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Genome Biology volume 1, Article number: spotlight-20001108-03 (2000)
In the November Nature Biotechnology Fiehn et al. offer an alternative to the profiling of messenger RNA and protein levels. They use gas chromatography coupled to mass spectrometry (GC/MS) to assay the relative levels of 326 small compounds from a plant leaf extract (Nat Biotech 2000, 18:1157-1161). A simple methanol extraction is followed by derivitization to increase metabolite stability and volatility. Approximately half of the chromatographed compounds can be identified based on retention times and mass spectra; these results can be viewed on the accompanying website. Biological variability (of approximately 40%) is in clear excess of variability inherent to the method (about 8%). Principal component analysis allows metabolite profiles from plants of a particular genetic background or with a particular mutation to be clustered. Mutation of a single gene causes many changes, most of them unexplained. Metabolite profiles may be useful to address public concerns about the safety of genetically modified food.
Nature Biotechnology, [http://www.nature.com/nbt/]
Metabolic profiling: a Rosetta Stone for genomics?
Metabolite Mass Spectra Library, [http://www.mpimp-golm.mpg.de/mms-library/index-e.html]
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Wells, W. Metabolite profiling. Genome Biol 1, spotlight-20001108-03 (2000). https://doi.org/10.1186/gb-spotlight-20001108-03
- Principal Component Analysis
- Mass Spectrum
- Genetic Background
- Single Gene
- Methanol Extraction