Establishing the occurrence of major and minor glucosinolates in Brassicaceae by LC-ESI-hybrid linear ion-trap and Fourier-transform ion cyclotron resonance mass spectrometry.Phytochemistry. 2012 Jan; 73(1):74-83.P
Glucosinolates (GLSs) are sulfur-rich plant secondary metabolites which occur in a variety of cruciferous vegetables and among various classes of them, genus Brassica exhibits a rich family of these phytochemicals at high, medium and low abundances. Liquid chromatography (LC) with electrospray ionization in negative ion mode (ESI-) coupled to a hybrid quadrupole linear ion trap (LTQ) and Fourier transform ion cyclotron resonance mass spectrometer (FTICRMS) was employed for the selective and sensitive determination of intact GLSs in crude sample extracts of broccoli (Brassica oleracea L. Var. italica), cauliflower (B. oleracea L. Var. Botrytis) and rocket salad (Eruca sativa L.) with a wide range of contents. When LTQ and FTICR mass analyzers are compared, the magnitude of the limit of detection was ca. 5/6-fold lower with the FTICR MS. In addition, the separation and detection by LC-ESI-FTICR MS provides a highly selective assay platform for unambiguous identification of GLSs, which can be extended to lower abundance (minor) GLSs without significant interferences of other compounds in the sample extracts. The analysis of Brassicaceae species emphasized the presence of eight minor GLSs, viz. 1-methylpropyl-GLS, 2-methylpropyl-GLS, 2-methylbutyl-GLS, 3-methylbutyl-GLS, n-pentyl-GLS, 3-methylpentyl-GLS, 4-methylpentyl-GLS and n-hexyl-GLS. The occurrence of these GLSs belonging to the saturated aliphatic side chain families C(4), C(5) and C(6), presumably formed by chain elongation of leucine, homoleucine and dihomoleucine as primary amino acid precursors, is described. Based on their retention behavior and tandem MS spectra, all these minor compounds occurring in plant extracts of B. oleracea L. Var. italica, B. oleracea L. Var. Botrytis and E. sativa L. were tentatively identified.