Special Issue "Metabolomics in Agriculture"

A special issue of Metabolites (ISSN 2218-1989).

Deadline for manuscript submissions: closed (30 March 2019)

Special Issue Editors

Guest Editor
Prof. Dr. Ian Dubery

University of Johannesburg, South Africa
Website | E-Mail
Interests: plant metabolomics; plant–microbe interactions; plant stress responses; secondary metabolites
Guest Editor
Prof. Dr. Lizelle A. Piater

University of Johannesburg, South Africa
Website | E-Mail
Interests: plant innate immunity; plant biochemistry; plant–pathogen interactions
Guest Editor
Dr. Fidele Tugizimana

University of Johannesburg, South Africa & Omnia Group (Ltd).
Website | E-Mail
Interests: metabolomics; chemometrics; metabolic pathways; mass spectrometry; metabolite identification

Special Issue Information

Dear Colleagues,

During the last decade, metabolomics has developed from an emerging field to becoming an essential aspect in almost every study of plant biology. As such, small molecules (primary and secondary metabolites, with molecular masses ≤1500 Da) constitute the end products of gene expression and define the phenotype of a cell or tissue under defined physiological conditions at a biochemical level. As a post-genomic approach, metabolomics has proven to be a powerful and indispensable tool to interrogate cellular biochemistry, investigating metabolism and its reciprocal crosstalk with cellular signalling and regulation. The recent resurgence of interest in metabolism and increasing awareness about the physiological insights that can be obtained by measuring the total small-molecule complement of a biological system, have made metabolomics a central pillar in systems biology approaches. Metabolite profile patterns can thus provide a holistic signature of the physiological state under study as well as deeper knowledge of specific biochemical processes.

This Special Issue is devoted to “Metabolomics in Agriculture” and topics that will be covered include (not exclusively):  Studies on metabolomic analyses of host responses to biotic stresses, such as pathogen infection and insect attacks; adaptation mechanisms to abiotic stresses such as drought, heat and salt and mitigation effects of bio-stimulants thereon, as well as optimization and development of crop traits to enhance diet and health.

Prof. Ian A. Dubery
Prof. Lizelle A. Piater
Dr. Fidele Tugizimana
Guest Editors

Manuscript Submission Information

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Keywords

  • agricultural biotechnology
  • metabolomics
  • metabolic networks
  • stress adaptation

Published Papers (3 papers)

