Our metabolomics facility houses state-of-the-art facilities enabling analysis of central metabolites and volatile organic compounds (VOCs) with gas chromatography – mass spectrometry (GC-MS), carbohydrates, lipids, and secondary metabolites (terpenoids, phenolics, alkaloids, carotenoids, and sulphur containing compounds) with ultra-high performance liquid chromatography (UHPLC)-MS.

Advancement and application of high-throughput metabolomics tools are pivotal to understand the role of metabolites in both the development and regulation of plants, this may be with respect to studying plant development applying developmental gene deletion mutants, or plant responses to abiotic or biotic perturbations, screening plant populations for beneficial biochemical traits e.g., Metabolic GWAS, through to screening grain, fruit and vegetable product and nutritional quality. 

The lab supports two analytical approaches:

  • Untargeted comparative relative quantification of broad ranges of compound chemistries between samples, i.e., metabolomics. 
  • Targeted absolute quantitative methods for more limited numbers of metabolite targets. Reports back a quantitative value for single or multiple sample comparisons.

The lab supports analysis of the following compounds:

  • GC-MS analysis of MOX-TMS derivatives. Basic sugars, organic acids, amino acids and nucleic acids.
  • SPME GC-MS. Plant volatile organic compounds (VOCs).
  • Hydrophilic Interaction Chromatography (HILIC)-MS: Complex carbohydrates, basic sugars, organic acids, amino acids and nucleic acids.
  • UHPLC-MS (Aqueous C18): secondary metabolites (terpenoids, phenolics, alkaloids, and sulphur containing compounds).
  • UHPLC-MS (C18 and C30): Lipidomics: Phospholipids, acyl glycerol’s (MAG, DAG, TAG), plant sterols, carotenoids.

The metabolomics facility is managed by Will Allwood who will be pleased to discuss any potential projects with you.

You can learn more about our facilities and work in metabolomics on the James Hutton Institute website.

Do you want to use our facilities or collaborate with us?