Friday, July 1, 2011

Award Winning Student!

Christine Bradish, a MS candidate just returned from the Berry Health Symposium #berryhealth. She won 1st place in the poster competition.  Christine is working with Drs. Penny Perkins, Wei Jei and myself and is in the final stages of her MS degree at NC State University.

Christine looked for flavonoids in red raspberry that are known to be good for you.  She used metabolite-profiling to qualify, quantify, and compare major flavonoid compounds in primocane-fruiting red raspberry cultivars grown at three locations with varying elevation and average temperatures in North Carolina. 

She found:
 •There was significant qualitative and quantitative differences in the metabolite profiles, due to variation in cultivar, location, and environmental factors. (=not all raspberries are the same in terms of health benefits)

Plants exposed to longer durations of heat stress (over 85°F) had higher total phenolics measurements and antioxidant capacity due to greater production of flavonoid secondary metabolites. (=stress may increase the good compounds in berries)

Utilization of metabolite profiles, such as the ones in this study, could help breeding programs identify key metabolites contributing to antioxidant properties, and define the genotype-by-environment interactions on them. 
This technology may be useful for the development of nutritionally enhanced varieties, and further tailoring for functional foods.
The link to the proceedings is below. Her abstract is on page 61.

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