In the previous two blogs we have discussed Metabolomics of Plant Pigmentation and shared 5 related case studies (click here to view), in this post we share another 5 metabolomics in color research based on the widely-targeted metabolomics technology.
On February 3, 2021, the Journal of Biosciences published a research article titled "Metabolite profiling of violet, white and pink flowers revealing flavonoids composition patterns in Rhododendron pulchrum Sweet" This study aimed to elucidate the chemical foundation of petal color in violet, white, and pink flowers of Rhododendron pulchrum Sweet.
Leveraging widely-targeted metabolomics for plants, the researchers identified 149 flavonoid compounds, including 18 anthocyanins. Pink and purple Rhododendron varieties exhibited higher levels of five anthocyanins and seven flavonoids compared to white varieties. Purple Rhododendron displayed higher levels of three anthocyanins and four flavonoids compared to pink Rhododendron, although pink Rhododendron featured elevated flavonol content, implying that the composition and content of anthocyanins and flavonoids govern the coloration of flowers. This research expanded the understanding of metabolites involved in Rhododendron flower color and provided a material background for genetic enhancements.
On December 9, 2020, the International Journal of Agricultural and Food Chemistry published a research article titled "A Comparative Metabolomics Study of Flavonoids in Radishes with Different Skin and Flesh Colors (Raphanus sativus L.)." This study aimed to uncover the diversity and specificity of flavonoid compounds in various radish varieties.
The authors conducted flavonoid metabolite profiling on six radish cultivars with varying skin and flesh colors based on widely-targeted metabolomics. A total of 133 flavonoids were identified, demonstrating that red and purple radishes contained similar anthocyanin compositions, including red cyanidin and pelargonidin. White and green varieties exhibited low anthocyanin content.
On May 7, 2020, the journal Molecules published a research article titled "UPLC-ESI-MS/MS-Based Comprehensive Metabolomics Analysis of Wood Metabolites in Teak (Tectona grandis)." This study aimed to unravel the mechanisms behind color differences in various tissues of teak wood and to identify the abundant substances in teak.
Based on widely targeted metabolomics technology, the researchers conducted metabolic profiling on four distinct teak wood tissues and detected 691 compounds, including seven quinones (which have been well researched in teak). Cluster analysis unveiled significant metabolic variations among these four tissues, with the heartwood exhibiting lower primary metabolite content and higher secondary metabolite content. This study established that the rich secondary metabolites in the heartwood contribute to its irreplaceability, providing a robust foundation for improving teak wood material synthesis.
In 2020, the International Journal of Molecular Science featured a research article titled "Comparative Metabolomic Analysis Reveals Distinct Regulation of Flavonoid Biosynthesis during Leaf Color Development in Cymbidium sinense 'Red Sun'." This study aimed to elucidate the chemical basis for color changes (from red to yellow to green) in Cymbidium sinense leaves during various growth stages.
Leveraging plant widely targeted metabolomics, the authors identified 196 flavonoid-related metabolites in Cymbidium sinense leaves across three distinct color phases. The study revealed that during the transition from red to green, 41 flavonoids significantly decreased, including pivotal intermediates in anthocyanin synthesis like Naringenin chalcone and crucial glycosylated anthocyanin compounds like Pelargonidin O-acetylhexoside and Anthocyanin 3-O-beta-D-glucoside. This research underscored the direct correlation between color transitions and anthocyanin content, providing a foundation for genetic enhancements in Cymbidium sinense.
In 2018, Food Chemistry published a research article titled "A Comparative Metabolomics Study of Flavonoids in Sweet Potatoes with Differing Flesh Colors (Ipomoea batatas (L.) Lam)." This study aimed to elucidate the chemical underpinnings of color variations in sweet potatoes of distinct hues (white, orange/yellow, purple).
The authors used five different sweet potato cultivars for metabolic profiling. Purple sweet potatoes exhibited higher levels of glycosylated cyanidins, delphinidin, and peonidin than their white counterparts, with orange sweet potatoes also showing elevated glycosylated cyanidin content. This research expanded previous work by delving into the glycosylation of anthocyanins, offering a comprehensive understanding of sweet potato color formation.
In conclusion, these studies highlight the power of metabolomics in unraveling the secrets of color in nature. If you're embarking on your own color research journey, remember that we're here to help. At Metware lab in Boston, we offer comprehensive services in widely targeted metabolomics, Flavonoids Metabolomics, Targeted Anthocyanin Assay, and Carotenoid targeted metabolomics. Reach out to us to supercharge your color research and unlock new discoveries!