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Plant Metabolomics Service

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Plants generate a mass of metabolites of diversified structures and abundance that play critical roles in plant growth, development, and response to the environment. Plant Metabolomics is the large-scale study of metabolites within plant tissues, contributing to the understanding of plant physiology and biology since metabolites reflect the endpoint of biological activities. Plant metabolomics also offers a tool for improving plant behavior under both normal and stressed conditions. Methodologies and instrumentations of plant metabolomics have been developing rapidly. A series of integrated technologies, such as nuclear magnetic resonance spectroscopy (NMR), mass spectrometry (MS) including gas chromatography-MS (GC-MS) and liquid chromatography-MS (LC-MS), and capillary electrophoresis-MS (CE-MS), and Fourier transform ion cyclotron resonance-MS (FI-ICR-MS) enable us to perform a comprehensive and unbiased analysis of the chemical inventory of a plant cell. Multiple reaction monitoring (MRM) is commonly used for specific targeting of the ions of a particular compound. Metabolomics strategies can be divided into untargeted and targeted approaches: (1) Untargeted metabolomics is the global analysis of all the measurable compounds in a sample; (2) Targeted metabolomics is the measurement of targeted groups of chemically characterized and biochemically annotated metabolites. Untargeted analysis can detect novel metabolites and cover all the measurable analytes in a sample, while targeted metabolomics offers more accurate characteristics and quantitative analyses.

Applications of Plant Metabolomics

  • Reveal the function of genes in the plant genome
  • Understand the molecular mechanisms underlying plant development under normal or stress conditions.
  • Safety assessment of genetically modified crops
  • Crop improvement
  • Targeted metabolic engineering

Plant Metabolomics Analysis Methods

Creative Proteomics offers several methods for different plant metabolomics applications.

Plant Untargeted Metabolomics ServicePlant Untargeted Lipidomics ServicePlant Targeted Metabolomics Service
Untargeted metabolomics allows for the investigation of metabolic phenotypes involving up to thousands of metabolites in a single run. It enables an unbiased screening of all metabolites but results in more complex data steps.Plant lipidomics uses MS-based methods to analyze plant cellular lipids. Untargeted plant lipidomics can be used to detect metabolic changes in response to developmental and environmental changes.Plant targeted metabolomics provides a high-resolution tool for the identification and quantitative analysis of targeted metabolites in plants, measuring their responses to environmental and genetic changes in an unbiased and specific way.


Creative Proteomics employs state-of-the-art LC-MS/MS and GC-MS/MS systems for plant metabolomics studies.

Our primary instruments include:

  • Liquid chromatography system
  • Orbitrap MS
  • Triple Quad-MS
  • Q-TOF-MS
  • GC-MS

Plant Metabolomics Service

Data Analysis

  • Parametric and non-parametric unit-variate statistical tests: t-test, analysis of variance (ANOVA), etc.
  • Principal component analysis (PCA).
  • Clustering analysis: hierarchical clustering analysis, K-means, etc.
  • Modeling algorithms
  • Integrate metabolomics data with transcriptomics, proteomics, and phenomics studies

Creative Proteomics offers several approaches to study plant metabolomics and deliver precise and detailed data and analysis report. We can also customize methods or establish new methods together with our collaborators to meet the specific needs of any project.


  1. Hong J, Yang L, Zhang D, et al. Plant metabolomics: an indispensable system biology tool for plant science. International journal of molecular sciences, 2016, 17(6): 767.
  2. Beckles D M, Roessner U. Plant metabolomics: Applications and opportunities for agricultural biotechnology, Plant biotechnology and agriculture. Academic Press, 2012: 67-81.
  3. Roberts L D, Souza A L, Gerszten R E, et al. Targeted metabolomics. Current protocols in molecular biology, 2012, 98(1): 30.2. 1-30.2. 24.
  4. de Souza L P, Alseekh S, Naake T, et al. Mass Spectrometry‐Based Untargeted Plant Metabolomics. Current protocols in plant biology, 2019, 4(4).
For Research Use Only. Not for use in diagnostic procedures.
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