Janice M. Glime jmglime at MTU.EDU
Sun May 11 11:57:51 EST 1997

Dear Wayne,
> Can any one out there answer some questions for me?
> How are brasicas used in agriculture?
  Brassica is a genus of mustards and includes such crop plants as
cabbage, cauliflower, broccoli, brussels sprouts, kolrhabi, and others.
> What importance do brasicas have in the natural communities?
Several species of Brassica are among the first invaders of disturbed soil
in the open, creating a field of yellow for one or two years.  As such,
they bind mineral soil and reduce erosion, permitting time for other
species to invade and continue the succession process > 
> What physical and morphological adaptions to the environment do brassicas 
> have?
Brassica species often have anti-herbivore compounds that deter some of
the insect pests from eating them.  Their seeds have extended longevity
and can remain dormant in the soil for many years, germinating when the
soil is disturbed and the canopy removed so that they get little organic
content and lots of light.
 > > What is the global distribution of the
brassica species? > 
> Do any brassicas have pharmacutical uses?
I don't know directly, but Brassica increases the clotting speed and
therefore must be eaten with some care by persons who are subject to
getting embolisms - i.e., people who have naturally or artificially rapid
clotting.  The advice on eating these varies, but if one is taking
coumadin, the intake of brassicas should be fairly consistent so that
blood tests give a true picture of clotting time and spikes do not occur.

 > > Thanks in advance
> Wayne Ball
 Janice M. Glime, Professor  
 Department of Biological Sciences
 Michigan Technological University
 Houghton, MI 49931-1295
 jmglime at
 FAX 906-487-3167 

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