Correlation of glucosinolate content to myrosinase activity in horseradish (Armoracia rusticana)

Li Xian, Mosbah M. Kushad

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


Fully developed horseradish (Armoracia rusticana Gaertn., Mey., & Scherb.) roots from 27 accessions and leaves from a subset of 9 accessions were evaluated for glucosinolates and myrosinase enzyme activity. Eight different glucosinolates were detected (based on HPLC retention times as desulfoglucosinolates) in both root and leaf tissues. The sum of these glucosinolates, referred to as total, ranged from 2 to 296 μmol g -1 of dry weight (DW) in both tissues. Four glucosinolates (sinigrin, glucobrassicin, neoglucobrassicin, and gluconasturtiin) were detected in major quantities. In fully developed roots, sinigrin concentration represented ∼83%, gluconasturtiin ∼11%, and glucobrassicin ∼1% of the total glucosinolates. Approximately the same proportions of individual glucosinolates appeared in fully developed leaves, except that glucobrassicin was substituted by neoglucobrassicin and gluconasturtiin concentration was significantly lower (<1%). At least four other glucosinolates were detected in very small quantities (<1%) in both roots and leaves. Myrosinase (β-thioglucoside glucohydrolase, EC is the enzyme responsible for the hydrolysis of the parent glucosinolates into biologically active products. Very little is known about myrosinase activity and the correlation of its activity to total and individual glucosinolates in plant tissues. Significant differences in myrosinase activity were detected between the roots and leaves, ranging from 1.2 to 57.1 units g-1 of DW. Data showed no correlation between myrosinase activity and total and/or individual glucosinolates in the roots. However, in the leaves, significant correlations were found between myrosinase activity and total glucosinolates (0.78 at P = 0.01) and between myrosinase activity and sinigrin (0.80 at P = 0.01). Glucosinolates content and myrosinase activity were also correlated in young and fully developed roots and leaves and during tissue crushing. Glucobrassicin concentration in the roots and neoglucobrassicin concentration in the leaves were significantly higher in young than in fully developed tissue. Crushing of the tissue resulted in rapid hydrolysis of sinigrin and glucobrassicin, as expected, from the presence of myrosinase. Likewise, myrosinase activity declined rapidly after crushing, perhaps due to inactivation by the reaction products and/or the depletion of its substrates.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)6950-6955
Number of pages6
JournalJournal of Agricultural and Food Chemistry
Issue number23
StatePublished - Nov 17 2004


  • Crushing
  • Glucosinolates
  • Myrosinase
  • Sinigrin
  • β-Thioglucoside glucohydrolase

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • General Chemistry
  • General Agricultural and Biological Sciences


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