Author(s): Moco S, Bino RJ, Vorst O, Verhoeven HA, de Groot J, van Beek TA, Vervoort J, de Vos CH
For the description of the metabolome of an organism, the development of common metabolite databases is of utmost importance. Here we present the Metabolome Tomato Database (MoTo DB), a metabolite database dedicated to liquid chromatography-mass spectrometry (LC-MS)- based metabolomics of tomato fruit (Solanum lycopersicum). A reproducible analytical approach consisting of reversed-phase LC coupled to quadrupole time-of-flight MS and photodiode array detection (PDA) was developed for large-scale detection and identification of mainly semipolar metabolites in plants and for the incorporation of the tomato fruit metabolite data into the MoTo DB. Chromatograms were processed using software tools for mass signal extraction and alignment, and intensity-dependent accurate mass calculation. The detected masses were assigned by matching their accurate mass signals with tomato compounds reported in literature and complemented, as much as possible, by PDA and MS/MS information, as well as by using reference compounds. Several novel compounds not previously reported for tomato fruit were identified in this manner and added to the database. The MoTo DB is available at http://appliedbioinformatics.wur.nl and contains all information so far assembled using this LC-PDA-quadrupole time-of-flight MS platform, including retention times, calculated accurate masses, PDA spectra, MS/MS fragments, and literature references. Unbiased metabolic profiling and comparison of peel and flesh tissues from tomato fruits validated the applicability of the MoTo DB, revealing that all flavonoids and alpha-tomatine were specifically present in the peel, while several other alkaloids and some particular phenylpropanoids were mainly present in the flesh tissue.