Variation of chlorophyll and carotenoids in different varieties and organs of Chinese kale

Main Article Content

Chenlu Zhang
Sha Liang
Yilin Wang
Sha Luo
Weijia Yao
Hao He
Yuxiao Tian
Huanxiu Li
Fen Zhang
Bo Sun


carotenoids, Chinese kale, chlorophyll, organs, varieties


The concentrations of chlorophyll and carotenoids were analyzed in two organs (leaves and bolting stems) of 19 varieties of Chinese kale (including four maturity periods and two flower colors). Two chlorophylls and four carotenoids were identified in Chinese kale. The concentrations of chlorophyll and carotenoids varied widely in different organs and varieties. JL-03 was a good candidate for the future breeding programs, since it contained the highest concentrations of chlorophyll and carotenoids (except violaxanthin) in leaves. Lutein was the main component of carotenoids and accounted for approximately 50% of total carotenoids. The concentrations of chlorophyll and carotenoids in leaves significantly exceeded those in bolting stems. Principal component analysis showed that organ was the main source of differences of chlorophyll and carotenoid concentrations in different varieties of Chinese kale, while the maturity and flower color have little effect. Correlation analysis identified a significantly positive correlation between chlorophyll and carotenoids in Chinese kale. These results provided evidence for improving human dietary nutrition and breeding of Chinese kale.

Abstract 668 | PDF Downloads 290 HTML Downloads 74 XML Downloads 7


Abu-Reidah, I.M., Gil-Izquierdo, Á., Medina, S. and Ferreres, F., 2017. Phenolic composition profiling of different edible parts and by-products of date palm (phoenix dactylifera L.) by using HPLC-DAD-ESI/MSn. Food Research International 100: 494–500. 10.1016/j.foodres.2016.10.018

Agneta, R., Lelario, F., De Maria, S., Möllers, C., Bufo, S.A. and Rivelli, A.R., 2014. Glucosinolate profile and distribution among plant tissues and phenological stages of field-grown horseradish. Phytochemistry 106: 178–187. 10.1016/j.phytochem.2014.06.019

Amin, A.R., Kucuk, O., Kuhari, F.R. and Shin, D.M., 2009. Perspectives for cancer prevention with natural compounds. Journal of Clinical Oncology 27: 2712–2725. /10.1200/JCO.2008.20.6235

Amri, Z., Zaouay, F., Lazreg-Aref, H., Soltana, H., Mneri, A., Mars, M. and Hammami, M., 2017. Phytochemical content, fatty acids composition and antioxidant potential of different pomegranate parts: comparison between edible and nonedible varieties grown in Tunisia. International Journal of Biological Macromolecules 104: 274–280. 10.1016/j.ijbiomac.2017.06.022

Britton, G. and Khachik, F., 2009. Carotenoids in food. Carotenoids 5: 45–66. 10.1007/978-3-7643-7501-0_3

Carvalho, E., Fraser, P.D. and Martens, S., 2013. Carotenoids and tocopherols in yellow and red raspberries. Food Chemistry 139: 744–752. 10.1016/j.foodchem.2012.12.047

Caseli, L., Sousa-Martins, D., Maia, M., Lima-Filho, A.A., Rodrigues, E.B. and Belfort, R. Jr., 2013. An intraocular dye solution based on Lutein and Zeaxanthin in a surrogate internal limiting membrane model: a Langmuir monolayer study. Colloids and Surfaces B: Biointerfaces 107: 124–129. 10.1016/j.colsurfb.2013.01.076

Cazzonelli, C.I. and Pogson, B.J., 2010. Source to sink: regulation of carotenoid biosynthesis in plants. Trends in Plant Science 15: 266–274. 10.1016/j.tplants.2010.02.003

Cervantes-Paz, B., Yahia, E.M., Ornelas-Paz, J.D.J., Victoria-Campos, C.I., Ibarra-Junquera, V., Pérez-Martínez, J.D., et al. 2014. Antioxidant activity and content of chlorophylls and carotenoids in raw and heat-processed Jalapeno peppers at intermediate stages of ripening. Food Chemistry 146: 188–196. 10.1016/j.foodchem.2013.09.060