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Research

Open AccessArticle
Deciphering the Resistance Mechanism of Tomato Plants Against Whitefly-Mediated Tomato Curly Stunt Virus Infection through Ultra-High-Performance Liquid Chromatography Coupled to Mass Spectrometry (UHPLC-MS)-Based Metabolomics Approaches
Metabolites 2019, 9(4), 60; https://doi.org/10.3390/metabo9040060
Received: 22 February 2019 / Revised: 18 March 2019 / Accepted: 25 March 2019 / Published: 28 March 2019
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Abstract
Begomoviruses, such as the Tomato curly stunt virus (ToCSV), pose serious economic consequences due to severe crop losses. Therefore, the development and screening of possible resistance markers is imperative. While some tomato cultivars exhibit differential resistance to different begomovirus species, in most cases, [...] Read more.
Begomoviruses, such as the Tomato curly stunt virus (ToCSV), pose serious economic consequences due to severe crop losses. Therefore, the development and screening of possible resistance markers is imperative. While some tomato cultivars exhibit differential resistance to different begomovirus species, in most cases, the mechanism of resistance is not fully understood. In this study, the response of two near-isogenic lines of tomato (Solanum lycopersicum), differing in resistance against whitefly-mediated ToCSV infection were investigated using untargeted ultra-high-performance liquid chromatography coupled to mass spectrometry (UHPLC-MS)-based metabolomics. The responses of the two lines were deciphered using multivariate statistics models. Principal component analysis (PCA) scores plots from various time intervals revealed that the resistant line responded more rapidly with changes to the metabolome than the susceptible counterpart. Moreover, the metabolic reprogramming of chemically diverse metabolites that span a range of metabolic pathways was associated with the defence response. Biomarkers primarily included hydroxycinnamic acids conjugated to quinic acid, galactaric acid, and glucose. Minor constituents included benzenoids, flavonoids, and steroidal glycoalkaloids. Interestingly, when reduced to the level of metabolites, the phytochemistry of the infected plants’ responses was very similar. However, the resistant phenotype was strongly associated with the hydroxycinnamic acid derivatives deployed in response to infection. In addition, the resistant line was able to mount a stronger and quicker response. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Metabolomics in Agriculture)
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Open AccessArticle
Metabolic Analysis of Four Cultivars of Liriope platyphylla
Metabolites 2019, 9(3), 59; https://doi.org/10.3390/metabo9030059
Received: 13 February 2019 / Revised: 23 March 2019 / Accepted: 25 March 2019 / Published: 26 March 2019
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Abstract
Liriope platyphylla (Liliaceae), a medical plant distributed mainly in China, Taiwan, and Korea, has been used traditionally for the treatment of cough, sputum, asthma, and neurodegenerative diseases. The present study involved the metabolic profiling of this plant and reports spicatoside A accumulation in [...] Read more.
Liriope platyphylla (Liliaceae), a medical plant distributed mainly in China, Taiwan, and Korea, has been used traditionally for the treatment of cough, sputum, asthma, and neurodegenerative diseases. The present study involved the metabolic profiling of this plant and reports spicatoside A accumulation in four different varieties of L. platyphylla (Cheongyangjaerae, Seongsoo, Cheongsim, and Liriope Tuber No. 1) using HPLC and gas chromatography time-of-flight mass spectrometry (GC–TOFMS). A total of 47 metabolites were detected in the different cultivars using GC–TOFMS-based metabolic profiling. The resulting data were subjected to principal component analysis (PCA) for determining the whole experimental variation, and the different cultivars were separated by score plots. Furthermore, hierarchical clustering, Pearson’s correlation, and partial least-squares discriminant analyses (PLS-DA) were subsequently performed to determine significant differences in the various metabolites of the cultivars. The HPLC data revealed that the presence of spicatoside A was detected in all four cultivars, with the amount of spicatoside A varying among them. Among the cultivars, Liriope Tuber No. 1 contained the highest amount of spicatoside A (1.83 ± 0.13 mg/g dry weight), followed by Cheongyangjaerae (1.25 ± 0.01 mg/g dry weight), Cheongsim (1.09 ± 0.04 mg/g dry weight), and Seongsoo (1.01 ± 0.02 mg/g dry weight). The identification of spicatoside A was confirmed by comparing the retention time of the sample with the retention time of the standard. Moreover, the Cheongsim cultivar contained higher levels of phenolic compounds—including vanillic acid, quinic acid, gallic acid, chlorogenic acid, caffeic acid, and benzoic acid—than those of the other two cultivars. On the other hand, the levels of amino acids were higher in the Seongsoo cultivar. Therefore, this study may help breeders produce new varieties with improved nutraceutical and nutritional qualities. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Metabolomics in Agriculture)
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Open AccessArticle
Untargeted Metabolomics Reveal Defensome-Related Metabolic Reprogramming in Sorghum bicolor against Infection by Burkholderia andropogonis
Metabolites 2019, 9(1), 8; https://doi.org/10.3390/metabo9010008
Received: 10 November 2018 / Revised: 21 December 2018 / Accepted: 24 December 2018 / Published: 2 January 2019
Cited by 1 | PDF Full-text (3995 KB) | HTML Full-text | XML Full-text | Supplementary Files
Abstract
Burkholderia andropogonis is the causal agent of bacterial leaf stripe, one of the three major bacterial diseases affecting Sorghum bicolor. However, the biochemical aspects of the pathophysiological host responses are not well understood. An untargeted metabolomics approach was designed to understand molecular [...] Read more.
Burkholderia andropogonis is the causal agent of bacterial leaf stripe, one of the three major bacterial diseases affecting Sorghum bicolor. However, the biochemical aspects of the pathophysiological host responses are not well understood. An untargeted metabolomics approach was designed to understand molecular mechanisms underlying S. bicolorB. andropogonis interactions. At the 4-leaf stage, two sorghum cultivars (NS 5511 and NS 5655) differing in disease tolerance, were infected with B. andropogonis and the metabolic changes monitored over time. The NS 5511 cultivar displayed delayed signs of wilting and lesion progression compared to the NS 5655 cultivar, indicative of enhanced resistance. The metabolomics results identified statistically significant metabolites as biomarkers associated with the sorghum defence. These include the phytohormones salicylic acid, jasmonic acid, and zeatin. Moreover, metabolic reprogramming in an array of chemically diverse metabolites that span a wide range of metabolic pathways was associated with the defence response. Signatory biomarkers included aromatic amino acids, shikimic acid, metabolites from the phenylpropanoid and flavonoid pathways, as well as fatty acids. Enhanced synthesis and accumulation of apigenin and derivatives thereof was a prominent feature of the altered metabolomes. The analyses revealed an intricate and dynamic network of the sorghum defence arsenal towards B. andropogonis in establishing an enhanced defensive capacity in support of resistance and disease suppression. The results pave the way for future analysis of the biosynthesis of signatory biomarkers and regulation of relevant metabolic pathways in sorghum. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Metabolomics in Agriculture)
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Graphical abstract

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