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The Journal of Horticultural Science & Biotechnology

Vol. 85 No: 5

Title:
Shoot zinc (Zn) concentration varies widely within Brassica oleracea L. and is affected by soil Zn and phosphorus (P) levels

Authors:
MARTIN R. BROADLEY, SEOSAMH LOCHLAINN, JOHN P. HAMMOND, HELEN C. BOWEN, ISMAIL CAKMAK, SELIM EKER, HALIL ERDEM, GRAHAM J. KING and PHILIP J. WHITE

pp: 375-380

Abstract:
The low availability of zinc (Zn) in soils and crops affects dietary Zn intake worldwide.This study sought to determine if the natural genetic variation in shoot Zn concentrations ([Zn]shoot) is sufficient to pursue a crop improvement breeding strategy in a leafy vegetable crop.The gene-pool of Brassica oleracea L. was sampled using a large (n = 376) diversity foundation set (DFS), representing almost all species-wide common allelic variation, and 74 commercial varieties (mostly F1).The DFS genotypes were grown at low and high soil phosphorus (P) levels under glasshouse and field conditions, and also in a Zn-deficient soil, with or without Zn-fertilisation, in a glasshouse. Despite the large variation in [Zn]shoot among genotypes, environment had a profound effect on [Zn]shoot. The heritability of [Zn]shoot was significant, but relatively low, among 90 doubled-haploid (DH) lines from a mapping population. While several quantitative trait loci (QTL) associated with [Zn]shoot occurred on chromosomes C2, C3, C5, C7, and C9, these were generally weak and conditional upon growth conditions. Breeding for [Zn]shoot in B. oleracea is therefore likely to be challenging. Shoot P concentrations increased substantially in all genotypes under low soil Zn conditions. Conversely, only some genotypes had increased [Zn]shoot at low soil P levels. Sufficient natural genetic variation may therefore exist to study some of the interactions between Zn and P nutrition.

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