Chen, K.W. and Roca, M., 2018. In vitro bioavailability of chlorophyll pigments from edible seaweeds. Journal of Functional Foods 41: 25–33. 10.1016/j.jff.2017.12.029

Chen, Y.S., Wang, E.P., Wei, Z.H., Zheng, Y.F., Yan, R. and Ma, X., 2019. Phytochemical analysis, cellular antioxidant and α-glucosidase inhibitory activities of various herb plant organs. Industrial Crops and Product 141: 111771. 10.1016/j.indcrop.2019.111771

Conesa, A., Manera, F.C., Brotons, J.M. and Fernandez-Zapata, J.C., 2019. Changes in the content of chlorophylls and carotenoids in the rind of Fino 49 lemons during maturation and their relationship with parameters from the CIELAB color space. Scientia Horticulturae 243: 252–260. 10.1016/j.scienta.2018.08.030

Farnham, M.W. and Kopsell, D.A., 2009. Importance of genotype on carotenoid and chlorophyll levels in broccoli heads. Horticultue Science 44: 1248–1253. 10.21273/HORTSCI.44.5.1248

Ferruzzi, M.G. and Blakeslee, J., 2007. Digestion, absorption, and cancer preventative activity of dietary chlorophyll derivatives. Nutrition Research 27: 1–12. 10.1016/j.nutres.2006.12.003

Hanson, P., Yang, R.Y., Chang, L.C., Ledesma, L. and Ledesma, D., 2011. Carotenoids, ascorbic acid, minerals, and total glucosinolates in choysum (Brassica rapa cvg. parachinensis) and kailaan (B. oleraceae Alboglabra group) as affected by variety and wet and dry season production. Journal of Food Composition and Analysis 24: 950–962. 10.1016/j.jfca.2011.02.001

Jubert, C., Mata, J., Bench, G., Dashwood, R., Pereira, C., Tracewell, W., et al. 2009. Effects of chlorophyll and chlorophyllin on low-dose aflatoxin b(1) pharmacokinetics in human volunteers. Cancer Prevention Research 2: 1015–1022. 10.1158/1940-6207.CAPR-09-0099

Lee, J.J., Crosby, K.M., Pike, L.M., Yoo, K.S. and Leskovar, D.I., 2005. Impact of genetic and environmental variation on development of flavonoids and carotenoids in pepper (capsicum spp.). Scientia Horticulturae 106: 341–352. 10.1016/j.scienta.2005.04.008

Lei, J.J., Chen, G.J., Chen, C.M. and Cao, B.H., 2017. Germplasm diversity of Chinese kale in China. Horticultural Plant Journal 3: 101–104. 10.1016/j.hpj.2017.07.006

Li, J.W., Wang, Y.H. and Wen, G.H., 2019. Mapping QTL underlying tuber starch content and plant maturity in tetraploid potato. Crop Journal 7: 261–272. 10.1016/j.cj.2018.12.003

Lu, H.D., Xue, J.Q. and Guo, D.W., 2017. Efficacy of planting date adjustment as a cultivation strategy to cope with drought stress and increase rainfed maize yield and water-use efficiency. Agricultural Water Management 179: 227–235. 10.1016/j.agwat.2016.09.001

Nuñez-Lillo, G., Balladares, C., Pavez, C., Urra, C., Sanhueza, D., Vendramin, E., et al. 2019. High-density genetic map and QTL analysis of soluble solid content, maturity date, and mealiness in peach using genotyping by sequencing. Scientia Horticulturae 257: 108734. 10.1016/j.scienta.2019.108734

Perrin, F., Hartmann, L., Dubois-Laurent, C., Welsch, R., Huet, S., Hamama, L., et al. 2017. Carotenoid gene expression explains the difference of carotenoid accumulation in carrot root tissues. Planta 245: 737–747. 10.1021/jf4004576

