Ara T, Sakurai N, Takahashi S, Waki N, Suganuma H, Aizawa K, Matsumura Y, Kawada T, Shibata D.
The total number of low-molecular-weight compounds in the plant kingdom, most of which are secondary metabolites, is hypothesized to be over one million, although only a limited number of plant compounds have been characterized. Untargeted analysis, especially using mass spectrometry (MS), has been useful for understanding the plant metabolome; however, due to the limited availability of authentic compounds for MS-based identification, the identities of most of the ion peaks detected by MS remain unknown. Accurate mass values of peaks obtained by high accuracy mass measurement and, if available, MS/MS fragmentation patterns provide abundant annotation for each peak. Here, we carried out an untargeted analysis of compounds in the mature fruit of 25 tomato cultivars using liquid chromatography-Orbitrap MS for accurate mass measurement, followed by manual curation to construct the metabolome database TOMATOMET (http://metabolites.in/tomato-fruits/). The database contains 7,118 peaks with accurate mass values, in which 1,577 ion peaks are annotated as members of a chemical group. Remarkably, 71% of the mass values are not found in the accurate masses detected previously in Arabidopsis thaliana, Medicago truncatula or Jatropha curcas, indicating significant chemical diversity among plant species that remains to be solved. Interestingly, substantial chemical diversity exists also among tomato cultivars, indicating that chemical profiling from distinct cultivars contributes towards understanding the metabolome, even in a single organ of a species, and can prioritize some desirable metabolic targets for further applications such as breeding.