AtMetExpress development: a phytochemical atlas of Arabidopsis development

Plant Physiol. 2010 Feb;152(2):566-78. doi: 10.1104/pp.109.148031. Epub 2009 Dec 18.


Plants possess many metabolic genes for the production of a wide variety of phytochemicals in a tissue-specific manner. However, the metabolic systems behind the diversity and tissue-dependent regulation still remain unknown due to incomplete characterization of phytochemicals produced in a single plant species. Thus, having a metabolome dataset in addition to the genome and transcriptome information resources would enrich our knowledge of plant secondary metabolism. Here we analyzed phytochemical accumulation during development of the model plant Arabidopsis (Arabidopsis thaliana) using liquid chromatography-mass spectrometry in samples covering many growth stages and organs. We also obtained tandem mass spectrometry spectral tags of many metabolites as a resource for elucidation of metabolite structure. These are part of the AtMetExpress metabolite accumulation atlas. Based on the dataset, we detected 1,589 metabolite signals from which the structures of 167 metabolites were elucidated. The integrated analyses with transcriptome data demonstrated that Arabidopsis produces various phytochemicals in a highly tissue-specific manner, which often accompanies the expression of key biosynthesis-related genes. We also found that a set of biosynthesis-related genes is coordinately expressed among the tissues. These data suggested that the simple mode of regulation, transcript to metabolite, is an origin of the dynamics and diversity of plant secondary metabolism.

MeSH terms

  • Arabidopsis / metabolism*
  • Data Mining
  • Databases, Factual*
  • Gene Expression Profiling
  • Metabolome*
  • Tandem Mass Spectrometry