Sulfur and nitrogen supply influences growth, product appearance and glucosinolate concentration of broccoli.
The effects of insufficient and optimal sulfur (S) and nitrogen (N) supply on plant growth and glucosinolate formation were studied under controlled experimental conditions in broccoli ‘Monaco’. Here, we report on the interaction between S and N supply, plant growth and quality parameters, and discuss the relevance of this interaction in relation to crop management strategies. Broccoli plants supplied with insufficient amounts of S or N showed typical deficiencies and yield decreases. In contrast, total glucosinolate concentrations were high at insufficient N supply independent of the S level and low at insufficient S supply in combination with an optimal N supply. This was mainly due to the presence of the alkyl glucosinolates glucoraphanin and glucoiberin. Furthermore, with S concentrations above 6 g kg-1 DM and N/S ratio lower than 10:1, the glucosinolate concentrations were on average around 0.33 g kg-1 fresh matter (FM) and differed significantly from those plants characterised by an S concentration below 6 g kg-1 DM and an N/S ratio above 10:1. In addition, N/S ratios between 7:1 and 10:1 promoted plant yield and enhanced overall appearance. Therefore, to produce broccoli (and potentially other Brassicaceae) with higher crop yields and enhanced product quality in the field, it is vital to establish the optimal S and N nutritional status of the plant and to integrate this information into crop management strategy programmes
Schonhof, I.; Blankenburg, D.; Müller, S.; Krumbein, A. 2007. Sulfur and nitrogen supply influences growth, product appearance and glucosinolate concentration of broccoli. Journal of Plant Nutrition and Soil Science 170 (1), 65-72.