HORT. SCI. (PRAGUE), 34, 2007 (3): 123–128 123
Chinese mustard (Brassica juncea Czern) is an
Asian leafy vegetable, which can be cultivated for its
leaves, seeds or roots. is species is rich in many
nutritional compounds including antioxidants, pro-
teins and minerals.
D (2002) and USDA (2006) published the
following contents (per 1 kg of f.w.) of selected
compounds: 9.2% of dry matter; 512–5,565 mg Ca;
320–3,837 mg Mg; 3,540 mg K; 250 mg Na; 700 mg
vitamin C; 63 mg carotene; and 99 mg of lutein.
I and F (2003) reported the content of
vitamin C in the range of 1,147–1,240 mg/kg and
beta-carotene content 19.9 mg/kg.
For oil extraction, this plant is grown in ﬁeld condi-
tions; as a vegetable, it can be cultivated indoor. Green-
house culture can lead to an increase in yield, better
earliness and controlled quality of consumed parts.
e aim of this work was an evaluation of hydro-
ponic culture of Chinese mustard and an evaluation
of selected morphological and nutritional param-
eters in diﬀerent genotypes of this vegetable.
MATERIAL AND METHODS
Experiments were carried out in the greenhouse of
the Mendel University of Agriculture and Forestry
Brno, Faculty of Horticulture Lednice. An assort-
ment of 13 cultivars (Table 1) was tested in an open
hydroponic system in rockwool. Plants were grown
on benches and irrigated by ebb-ﬂood system four
times per day. Mean nutrient solution composition
was as follows (in mg/kg): 300 N-NO3, 1 N-NH4,
43 P, 391 K, 464 Ca, 87 Mg, 78 Na, 2.6 Fe, 0.3 Mn,
0.1 Zn, 0.1 Cu, 0.2 B. Level of pH was 5.8 and EC
Sowing was performed in spring and autumn cul-
tures – on 3rd May and on 30th August 2004 to the
rockwool cubes (25 × 25 mm). Plants were grown at
22°/18°C day/night temperature. ey were trans-
ferred to the rockwool cubes (100 × 100 × 75 mm)
on 12th May and 7th September, respectively. Plant
spacing was 0.25 × 0.25 m. Each cultivar was repre-
sented by 25 individually evaluated plants.
Mean temperature, relative air humidity and the
length of sun radiation in the greenhouse were
19.4°C, 73%, and 16.1 hours in the spring culture and
17.3°C, 74%, and 10.7 hours in the autumn culture.
e harvest dates were 12th July and 30th Novem-
ber for spring and autumn cultivation, respectively.
All evaluations and analyses were made immediately
after harvest; for analyses whole leaves with petioles
Supported by the Ministry of Education, Youth and Sports of the Czech Republic, Project No. MSM 435100002.
Morphological and nutritional parameters of Chinese
mustard (Brassica juncea) in hydroponic culture
Faculty of Horticulture, Mendel University of Agriculture and Forestry Brno, Lednice,
ABSTRACT: Chinese mustard is a perspective vegetable species due to its high nutritional value. e aim of this work
was an evaluation of Chinese mustard assortment for hydroponic cultivation, comparison of morphological param-
eters and nutritional value of fresh leaves. e highest mean weight of one plant was shown in cv. Red Giant (179 g).
e biggest leaves with the length of 459 mm were formed by cv. Ta Tou Tsai. e highest cultivar was Cai Cai Tai
(1,063 mm), with an abundant number of leaves (57 leaves). Cv. Osaka Purple Leaf showed the highest content of vi-
tamin C (738 mg/kg); the highest carotenoids content (899 mg/kg) was found in cv. Swollen Stem. e mean content
of chlorophyll a was 2,804 mg/kg; for chlorophyll b it was 1,103 mg/kg. In addition, the results of the content of dry
matter, K, Ca, Mg, Na and nitrates are presented in this work. e evaluations showed a signiﬁcant eﬀect of cultivar on
morphological and most of nutritional parameters. Chinese mustard is also suitable for soilless cultivation.
Keywords: Chinese mustard; Brassica juncea; cultivars; nutritional value
124 HORT. SCI. (PRAGUE), 34, 2007 (3): 123–128
Vitamin C content was analysed by RP-HPLC
(Ecom, CZ) in the column CGC Separon SGX C18
(Tessek, CZ), with size 150 × 4.6 mm; total caroten-
oids and chlorophyll a and b by spectrometry in the
spectrometer Jenway (Jenway, Great Britain) accord-
ing to H (1954); mineral elements by capillary iso-
tachophoresis in the Ionosep (Ionosep, CZ). Content
of dry matter was determined by drying at 105°C; ni-
trate content was analysed by Ion-selective electrodes
in the Ionanalyser MPH 171 (Monokrystaly, CZ).
