl malate synthase




Quantitative trait loci


RNA interference


Targeting induced local lesions in genomes




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© Springer Nature Switzerland AG 2019

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.National Institute of Plant Genome Research (NIPGR)New DelhiIndia

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