The effect of sugar on plant metabolism, which is known to be similar to hormone-like signaling, was metabolomically studied using Melissa officinalis (lemon balm). The metabolite profiles of M. officinalis treated with sucrose were analyzed by gas chromatography-mass spectrometry (GC-MS) and principal component analysis (PCA). A total of 64 metabolites from various chemical classes including alcohols, amines, amino acids, fatty acids, inorganic acids, organic acids, phosphates, and sugars were identified by GC-MS. Three groups treated with different sucrose concentrations were clearly separated by PCA of their metabolite profiles, indicating changes in the levels of many metabolites depending on the sucrose concentration. Metabolite profiling revealed that treatment with a higher sucrose level caused an increase in the levels of metabolites such as sugars, sugar alcohols, and sugar phosphates, which are related to the glycolytic pathway of M. officinalis. Furthermore, proline and succinic acid, which are associated with the proline-linked pentose phosphate pathway, the shikimic acid pathway, and the biosynthesis of phenylpropanoids, also increased with increasing sucrose concentration. Therefore, these metabolic changes induced by sucrose ultimately led to the increased production of flavonoids such as caffeic acid via the biosynthetic pathway of phenylpropanoids. This study demonstrated that the abundance changes in some primary and secondary metabolites were somewhat interlocked with each other in response to sucrose.
- Gas chromatography-mass spectrometry
- Melissa officinalis
- Metabolite profiling
ASJC Scopus subject areas
- Analytical Chemistry