Statistical analyses were done by using ANOVA,
LSD at 95% probability in Unistat (Unistat, USA).
RESULTS AND DISCUSSION
Cultivation period of spring culture was 71 days.
Cultivars Bau Sin, Suehlihung No. 2 and Cai Cai Tai
formed ﬂowers in spring culture. Autumn culture
lasted 92 days and no bolting was observed. Morpho-
logical description of leaves is shown in Table 1.
Mean weight of one plant was 177 g in the spring cul-
ture. e highest weight was in cv. Red Giant (179 g),
while the lowest in Late Head Mustard (65 g).
In the case of the autumn culture, mean weight was
66 g. Data of both cultures are presented in Fig. 1.
Signiﬁcant diﬀerences were found among cultivars,
and the eﬀect of culture was signiﬁcant as well. Plant
yield was between 1.0 to 2.9 kg per m2.
Results showed that Chinese mustard can be culti-
vated in soilless culture while producing acceptable
plant yield. Several cultivars reached yield around
2 or 3 kg per m2 (Red Giant, King Mustard, Ta Tou
Plant height was signiﬁcantly inﬂuenced by cul-
tivar (Table 2). e highest cultivar was Cai Cai Tai
(1,063 mm), while the smallest was King Mustard
(338 mm). As for the height of plants in relation to
the culture, the results show that in the spring, the
Table 1. Description of evaluated cultivars
Cultivar Origin Colour and description
Bau Sin Taiwan green blade with thick white petioles
Cai Cai Tai China green blade
Grey Leaf Root Mustard China green blade, strong swollen stem
King Mustard Taiwan green blade with violent red nerves
Late Head Mustard China light green and small blade with wide swollen petioles
Mustard Spinach Japan green blade with strong middle white nerve
Osaka Purple USA green blade with light red nerves and white swollen petioles
Osaka Purple Leaf Japan green blade with light red nerves and white swollen petioles
Pink Stem Mustard China green blade with strong middle white nerve
Red Giant USA green blade with strong red middle nerve
Suehlihung No. 2 Taiwan green dissected blade with strong middle white nerve
Swollen Stem Japan green blade with swollen petioles
Ta Tou Tsai China green blade with swollen middle white nerve
Fig. 1. Mean weight of one plant
Grey Leaf Root M.
Late Head Mustard
HORT. SCI. (PRAGUE), 34, 2007 (3): 123–128 125
mean height was 946 mm, while in the autumn it
was only 369 mm.
Leaf length was represented by the mean values of
389 mm and 337 mm in the spring and autumn cul-
tures, respectively (Table 2). Cultivar Cai Cai Tai had
the shortest leaves (155 mm), on the other hand, the
biggest leaves were found in Ta Tou Tsai (459 mm);
the eﬀect of cultivar was thus conﬁrmed.
Mean number of leaves was 19 in spring culture and
8 in the autumn. e highest number was formed by
cv. Cai Cai Tai (57 leaves), while the lowest number
was found in cv. Late Head Mustard (5 leaves). e
statistical eﬀect of cultivar on this parameter was
also conﬁrmed. Data are showed in Table 2. In spring
culture, the number of leaves was signiﬁcantly higher
if compared to the autumn cultivation. Such results
are widely published in literature.
e content of selected compounds is shown in
Table 3. Statistical diﬀerences are represented by
diﬀerent letters next to the means.
Mean content of dry matter was 6.5%. e vari-
ability was high – in cultivar Cai Cai Tai it was 8.6%,
while Pink Stem Mustard had only 5.3%.
