Metabolic Profiling with Gas Chromatography-Mass Spectrometry and Capillary Electrophoresis-Mass Spectrometry Reveals the Carbon-Nitrogen Status of Tobacco Leaves Across Different Planting Areas

Jieyu Zhao, Yanni Zhao, Chunxiu Hu, Chunxia Zhao, Junjie Zhang, Lili Li, Jun Zeng, Xiaojun Peng, Xin Lu, Guowang Xu
Journal of Proteome Research 2016 February 5, 15 (2): 468-76
The interaction between carbon (C) and nitrogen (N) metabolism can reflect plant growth status and environmental factors. Little is known regarding the connections between C-N metabolism and growing regions under field conditions. To comprehensively investigate the relationship in mature tobacco leaves, we established metabolomics approaches based on gas chromatography-mass spectrometry (GC-MS) and capillary electrophoresis-time-of-flight-mass spectrometry (CE-TOF-MS). Approximately 240 polar metabolites were determined. Multivariate statistical analysis revealed that the growing region greatly influenced the metabolic profiles of tobacco leaves. A metabolic correlation network and related pathway maps were used to reveal the global overview of the alteration of C-N metabolism across three typical regions. In Yunnan, sugars and tricarboxylic acid (TCA) cycle intermediates were closely correlated with amino acid pools. Henan tobacco leaves showed positive correlation between the pentose phosphate pathway (PPP) intermediates and C-rich secondary metabolism. In Guizhou, the proline and asparagine had significant links with TCA cycle intermediates and urea cycle, and antioxidant accumulation was observed in response to drought. These results demonstrate that combined analytical approaches have great potential to detect polar metabolites and provide information on C-N metabolism related to planting regional characteristics.


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