Antioxidant response of cucumber (Cucumis sativus) exposed to nano copper pesticide: Quantitative determination via LC-MS/MS

Food Chem. 2019 Jan 1:270:47-52. doi: 10.1016/j.foodchem.2018.07.069. Epub 2018 Jul 17.


Targeted metabolomics aims to provide a new approach to investigate metabolites and gather both qualitative and quantitative information. We describe a protocol for extraction and analysis of plant metabolites, specifically 13 secondary metabolites (antioxidants) using liquid chromatography coupled to triple quadrupole mass spectrometry (LC-MS/MS), with high linearity (R2 > 0.99) and reproducibility (0.23-6.23 R%) with low limits of detection (>0.001 ng/mL) and quantification (>0.2 ng/mL). The protocol was applied to study the antioxidant response of cucumber plants exposed to nanocopper pesticide. Dose-dependent changes in antioxidant concentrations were found, and 10 antioxidants were significantly consumed to scavenge reactive oxygen species, protecting plants from damage. Levels of three antioxidants were up-regulated, as a response to the depletion of the other antioxidants, signaling activation of the defense system. We demonstrated that the reported LC-MS/MS method provides a quantitative analysis of antioxidants in plant tissues, for example to investigate interactions between plants and nanomaterials.

Keywords: Antioxidants; Cucumber; Extraction; LC-MS/MS; Metabolites; Nanoparticle.

MeSH terms

  • Chromatography, Liquid / methods*
  • Copper / chemistry*
  • Cucumis sativus / chemistry*
  • Pesticides / analysis*
  • Reproducibility of Results
  • Tandem Mass Spectrometry / methods*


  • Pesticides
  • Copper