Mean content of potassium was 4,009 mg/kg in
spring, as opposed to 3,795 mg/kg in autumn. e
highest value was found in cv. Osaka Purple (4,429 mg),
the lowest in cv. Mustard Spinach (2,945 mg). Simi-
lar values of K content reported D (2002) or
e average content of calcium was 2,701 mg/kg
and 1,374 mg/kg in spring and in autumn, re-
spectively. Cai Cai Tai showed the highest value
(3,414 mg), whereas Late Head Mustard the lowest
Mean magnesium content was 185 mg/kg in spring
and 183 mg/kg in autumn; Cai Cai Tai showed
208 mg, and cv. Pink Stem Mustard 148 mg.
e content of sodium was also signiﬁcantly diﬀer-
ent between seasons. While in spring, the mean was
386 mg/kg, in autumn it was only 262 mg/kg. Such
Table 2. Mean parameters of Chinese mustard
Cultivar Plant weight
Plant height Leaf length No. of leaves
Bau Sin 88.9 ab 706 bc 305 b 8.4 a
Cai Cai Tai 70.5 a 1,063 e 155 a 56.5 c
Grey Leaf Mustard 68.2 a 524 abc 443 fg 9.0 a
King Mustard 175.8 d 338 a 441 fg 5.8 a
Late Head Mustard 65.0 a 358 a 293 b 5.3 a
Mustard Spinach 76.9 a 461 ab 400 def 10.8 a
Osaka Purple 87.4 a 523 ab 320 bc 6.7 a
Osaka Purple Leaf 137.2 bcd 761 cd 314 b 10.4 a
Pink Stem Mustard 88.3 ab 430 a 366 cd 9.6 a
Red Giant 178.9 d 673 bc 397 de 9.2 a
Suehlihung No. 2 105.8 abc 938 de 415 efg 26.3 b
Swollen Stem 73.7 a 358 a 315 bc 10.4 a
Ta Tou Tsai 155.3 cd 728 bcd 459 g 9.7 a
Diﬀerent letters show signiﬁcances among cultivars
K Mg vitamin C chlorophyll
Fig. 2. Range of content of se-
lected compounds in Chinese
K Ca Mg Na Vitamin C Chlorophyll b Nitrates
Chlorophyll a Carotenoids
126 HORT. SCI. (PRAGUE), 34, 2007 (3): 123–128
Table 3. Mean content of selected compounds (in F.W.)
Cultivar Dry matter
K Ca Mg Na Vitamin C Chlorophyll aChlorophyll bCarotenoids Nitrates
Bau Sin 7.0 c 3,519 ab 2,696 bcd 149 a 560 b 429 ab 2,072 a 546 a 527 ab 968 ab
Cai Cai Tai 8.6 d 3,590 ab 3,414 d 208 b 178 a 472 abc 3,426 e 956 abcd 638 bc 1,433 cd
Grey Leaf Mustard 7.0 bc 3,898 bcd 1,737 abc 204 b 215 a 532 bcde 3,151 cde 1,685 de 622 bc 2,250 e
King Mustard 5.5 a 3,754 bc 2,023 abcd 191 b 233 a 671 ef 2,001 a 668 ab 409 a 1,168 bc
Mustard 5.4 a 3,868 bcd 1,044 a 163 ab 284 a 481 bc 1,828 a 693 abc 510 ab 2,533 e
Mustard Spinach 6.7 bc 2,945 a 1,167 a 175 ab 273 a 493 bcd 3,173 cde 1,529 cde 627 bc 1,050 abc
Osaka Purple 6.1 ab 4,429 d 1,508 ab 200 b 266 a 609 cde 3,123 cde 1,203 bcd 762 cd 1,542 d
Osaka Purple Leaf 6.6 bc 4,382 cd 1,836 abc 173 ab 164 a 738 f 2,537 b 1,059 bcd 673 bc 1,258 c
Mustard 5.3 a 3,595 abc 1,279 ab 148 a 298 a 544 bcde 2,873 bcde 1,606 cde 676 bc 1,167 abc
Red Giant 6.1 ab 4,227 bcd 2,137 abcd 196 b 247 a 580 cde 2,782 bc 1,001 abcd 621 bc 868 a
Suehlihung No. 2 7.0 bc 3,834 bcd 3,327 d 194 b 654 b 327 a 2,859 bcd 857 abc 577 b 1,065 abc
Swollen Stem 6.3 abc 4,106 bcd 1,345 ab 185 ab 284 a 493 bcd 3,317 de 1,836 e 899 d 1,733 d
Ta Tou Tsai 6.7 bc 3,516 ab 3,307 cd 205 b 196 a 654 def 3,309 de 695 abc 620 bc 2,267 e
HORT. SCI. (PRAGUE), 34, 2007 (3): 123–128 127
levels are in agreement with previously reported
results (USDA 2006). e highest level was found
in cv. Suehlihung No. 2 (654 mg), the lowest in cv.
Osaka Purple Leaf (164 mg).
