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Metabolite profiling of potato (Solanum tuberosum L.) tubers during wound-induced suberization

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Suberin is a specific cell wall-associated biopolymer characterized by the deposition of both a poly(phenolic) domain (SPPD) associated with the cell wall, and a poly(aliphatic) domain (SPAD) thought to be deposited between the cell wall and plasma membrane. In planta, suberin functions to prevent plants from desiccation and pathogen attack. Although the chemical identity of the monomeric components of the SPPD and SPAD are well known, their concerted biosynthesis and assembly into the suberin macromolecule is poorly understood. To expand our knowledge of suberin biosynthesis, a GC/MS-based metabolite profiling study was conducted, using wound healing potato (Solanum tuberosum L.) tubers as a model system. A time series of both non-polar and polar metabolite profiles were created, yielding a broad-based, dynamic picture of wound-induced metabolism, including suberization. Principal component analysis revealed a separation of metabolite profiles according to different suberization stages, with clear temporal differences emerging in the non-polar and polar profiles. In the non-polar profiles, suberin-associated aliphatics contributed the most to cluster formation, while a broader range of metabolites (including organic acids, sugars, amino acids and phenylpropanoids) influenced cluster formation amongst polar profiles. Pair-wise correlation analysis revealed strong correlations between known suberin-associated compounds, as well as between suberin-associated compounds and several un-identified metabolites in the profiles. These data may help to identify additional, as yet unknown metabolites associated with suberization process.

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The authors gratefully acknowledge Dr. Brian McGarvey (Agriculture and Agri-Food Canada, London) for assistance with peak deconvolution and alignment and Dr. Jeff Dech (UWO) for assistance with statistical analyses. This work was funded by a Natural Sciences and Engineering Research Council of Canada Discovery Grant to MAB.

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Correspondence to Mark A. Bernards.

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Yang, W., Bernards, M.A. Metabolite profiling of potato (Solanum tuberosum L.) tubers during wound-induced suberization. Metabolomics 3, 147–159 (2007). https://doi.org/10.1007/s11306-007-0053-7

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  • suberin
  • potato
  • metabolite profiling
  • PCA
  • correlation analysis