Quinlan, R.F., Shumskaya, M., Bradbury, L.M., Beltrán, J., Ma, C., Kennelly, E.J., et al. 2012. Synergistic interactions between carotene ring hydroxylases drive lutein formation in plant carotenoid biosynthesis. Plant Physiology 160: 204–214. 10.1104/pp.112.198556

Rodriguez-Concepcion, M., Avalos, J., Bonet, M.L., Boronat, A., Gomez-Gomez, L., Hornero-Mendez, et al. 2018. A global perspective on carotenoids: metabolism, biotechnology, and benefits for nutrition and health. Progress in Lipid Research 70: 62–93. 10.1016/j.plipres.2018.04.004

Shi, Y.M., Wang, R., Luo, Z.P., Jin, L.F., Liu, P.P., Chen, Q.S., et al. 2014. Molecular cloning and functional characterization of the lycopene ε-cyclase gene via virus-induced gene silencing and its expression pattern in Nicotine abacus. International Journal of Molecular Science 15: 14766–14785. 10.3390/ijms150814766

Sun, B., Liu, N., Zhao, Y.T., Yan, H.Z. and Wang, Q.M., 2011. Variation of glucosinolates in three edible parts of Chinese kale (Brassica alboglabra Bailey) varieties. Food Chemistry 124: 941–947. 10.1016/j.foodchem.2010.07.031

Sun, B., Tian, Y.X., Jiang, M., Yuan, Q., Chen, Q., Zhang, Y., et al. 2018. Variation in the main health-promoting compounds and antioxidant activity of whole and individual edible parts of baby mustard (Brassica juncea var. gemmifera). RSD Advances 8: 33845–33854. 10.1039/C8RA05504A

Sun, B., Yan, H.Z., Liu, N., Wei, J. and Wang, Q.M., 2012a. Effect of 1-MCPC treatment on postharvest quality characters, antioxidants and glucosinolates of Chinese kale. Food Chemistry 131: 519–526. 10.1016/j.foodchem.2011.09.016

Sun, B., Yan, H.Z., Zhang, F. and Wang, Q.M., 2012b. Effects of plant hormones on main health-promoting compounds and antioxidant capacity of Chinese kale. Food Research International 48: 359–366. 10.1016/j.foodres.2012.04.021

Sun, B., Yuan, Q., Zheng, H., Liang, S., Jiang, M., Wang, M.M., et al. 2019. An efficient and economical protocol for isolating, purifying, and PEG-mediated transient gene expression of Chinese kale hypocotyl protoplasts. Plants 8: 385. 10.3390/plants8100385

Takaidza, S., Mtunzi, F. and Pillay, M., 2018. Analysis of the phytochemical contents and antioxidant activities of crude extracts from Tulbaghia species. Journal of Traditional Chinese Medicine 38: 272–279. 10.1016/j.jtcm.2018.04.005

Tuan, P.A., Kim, J.K., Park, N.I., Lee, S.Y. and Park, S.U., 2011. Carotenoid content and expression of phytoene synthase and phytoene desaturase genes in bitter melon (Momordica charantia). Food Chemistry 126: 1686–1692. 10.1016/j.foodchem.2010.12.058

Yousefi, F., Jabbarzadeh, Z., Amiri, J. and Rasouli-Sadaghiani, M.H., 2019. Response of roses (Rosa hybrida L. ‘Herbert Stevens’) to foliar application of polyamines on root development, flowering, photosynthetic pigments, antioxidant enzymes activity and NPK. Scientific Reports 9: 1–11. 10.1038/s41598-019-52547-1

Zhang, B., Liu, C., Wang, Y.Q., Yao, X., Wang, F., Wu, J.S., et al. 2015. Disruption of a carotenoid cleavage dioxygenase 4 gene converts flower colour from white to yellow in brassica species. New Phytologist 206: 1513–1526. 10.1111/nph.13335

Zhang, Z.H., Peng, H.D., Ma, H.L. and Zeng, X.A., 2019. Effect of inlet air drying temperatures on the physicochemical properties and antioxidant activity of whey protein isolate-kale leaves chlorophyll (WPI-CH) microcapsules. Journal of Food Engineering 245: 149–156. 10.1016/j.jfoodeng.2018.10.011