Page Banner

United States Department of Agriculture

Agricultural Research Service

Research Project: Chemical Approaches to Eliminate Fungal Contamination and Mycotoxin Production in Plant Products

Location: Foodborne Toxin Detection and Prevention

Title: An overview of plant volatile metabolomics, sample treatment, and reporting considerations with emphasis on mechanical damage and biological control of weeds

Authors
item Beck, John
item Smith, Lincoln
item Baig, Nausheena

Submitted to: Phytochemical Analysis
Publication Type: Review Article
Publication Acceptance Date: October 6, 2013
Publication Date: January 1, 2014
Citation: Beck, J.J., Smith, L., Baig, N. 2014. An overview of plant volatile metabolomics, sample treatment, and reporting considerations with emphasis on mechanical damage and biological control of weeds. Phytochemical Analysis. 25(4):331-341.

Interpretive Summary: The methodology and technology for the collection and analysis of plant emitted odors for understanding chemical communications of plant-plant, plant-insect, or plant-microbe interactions has increased over the years. Consequently, the on-plant (in situ) collection, analysis, and identification of odors are considered integral to interpretation of complex plant communications. Due to the complexity and range of emissions the conditions for consistent emission of odors are difficult to standardize. The objective of this review was to discuss: evaluation of emitted odors as a means of screening potential target- and non-target weeds/plants for insect biological control agents; plant odor metabolomics to analyze resultant data; importance of considering odors from damaged plants; and, use of a database for reporting experimental conditions and results. Recent literature relating to plant odors and plant odor metabolomics are summarized to provide a basic understanding of how metabolomics can be applied to the study of plant odors. As a result, an overview of plant secondary metabolites, plant volatile metabolomics, analysis of plant odor metabolomics data and the subsequent input into a database, the roles of plant odors, odor emission as a function of treatment, and the application of plant odor metabolomics to biological control of invasive weeds. It is recommended that in addition to a non-damaged treatment, plants should undergo some form of damage, with mechanical giving the most consistency, prior to collecting odors to provide the greatest diversity of odors. For the model system provided, optimal volatile emission occurred when the leaf was punctured with a needle. Results stored in a publically available database should include basic environmental and plant conditions, as well as treatments.

Technical Abstract: Introduction – The technology for the collection and analysis of plant emitted volatiles for understanding chemical cues of plant-plant, plant-insect, or plant-microbe interactions has increased over the years. Consequently, the in situ collection, analysis, and identification of volatiles are considered integral to elucidation of complex plant communications. Due to the complexity and range of emissions the conditions for consistent emission of volatiles are difficult to standardize. Objective – To discuss: evaluation of emitted volatile metabolites as a means of screening potential target- and non-target weeds/plants for insect biological control agents; plant volatile metabolomics to analyze resultant data; importance of considering volatiles from damaged plants; and, use of a database for reporting experimental conditions and results. Methodology – Recent literature relating to plant volatiles and plant volatile metabolomics are summarized to provide a basic understanding of how metabolomics can be applied to the study of plant volatiles. Results – An overview of plant secondary metabolites, plant volatile metabolomics, analysis of plant volatile metabolomics data and the subsequent input into a database, the roles of plant volatiles, volatile emission as a function of treatment, and the application of plant volatile metabolomics to biological control of invasive weeds. Conclusion – It is recommended that in addition to a non-damaged treatment, plants be damaged prior to collecting volatiles to provide the greatest diversity of odors. For the model system provided, optimal volatile emission occurred when the leaf was punctured with a needle. Results stored in a database should include basic environmental conditions or treatments.

Last Modified: 10/31/2014
Footer Content Back to Top of Page