Allan Brown

Allan Brown
Applied Molecular Geneticist, Assistant Professor
Department of Horticultural Science

Ph.D., University of Illinois
M.S., New Mexico State University
B.S., University of Minnesota

Dr. Allan Brown wants to improve broccoli and, in the long-term, human health. He is identifying the compounds in broccoli that are associated with certain health benefits, such as preventing cancer.

Dr. Brown is developing broccoli lines that have higher levels of anti-carcinogenic compounds such as sulforaphane and Indole-3-carbinol than are found in currently available broccoli. These compounds are found almost exclusively in cole crops and have demonstrated ability to enhance the body’s defense systems. The broccoli lines that Dr. Brown is working on also contain higher levels of lutein, beta-carotene, tocopherols, calcium and other beneficial compounds to protect against cancer and other chronic diseases. Dr. Brown’s long-term goal is to produce a “super broccoli” that contains even higher levels of beneficial compounds.

Watch a video introduction of Dr. Brown and his research.

Other Projects

Blueberry Genome Project: Dr. Brown also is leading a multi-institution consortium of scientists to create the first genomic draft sequence of the blueberry. He hopes to use this sequence to identify those genes that impact how the blueberry creates all of the attributes that make it delicious and nutritious. Blueberry and cranberry, for example, are closely related. The compounds that make blueberry “blue” and cranberry “red” may also protect against diabetes and macular degeneration, for example. Dr. Brown is interested in how specific genes differ and how they are regulated.

Cabbage: Dr. Brown’s lab will evaluate an extensive collection of cabbage germplasm from the Asgrow Vegetable Seeds’ breeding program. The Asgrow collection, the last committed cabbage breeding program in the United States, was acquired by Monsanto, which has gifted the collection to N.C. State University. This material has been evaluated in California, Wisconsin, Florida, Texas, North Carolina, Georgia, New Jersey, Brazil and India. Dr. Brown will continue with evaluation and selection to develop varieties that meet the needs of growers in North Carolina and the Southeast.

Publications | Lab Staff


Brown, A.F., C. Watt, L. Taylor, L. Razai and C. J. Coyne. Population genetic sub-structure within the USDA Pisum core collection and its potential as a platform for association mapping. (submitted/awaiting review)

Brown, A.F., Islam, S., Klein,B.P., Jeffery, E.H. and J.A. Juvik. Identification of QTL associated with gluosinolate biosynthesis in broccoli (Brassica oleracea L.). (submitted/awaiting review)

Donnelly, L.M., M. M. Jenderek, J. P. Prince, A.F. Brown and R. M. Hannan. Genetic Diversity in the USDA Limnanthes Germplasm Collection. Assessed by Simple Sequence Repeats. (submitted/awaiting review)

Brown, A.F., E.H. Jeffery and J.A. Juvik. A PCR-based linkage map of broccoli and identification of quantitative trait loci associated with harvest date and head weight. J. Amer. Soc Hort. Sci. 132(4):507–513.

Coyne, C.J., Brown, A.F., Timmerman-Vaughan, G.M., McPhee, K.E. and Grusak, M.A. 2005. Refined USDA-ARS pea core collection based on 26 quantitative traits. Pisum Genetics. 37:3-6.

Jeffery, E.H., Brown, A.F., Kurlich, A.C., Keck, A.S., Matusheski, N., Klien, B.P. and J.A. Juvik. Variation in content of bioactive components in broccoli. J. Food Compos. Anal. 16:323-330.

Brown, A.F., G.G. Yousef, E.H. Jeffery, B.P. Klein, M.M. Kushad, M.A. Wallig and J.A. Juvik. Glucosinolate profiles in broccoli (Brassica oleracea L.): stability over environments and implications for cancer chemoprotection. J. Amer. Soc. Hort. Sci. 127:807-813. (Outstanding Vegetable Publication award 2002 – ASHS)

Jeffery, E.H., A.F. Brown, B.P. Klein, M.A. Wallig and J.A. Juvik. Content variation in bioactive food components. Nutrition Today. 37:208-211.

Brown, A.F., J.A. Juvik and J.K. Pataky. Quantitative trait loci in sweet corn associated with partial resistance to Stewart’s wilt, northern corn leaf blight and common rust. Phytopathology. 91:293-300.

Kushad, M.K., A.F. Brown, A.C. Kurlich, J.A. Juvik. B.P. Klein, M.A. Wallig and E.H. Jeffery. Variation of glucosinolates in vegetable crops of Brassica oleracea. J. Agric. Food Chem. 47:1541 1548.

Kurlich, A.C., G.J. Tsau, A.F. Brown, B.P. Klein, E.H. Jeffery, M. Kushad, M.A. Wallig and J.A. Juvik. Carotene, tocopherol and ascorbate contents in subspecies of Brassica oleracea. J. Agric. Food Chem. 47:1576-1581.

Lab Staff

Gad Yousef

Charles David

Kranthi Chebrolu

Lorie Solomon-Beale

Ying Cheng

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