Drought stress modulates secondary metabolites in Brassica oleracea L. convar. acephala (DC) Alef, var. sabellica L. Abstract BACKGROUND: Consumer preference today is for the consumption of functional food and the reduction of chemical preservatives. Moreover, the antimicrobial properties and health-promoting qualities of plant secondary metabolites are well known. Due to forecasted climate changes and increasing human population, agricultural practices for saving water have become a concern. In the present study, the physiological responses of curly kale Brassica oleracea L. convar. Acephala (DC) var. sabellica to drought stress and the impact of water limitation on the concentration of selected secondary metabolites were investigated under laboratory-controlled conditions. RESULTS: Results indicated that drought stress increased the content of trans-2-hexenal, phytol and -tocopherol, and decreased chlorophyll content. Moreover, drought stress increased antioxidant capacity and the expression of AOP2, a gene associated with the biosynthesis of aliphatic alkenyl glucosinolates, and of three genes -TGG1, TGGE and PEN2 -encoding for myrosinases, the enzymes involved in glucosinolate breakdown.CONCLUSION: The present study shows that water limitation during the growing phase might be exploited as a sustainable practice for producing curly kale with a high concentration of nutritionally important health-promoting bioactive metabolites.
Impact of drought on chlorophyll, total, , tocopherols and volatile compound concentrationDrought stress significantly decreased the concentration of total chlorophylls (Fig. 2a), while increasing the concentration of total, J Sci Food Agric 2019; 99: 5533-5540