, Volume 5, Issue 3, pp 302-306
Date: 09 Jan 2009

Application of NMR based metabolomics for mapping metabolite variation in European wheat

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In this study, we report on the use of NMR-based metabolomics to access variation in low molecular weight polar metabolites between the European wheat cultivars Apache, Charger, Claire and Orvantis. Previous unassigned resonances in the published NMR spectra of wheat extracts were identified using 13C NMR and two dimensional proton-carbon NMR. These included a peak for trans-aconitate (δ3.43) and resonances corresponding to fructose in the crowded carbohydrate region of the spectra. Large metabolite differences were observed between two different growth stages, namely the coleoptile and two week old leaf tissue extracts which were consistent across cultivars. Two week old leaf tissue extracts had higher abundances of glutamine, glutamate, sucrose and trans-aconitate and less glucose and fructose than were observed in the coleoptile extracts. Across both growth stages the cultivars Apache and Charger showed the greatest differences in metabolite profiles. Charger had higher abundances of betaine, the single most influential metabolite in the principal component analysis, in addition to fructose and sucrose. However, Charger had lower levels of aspartate, choline and glucose than Apache. These findings demonstrate the potential for a biochemical mapping approach using NMR, across European wheat germplasm, for metabolites of known importance to functional characteristics.