The determination of sinigrin in Brassica, and investigations into the use of allyl-isothiocyanate as a nematicide
Zawadzki, Michael A.
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The goal of this thesis was to study factors related to the development of Brassica juncea as a sustainable nematicide. Brassica juncea is characterized by the glycoside (glucosinolate) sinigrin. Various methods were developed for the determination of sinigrin in Brassica juncea tissue extracts. Sinigrin concentrations in plant tissues at various stages of growth were monitored. Sinigrin enzymatically breaks down into allylisothiocyanate (AITC). AITC is unstable in aqueous solution and degradation was studied in water and in soil. Finally, the toxicity of AITC against the root-lesion nematode (Pratylenchus penetrans) was determined. A method was developed to extract sinigrin from whole Brassica j uncea tissues. The optimal time of extraction wi th boiling phosphate buffer (0.7mM, pH=6.38) and methanol/water (70:30 v/v) solutions were both 25 minutes. Methanol/water extracted 13% greater amount of sinigrin than phosphate buffer solution. Degradation of sinigrin in boiling phosphate buffer solution (0.13%/minute) was similar to the loss of sinigrin during the extraction procedure. The loss of sinigrin from boiling methanol/water was estimated to be O.Ol%/minute. Brassica juncea extract clean up was accomplished by an ion-pair solid phase extraction (SPE) method. The recovery of sinigrin was 92.6% and coextractive impurities were not detected in the cleaned up extract. Several high performance liquid chromatography (HPLC) methods were developed for the determination of sinigrin. All the developed methods employed an isocratic mobile phase system wi th a low concentration of phosphate buffer solution, ammonium acetate solution or an ion-pair reagent solution. A step gradient system was also developed. The method involved preconditioning the analytical column with phosphate buffer solution and then switching the mobile phase to 100% water after sample injection.Sinigrin and benzyl-glucosinolate were both studied by HPLC particle beam negative chemical ionization mass spectrometry (HPLCPB- NCI-MS). Comparison of the mass spectra revealed the presence of fragments arising from the ~hioglucose moiety and glucosinolate side-chain. Variation in the slnlgrin concentration within Brassica juncea plants was studied (Domo and Cutlass cuItivars). The sinigrin concentration in the top three leaves was studied during growth of each cultivar. For Cutlass, the minimum (200~100~g/g) and maximum (1300~200~g/g) concentrations were observed at the third and seventh week after planting, respectively. For Domo, the minimum (190~70~g/g) and maximum (1100~400~g/g) concentrations were observed at the fourth and eighth week after planting, respectively. The highest sinigrin concentration was observed in flower tissues 2050±90~g/g and 2300±100~g/g for Cutlass and Domo cultivars, respectively. Physical properties of AITC were studied. The solubility of AITC in water was determined to be approximately 1290~g/ml at 24°C. An HPLC method was developed for the separation of degradation compounds from aqueous AITC sample solutions. Some of the degradation compounds identified have not been reported in the literature: allyl-thiourea, allyl-thiocyanate and diallyl-sulfide. In water, AITC degradation to' diallyl-thiourea was favored at basic pH (9.07) and degradation to diallyl-sulfide was favored at acidic pH (4 . 97). It wap necessary to amend the aqueous AITC sample solution with acetonitrile ?efore injection into the HPLC system. The acetonitrile amendment considerably improved AITC recovery and the reproducibility of the results. The half-life of aqueous AITC degradation at room temperature did not follow first-order kinetics. Beginning with a 1084~g/ml solution, the half-life was 633 hours. Wi th an ini tial AITC concentration of 335~g/ml the half-life was 865 hours. At 35°C the half-life AITC was 76+4 hours essentially independent of the iiisolution pH over the range of pH=4.97 to 9.07 (1000~g/ml). AITC degradation was also studied in soil at 35°C; after 24 hours approximately 75% of the initial AITC addition was unrecoverable by water extraction. The ECso of aqueous AITC against the root-lesion nematode (Pratylenchus penetrans) was determined to be approximately 20~g/ml at one hour exposure of the nematode to the test solution. The toxicological study was also performed with a myrosinase treated Brassica juncea extract. Myrosinase treatment of the Brassica juncea extract gave nearly quantitative conversion of sinigrin into AITC. The myrosinase treated extract was of the same efficacy as an aqueous AITC solution of equivalent concentration. The work of this thesis was focused upon understanding parameters relevant to the development of Brassica juncea as a sustainable nematicide. The broad range of experiments were undertaken in support of a research priority at Agriculture and Agri-Food Canada.