A comparative metabolomics study of flavonoids in sweet potato with different flesh colors (Ipomoea batatas (L.) Lam)

Food Chem. 2018 Sep 15:260:124-134. doi: 10.1016/j.foodchem.2018.03.125. Epub 2018 Mar 27.


To study the diversity and cultivar-specific of phytochemicals in sweet potato, Liquid Chromatography-Electrospray Ionization-Mass Spectrometry was used to analyze the metabolic profiles of five sweet potato cultivars exhibiting different flesh colors: purple, yellow/orange, and white. A total of 213 metabolites, including 29 flavonoids and 27 phenolic acids, were characterized. The flavonoid profiles of the five different cultivars were distinguished using PCA, the results suggested the flesh color accounted for the observed metabolic differences. In addition to anthocyanins, quinic acids and ferulic acids were the prominent phenolic acids, O-hexoside of quercetin, chrysoeriol were the prominent flavonoids in sweet potato tubers, and they were all higher in the OFSP and PFSP than WFSP. The main differential metabolic pathways between the OFSP, PFSP and the WFSP included those relating to phenylpropanoid and flavonoid biosynthesis. This study provides new insights into the differences in metabolite profiles among sweet potatoes with different flesh colors.

Keywords: Caffeic Acid (PubChem CID:689043); Chrysoeriol (PubChem CID: 5280666); Cinnamic Acid (PubChem CID: 444539); Cyanidin (PubChem CID: 128861); Ferulic acid (PubChem CID: 445858); Flavonoids; Kaempferol (PubChem CID: 5280863); Metabolomics; O-feruloylquinic acid (PubChem CID:9799386); Phenolic acids; Quercetin(PubChem CID: 5280343); Quinic acid (PubChem CID: 6508); Sweet potato; ρ-Coumaric acid (PubChem CID: 637542).

Publication types

  • Comparative Study

MeSH terms

  • Anthocyanins / analysis
  • Chromatography, Liquid
  • Coumaric Acids / analysis
  • Flavones / analysis
  • Flavonoids / analysis*
  • Hydroxybenzoates / analysis
  • Ipomoea batatas / chemistry
  • Ipomoea batatas / metabolism*
  • Metabolomics / methods
  • Multivariate Analysis
  • Pigmentation / physiology*
  • Plant Tubers / chemistry
  • Plant Tubers / metabolism*
  • Spectrometry, Mass, Electrospray Ionization


  • Anthocyanins
  • Coumaric Acids
  • Flavones
  • Flavonoids
  • Hydroxybenzoates
  • ferulic acid
  • phenolic acid
  • chrysoeriol