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Influence of nitrogen and sulfur fertilization on the alliin content of onions and garlic
Onion (Allium cepa L.) and garlic (Allium sativum L.) were among the earliest cultivated crops and have been popular in folk medicine for centuries. Alliins (cysteine sulfoxides) are the characteristic sulfur (S) containing secondary metabolites of Allium species like onions, shallot, garlic, leek and chives and they cause taste and sharpness and are criteria for the pharmaceutical quality. The influence of the S nutritional status on the content of secondary S containing metabolites was shown for different crops such as oilseed rape, mustard, nasturtium, and allium species. It was the aim of this study to investigate the influence of the S and nitrogen (N) supply on the alliin content of onion and garlic and to evaluate the significance for crop quality. In a greenhouse experiment three levels of N and S were applied in factorial combinations of 0, 50, and 250mg pot-1 S and 250, 500, and 1000 mg pot-1 N. 8 plants were grown in a Mitscherlich pot containing 8 kg sand. Leaves and bulbs were sampled twice during the growth period in order to follow up translocation processes. The first sampling was carried out when leaves were developed, but bulb growth had not yet started and the second one during main bulb growth. An increasing S supply was related to an increasing alliin content in leaves and bulbs of both crops, whereas nitrogen fertilization had only a minor influence. The alliin content in bulbs could be doubled by S fertilization. A translocation of alliin fr
Taylor & Francis
ISSN : 0190-4167 CODEN : JPNUDS
Journal of plant nutrition A. 2004, vol. 27, n° 10, pp. 1827-1839 [13 pages] [bibl. : 33 ref.]
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