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Open AccessArticle

Metabolomics for Biomarker Discovery: Key Signatory Metabolic Profiles for the Identification and Discrimination of Oat Cultivars

Research Centre for Plant Metabolomics, Department of Biochemistry, University of Johannesburg, P.O. Box 524, Auckland Park, Johannesburg 2006, South Africa
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Academic Editor: Gilles Comte
Metabolites 2021, 11(3), 165; https://doi.org/10.3390/metabo11030165
Received: 15 February 2021 / Revised: 5 March 2021 / Accepted: 5 March 2021 / Published: 12 March 2021
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Metabolomics in Agriculture Volume 2)
The first step in crop introduction—or breeding programmes—requires cultivar identification and characterisation. Rapid identification methods would therefore greatly improve registration, breeding, seed, trade and inspection processes. Metabolomics has proven to be indispensable in interrogating cellular biochemistry and phenotyping. Furthermore, metabolic fingerprints are chemical maps that can provide detailed insights into the molecular composition of a biological system under consideration. Here, metabolomics was applied to unravel differential metabolic profiles of various oat (Avena sativa) cultivars (Magnifico, Dunnart, Pallinup, Overberg and SWK001) and to identify signatory biomarkers for cultivar identification. The respective cultivars were grown under controlled conditions up to the 3-week maturity stage, and leaves and roots were harvested for each cultivar. Metabolites were extracted using 80% methanol, and extracts were analysed on an ultra-high performance liquid chromatography (UHPLC) system coupled to a quadrupole time-of-flight (qTOF) high-definition mass spectrometer analytical platform. The generated data were processed and analysed using multivariate statistical methods. Principal component analysis (PCA) models were computed for both leaf and root data, with PCA score plots indicating cultivar-related clustering of the samples and pointing to underlying differential metabolic profiles of these cultivars. Further multivariate analyses were performed to profile differential signatory markers, which included carboxylic acids, amino acids, fatty acids, phenolic compounds (hydroxycinnamic and hydroxybenzoic acids, and associated derivatives) and flavonoids, among the respective cultivars. Based on the key signatory metabolic markers, the cultivars were successfully distinguished from one another in profiles derived from both leaves and roots. The study demonstrates that metabolomics can be used as a rapid phenotyping tool for cultivar differentiation. View Full-Text
Keywords: Avena sativa; cultivar distinction; liquid chromatography; mass spectrometry; metabolomics; multivariate data analysis; oat; secondary metabolites Avena sativa; cultivar distinction; liquid chromatography; mass spectrometry; metabolomics; multivariate data analysis; oat; secondary metabolites
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MDPI and ACS Style

Pretorius, C.J.; Tugizimana, F.; Steenkamp, P.A.; Piater, L.A.; Dubery, I.A. Metabolomics for Biomarker Discovery: Key Signatory Metabolic Profiles for the Identification and Discrimination of Oat Cultivars. Metabolites 2021, 11, 165. https://doi.org/10.3390/metabo11030165

AMA Style

Pretorius CJ, Tugizimana F, Steenkamp PA, Piater LA, Dubery IA. Metabolomics for Biomarker Discovery: Key Signatory Metabolic Profiles for the Identification and Discrimination of Oat Cultivars. Metabolites. 2021; 11(3):165. https://doi.org/10.3390/metabo11030165

Chicago/Turabian Style

Pretorius, Chanel J.; Tugizimana, Fidele; Steenkamp, Paul A.; Piater, Lizelle A.; Dubery, Ian A. 2021. "Metabolomics for Biomarker Discovery: Key Signatory Metabolic Profiles for the Identification and Discrimination of Oat Cultivars" Metabolites 11, no. 3: 165. https://doi.org/10.3390/metabo11030165

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