DBG · Promoting young researchers

Christoph Hahn

Christoph Hahn's Master thesis was awarded with the Prize for the Best Plant Science Master Thesis, which was carried out at Oldenburg University in the year 2015.

Title of awarded thesis

"The diversity of kale: Glucosinolate content and phylogenetic relationships"

The content of five glucosinolates in 25 different kale varieties are compared with the phylogenetic relationships of the varieties. The study demonstrates the diversity of kale and the importance of preserving a broad genepool for future breeding purposes.

Recently, kale has become popular due to nutritive components beneficial for human health. It is an important source of phytochemicals such as glucosinolates that trigger associated cancer-preventive activity. However, nutritional value varies among glucosinolates and among cultivars. Here, I start a systematic determination of the content of five glucosinolates in 25 kale varieties and 11 non-kale Brassica oleracea cultivars by HPLC-ESI-MS and compare the profiles with results from the analysis of SNPs derived from a KASP genotyping assay. The results demonstrate that the glucosinolate levels differ markedly among varieties. The comparison of the phytochemical data with phylogenetic relationships revealed that the common name kale refers to at least three different groups. German, American and Italian kales differ morphologically and phytochemically. Landraces do not show outstanding glucosinolate levels. My results demonstrate the diversity of kale and the importance of preserving a broad genepool for future breeding purposes.

More information about the project: https://www.uni-oldenburg.de/index.php?id=35242

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Christoph Hahn conducted this work at the Department of Biology and Environmental Sciences (IBU) at the Carl von Ossietzky Universität Oldenburg in the working group of Prof. Dr. Dirk Albach.


The many different kale varieties available differ in color and curling of the leaves as well as in growth height and shape. Photo: Christoph Hahn, Vera Mageney
Mass chromatogram of quantitative analysis of five glucosinolates in wild cabbage leaves (Brassica oleracea var. oleracea) by HPLC-ESI-MS. Graph: Christop Hahn (please click to enlarge)