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Characterization of Health-Related Compounds in Eggplant (Solanum melongena L.) Lines Derived from Introgression of Allied Species

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journal contribution
posted on 14.07.2010 by Giuseppe Mennella, Giuseppe L. Rotino, Marta Fibiani, Antonietta D’Alessandro, Gianluca Francese, Laura Toppino, Federica Cavallanti, Nazzareno Acciarri, Roberto Lo Scalzo
The purpose of the present study was to investigate the levels of either the nutraceutical and health-promoting compounds or the antioxidant properties of innovative eggplant (Solanum melongena L.) genotypes tolerant and/or resistant to fungi, derived from conventional and non-conventional breeding methodologies (i.e., sexual interspecific hybridization, interspecific protoplast electrofusion, androgenesis, and backcross cycles) in comparison with their allied and cultivated parents. Chemical measures of soluble refractometric residue (SRR), glycoalkaloids (solamargine and solasonine), chlorogenic acid (CA), delphinidin 3-rutinoside (D3R), total phenols (TP), polyphenoloxidase (PPO) activity, antiradical activity on superoxide anion and hydroxyl radical were carried out in raw fruit and peel of 57 eggplant advanced introgression lines (ILs), of three eggplant recurrent genotypes and of three allied species during 2005 and 2006. The majority of the ILs, obtained after several backcross cycles, showed positive characteristics with respect to the allied parents such as good levels of SRR, CA, D3R, TP, PPO activity, the scavenging activity against superoxide anion and hydroxyl radical and, in particular, significantly (p ≤ 0.05) reduced concentrations of the toxic steroidal glycoalkaloids, solasonine and solamargine. These results showed the possibility to obtain new eggplant genotypes bearing useful traits derived from the allied parents (i.e., resistance/tolerance to plant pathogen fungi) together with nutraceutical and antioxidant properties typical of the cultivated species.