The fragment pattern analysis of tandem mass spectrometry (MS/MS) has long been used for the structural characterization of metabolites. The construction of a plant-specific MS/MS data resource and database will enable complex phytochemical structures to be narrowed down to candidate structures. Therefore, a web-based database of MS/MS data pertaining to phytochemicals was developed and named ReSpect (RIKEN tandem mass spectral database). Of the 3595 metabolites in ReSpect, 76% were derived from 163 literature reports, whereas the rest was obtained from authentic standards. As a main web application of ReSpect, a fragment search was established based on only the m/z values of query data and records. The confidence levels of the annotations were managed using the MS/MS fragmentation association rule, which is an algorithm for discovering common fragmentations in MS/MS data. Using this data resource and database, a case study was conducted for the annotation of untargeted MS/MS data that were selected after quantitative trait locus analysis of the accessions (Gifu and Miyakojima) of a model legume Lotus japonicus. In the case study, unknown metabolites were successfully narrowed down to putative structures in the website.
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