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ARS Home » Southeast Area » Charleston, South Carolina » Vegetable Research » Research » Publications at this Location » Publication #412941

Research Project: Basic and Applied Approaches for Pest Management in Vegetable Crops

Location: Vegetable Research

Title: Quantifying Terpenes in Tomato Leaf Extracts from Different Species using Gas Chromatography-Mass Spectrometry (GC-MS)

item PIZZO, JESSICA - Auburn University
item RUTZ, THIAGO - Auburn University
item OJEDA, ANN - Auburn University
item KARTOWIKROMO, KIMBERLY - Auburn University
item HAMID, AHMED - Auburn University
item Simmons, Alvin
item DA SILVA, ANDRE - Auburn University
item RODRIGUES, CAMILA - Auburn University

Submitted to: Phytochemistry
Publication Type: Peer Reviewed Journal
Publication Acceptance Date: 3/5/2024
Publication Date: 3/6/2024
Citation: Pizzo, J.S., Rutz, T., Ojeda, A.S., Kartowikromo, K.Y., Hamid, A.M., Simmons, A.M., Da Silva, A.L., Rodrigues, C. 2024. Quantifying Terpenes in Tomato Leaf Extracts from Different Species using Gas Chromatography-Mass Spectrometry (GC-MS). Phytochemistry. 689, 115503.

Interpretive Summary: Wild types of tomato can serve as natural sources of pest resistance for improving cultivated tomato. Tomato plants produce a wide range of chemicals from specialized leaf hairs that can influence the behavior and biology of herbivores, predators, and pollinators. The amount of a group of chemicals called terpenes was determined to vary by leaves among several types of wild tomatoes as well as a commercial cultivar. One of these plant chemicals is called a-zingiberene, and it is known for helping plants to naturally repel whiteflies; we found high quantities of this chemical in a particular line (accession PI209978) of the tomato Solanum habrochaites. These findings help researchers in understanding plant chemical diversity for plant defense, and will help researchers in developing pest-resistant tomato cultivars.

Technical Abstract: Terpenes play a vital role in plant defense. Tomato plants produce a diverse range of terpenes within specialized glandular trichomes, influencing interactions with herbivores, predators, and pollinators. This study employed two distinct methods, namely leaf dip and maceration, to extract trichomes from tomato leaves. Terpene quantification was carried out using Gas Chromatography-Mass Spectrometry (GC-MS). The leaf dip method proved effective in selectively targeting trichome content, revealing unique extraction patterns compared to maceration. The GC-MS method demonstrated high linearity, accuracy, sensitivity, and low limits of detection and quantification. Application of the method to different tomato species (Solanum pennellii, Solanum pimpinellifolium, Solanum galapagense, Solanum habrochaites, and Solanum lycopersicum) identified significant variation in terpene content among these species, highlighting the potential of specific accessions for breeding programs. Notably, the terpene a-zingiberene, known for its repellency against whiteflies, was found in high quantities (211.90 to 9155.13 µg g-1) in Solanum habrochaites accession PI209978. These findings provide valuable insights into terpenoid diversity for plant defense mechanisms, guiding future research on developing pest-resistant tomato cultivars. Additionally, the study underscores the broader applications of terpenes in agriculture.