Development of an efficient glucosinolate extraction method

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Background: Glucosinolates, anionic sulfur rich secondary metabolites, have been extensively studied because of their occurrence in the agriculturally important brassicaceae and their impact on human and animal health. There is
also increasing interest in the biofumigant properties of toxic glucosinolate
hydrolysis products as a method to control agricultural pests. Evaluating biofumigation potential requires rapid and accurate quantification of glucosinolates, but current commonly used methods of extraction prior to analysis involve a number of time consuming and hazardous steps; this study aimed to develop an improved method for glucosinolate extraction.

Results: Three methods previously used to extract glucosinolates from brassicaceae tissues, namely extraction in cold methanol, extraction in boiling methanol, and extraction in boiling water were compared across tissue type
(root, stem leaf ) and four brassicaceae species (B. juncea, S. alba, R. sativus, and E. sativa). Cold methanol extraction was shown to perform as well or better than all other tested methods for extraction of glucosinolates with the exception
of glucoraphasatin in R. sativus shoots. It was also demonstrated that lyophilisation methods, routinely used during extraction to allow tissue disruption, can reduce final glucosinolate concentrations and that extracting from frozen wet tissue samples in cold 80% methanol is more effective.

Conclusions: We present a simplified method for extracting glucosinolates from plant tissues which does not require the use of a freeze drier or boiling methanol, and is therefore less hazardous, and more time and cost effective. The presented method has been shown to have comparable or improved glucosinolate extraction efficiency relative to the commonly used ISO method for major glucosinolates in the Brassicaceae species studied: sinigrin and gluconasturtiin in B. juncea; sinalbin, glucotropaeolin, and gluconasturtiin in S. alba; glucoraphenin and glucoraphasatin in R. sativus; and glucosatavin, glucoerucin and glucoraphanin in E. sativa.
Original languageEnglish
Article number17
Number of pages14
JournalPlant Methods
Publication statusPublished - 21 Mar 2017

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© The Author(s) 2017.

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