Mustering a milder mustard Scientists reveal protein responsible for a bitter taste. But will it help us to eat our greens?
“All of the Brassicas — be it Indian mustard, Arabidopsis, broccoli or brussel sprouts — they all make these pungent, sulphur-smelling compounds, the glucosinolates,” Jez said. The compounds have long been recognized as a natural defense against pests. “Plants need to fight back,” Jez said. “They can’t really do anything, but they can make stuff.” “There’s different profiles of glucosinolates in different plants,” he said. “The question has always been if you could modify their patterns to make something new. If insects are eating your plants, could you change the profile and get something that could prevent crop loss?”