Quality and Metabolomics Analysis of Houttuynia cordata Based on HS-SPME/GC-MS

Molecules. 2022 Jun 18;27(12):3921. doi: 10.3390/molecules27123921.


Houttuynia cordata is a medicinal and edible plant with a wide biological interest. Many parts were discarded due to various modes of consumption, resulting in resource waste. In this study, a comprehensive study was conducted on various edible indicators and medicinal components of Houttuynia cordata to understand its edible and medicinal value. The edible indexes of each root, stem, and leaf were determined, and the metabolites of different parts were investigated using the headspace solid-phase micro-extraction technique (HS-SPME-GC-MS). The differential metabolites were screened by orthogonal partial least squares discriminant analysis (OPLS-DA) and clustering analysis. The results of the study showed that the parts of Houttuynia cordata with high edibility values as a vegetable were mainly the roots and leaves, with the highest vitamin C content in the roots and the highest total flavonoids, soluble sugars, and total protein in the leaves. The nutrient content of all the stems of Houttuynia cordata was lower and significantly different from the roots and leaves (p < 0.05). In addition, 209 metabolites were isolated from Houttuynia cordata, 135 in the roots, 146 in the stems, 158 in the leaves, and 91 shared metabolites. The clustering analysis and OPLS-DA found that the parts of Houttuynia cordata can be mainly divided into above-ground parts (leaves and stems) and underground parts (roots). When comparing the differential metabolites between the above-ground parts and underground parts, it was found that the most important medicinal component of Houttuynia cordata, 2-undecanone, was mainly concentrated in the underground parts. The cluster analysis resulted in 28 metabolites with up-regulation and 17 metabolites with down-regulation in the underground parts. Most of the main components of the underground part have pharmacological effects such as anti-inflammatory, anti-bacterial and antiviral, which are more suitable for drug development. Furthermore, the above-ground part has more spice components and good antioxidant capacity, which is suitable for the extraction of edible flavors. Therefore, by comparing and analyzing the differences between the edible and medicinal uses of different parts of Houttuynia cordata as a medicinal and food plant, good insights can be obtained into food development, pharmaceutical applications, agricultural development, and the hygiene and cosmetic industries. This paper provides a scientific basis for quality control and clinical use.

Keywords: HS-SPME-GC-MS; Houttuynia cordata; eating quality; medicinal ingredients; metabolomics analysis.

MeSH terms

  • Gas Chromatography-Mass Spectrometry
  • Houttuynia*
  • Metabolomics
  • Plant Leaves
  • Solid Phase Microextraction