Gas chromatography coupled to mass spectrometry (GC/MS) is a core analytical method for metabolomics and has been used as a platform in non-targeted analysis, especially for hydrophilic metabolites. Non-targeted GC/MS-based metabolomics generally requires a high-throughput technology to handle a large volume of samples and an accumulated database (reference library) of the retention times and mass spectra of standard compounds for accurate peak identification. In this study, we provide a practical GC/MS platform and an auto peak identification technique that is not restricted to certain types of mass spectrometers. The platform utilizes a quadrupole mass spectrometer capable of high-speed scanning, resulting in greater output compared with Pegasus GC-time of flight (TOF)/MS, which has been an essential instrument for high-throughput experiments. Moreover, we show that our reference library is broadly applicable to other instruments; peak identification can be readily performed using the library without constructing a reference resource. The usefulness and versatility of our system are demonstrated by the analyses of three experimental metabolomics data sets, including standard mixtures and real biological samples.
Copyright © 2011 The Society for Biotechnology, Japan. Published by Elsevier B.V. All rights reserved.