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Open AccessArticle

Changes in Metabolome and Nutritional Quality of Lycium barbarum Fruits from Three Typical Growing Areas of China as Revealed by Widely Targeted Metabolomics

1
Key Laboratory for Silviculture and Conservation, Ministry of Education, Beijing Forestry University, Beijing 100083, China
2
National Wolfberry Engineering Research Center, Yinchuan 750002, China
3
Ningxia Academy of Agriculture and Forestry Sciences, Yinchuan 750002, China
*
Author to whom correspondence should be addressed.
Same contribution.
Metabolites 2020, 10(2), 46; https://doi.org/10.3390/metabo10020046
Received: 17 December 2019 / Revised: 10 January 2020 / Accepted: 21 January 2020 / Published: 26 January 2020
This study aimed at assessing the climatic factors influencing the wolfberry fruit morphology, and the composition of its nutritious metabolites. The cultivar Ningqi1, widely grown in Northwest China was collected from three typical ecological growing counties with contrasting climatic conditions: Ningxia Zhongning (NF), Xinjiang Jinghe (XF) and Qinghai Nomuhong (QF). During the ripening period, 45 fruits from different plantations at each location were sampled. A total of 393 metabolites were detected in all samples through the widely targeted metabolomics approach and grouped into 19 known classes. Fruits from QF were the biggest followed by those from XF and NF. The altitude, relative humidity and light intensity had negative and strong correlations with most of the metabolites, suggesting that growing wolfberry in very high altitudes and under high light intensity is detrimental for the fruit nutritional quality. Soil moisture content is highly and negatively correlated with vitamins, organic acids and carbohydrates while moderately and positively correlated with other classes of metabolites. In contrast, air and soil temperatures exhibited positive correlation with majority of the metabolites. Overall, our results suggest high soil and air temperatures, low altitude and light intensity and moderate soil moisture, as the suitable conditions to produce Lycium fruits with high content of nutritious metabolites.
Keywords: wolfberry; metabolic profiling; ecological factors; bioactive compounds; health benefits wolfberry; metabolic profiling; ecological factors; bioactive compounds; health benefits
MDPI and ACS Style

Wang, Y.; Liang, X.; Li, Y.; Fan, Y.; Li, Y.; Cao, Y.; An, W.; Shi, Z.; Zhao, J.; Guo, S. Changes in Metabolome and Nutritional Quality of Lycium barbarum Fruits from Three Typical Growing Areas of China as Revealed by Widely Targeted Metabolomics. Metabolites 2020, 10, 46.

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