METABOLOMICS: APPLICATIONS IN FUNCTIONAL BIODIVERSITY ANALYSIS IN POTATO
Transcriptomics, proteomics and metabolomics are increasingly used for broad-scale comparative analysis in the life sciences, forming important components of systems approaches to biological problems. This paper provides contemporary examples of the application of metabolite profiling and fingerprinting techniques to potato biology drawing on research carried out at the Scottish Crop Research Institute (SCRI). With regard to biodiversity, data are presented to show that specific taxonomic groups can be separated both genetically and phytochemically using 73 accessions of wild Solanum species from the Common Potato Collection and that in adapted diploid species such as Solanum phureja, metabolite profiling can be used to generate hypotheses on the processes that differentiate phureja in terms of flavour. Relevant to the establishment of quality traits of commercial relevance are temporal changes in the metabolome, thus profiling is being used to develop an understanding of changes associated with key stages in the tuber life cycle (tuberisation, tuber development and maturation, storage and sprouting). Finally, SCRI is using metabolomics as a comparative analysis tool to assess natural phytochemical variation to provide an indication of the impact of geographical location, crop management (e.g., high input, organic) and breeding systems (e.g., conventional, genetically modified [GM]) on metabolite profiles. This will provide important information on, for example, the potential for unintended compositional changes in GM potato and the extent to which such changes fall within the background of conventional breeding and production systems. Such data are important to policymakers, risk assessors, regulators and consumers.
Davies, H.V. (2007). METABOLOMICS: APPLICATIONS IN FUNCTIONAL BIODIVERSITY ANALYSIS IN POTATO. Acta Hortic. 745, 471-484
metabolomics, biodiversity, life cycle analysis, food quality and safety