Mean vitamin C content was 612 mg/kg in spring
culture, in the autumn the recorded value was only
498 mg/kg. e highest and the lowest levels were
738 mg/kg and 327 mg/kg in cultivars Osaka Purple
Leaf and Suehlihung No. 2, respectively. Data cor-
respond to the literature, and are much higher if
compared to many common leafy vegetables.
Total carotenoids mean content in spring and
autumn cultures was 572 and 650 mg/kg, respec-
tively. e highest level was recorded in cv. Swollen
Stem (899 mg), while the lowest in King Mustard
Chlorophyll a mean content was 2,813 mg/kg in
spring and 2,705 mg/kg in autumn culture. Cultivar
Cai Cai Tai reached 3,426 mg, in contrast to 1,828 mg
of cv. Late Head Mustard.
Mean content of chlorophyll b was 653 and
1,327 mg/kg in spring and autumn cultures, respec-
tively. In this case, cv. Swollen Stem had the highest
content (1,836 mg), while cv. Bau Sin the lowest
(546 mg). Generally, more than double levels of chlo-
rophyll b were found in the autumn culture.
Levels of nitrates were similar in both seasons; in
spring, it was 1,433 mg, whereas in autumn 1,387 mg
per kg. e highest level was recorded in cv. Late
Head Mustard (2,533 mg) and the lowest in Red Gi-
ant (868 mg).
A signiﬁcant eﬀect of cultivar on contents of all
analysed compounds was detected. Similar results
were reported for other vegetables in A
et al. (2001) or E and K (2001).
e eﬀect of growing season was conﬁrmed in the
contents of vitamin C, carotenoids, chlorophyll b,
calcium, sodium, dry matter and nitrates. Influ-
ence of climatic conditions on the content of most
nutritional compounds was previously described by
I and K (2000).
Nitrate levels were highly correlated to the sun
radiation and temperature in accordance to E-
-G et al. (2002).
Chinese mustard can be cultivated in soilless
system; it results from high yield of cultivars Red
Giant or King Mustard. e eﬀect of genotype on
practically all observed parameters was conﬁrmed.
In some cases, diﬀerences in morphological param-
eters and levels of analysed compounds were more
The importance of morphological parameters
for economics of cultivation is high. According to
the Chinese mustard type, there was a possibility
to select suitable leaf cultivars with good relation
between plant weight and number of leaves (e.g.
Mustard Spinach, Osaka Purple Leaf or Swollen
Diﬀerences in nutritional values were conﬁrmed
within the evaluated assortment. Cultivars Cai Cai
Tai and Osaka Purple Leaf showed good levels of
selected compounds, whereas Red Giant and Bau
Sin reached the lowest nitrate levels.
Results were obtained in collaboration with Mrs.
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Received for publication April 19, 2007
Accepted after corrections May 5, 2007
128 HORT. SCI. (PRAGUE), 34, 2007 (3): 123–128
Morfologické a nutriční parametry čínské hořčice (Brassica juncea)
v hydroponické kultuře
ABSTRAKT: Čínská hořčice je perspektivní zelenina s ohledem na svou vysokou nutriční hodnotu. Cílem práce bylo
zhodnocení sortimentu čínské hořčice v hydroponické kultuře a srovnání morfologických znaků a nutriční hodnoty
čerstvých listů. Nejvyšší hmotnosti jedné rostliny dosáhla odrůda Red Giant (179 g); největší listy s délkou 459 mm
vytvořila odrůda Ta Tou Tsai; nejvyšší byla odrůda Cai Cai Tai (1 063 mm), která se vyznačuje i značným počtem
listů (57 na jedné rostlině). Nejvyšší obsah vitaminu C byl zjištěn u odrůdy Osaka Purple Leaf – 738 mg/kg; nejvyšší
obsah karotenoidů – 899 mg/kg – byl nalezen u odrůdy Swollen Stem; průměrný obsah chlorofylu a byl 2 804 mg/kg,
obsah chlorofylu b byl 1 103 mg/kg. Jsou uvedeny zjištěné výsledky obsahu sušiny, K, Ca, Mg, Na a dusičnanů. Práce
potvrdila průkazný vliv odrůdy na morfologické parametry a na většinu nutričních parametrů, stejně tak ukázala na
možnost ekonomicky perspektivního pěstování v hydroponických podmínkách.
Doc. Ing. R P, Ph.D., Mendelova zemědělská a lesnická univerzita v Brně, Zahradnická fakulta,
Valtická 337, 691 44 Lednice, Česká republika
tel.: + 420 519 367 232, fax: + 420 519 367 222, e-mail: firstname.lastname@example.org