Unravelling phytochemical diversity in potato and lettuce through molecular networking
This project is dedicated to further exploiting plant metabolomics, a key technology enabling deep insights into the phytochemical composition of crops. We shall develop a novel generic workflow for robust and high-throughput annotation and biochemical pathway classification of the thousands of phytochemicals that are nowadays detectable by comprehensive metabolomics approaches. We shall also develop reference metabolomics libraries to enable fast annotation of compounds detected in current and future analyses. The key crops chosen in this project are potato and lettuce, and the biological targets relate to breeding and crop sustainability in the broader context of Green Deal targets.
The goal of this project is to exploit recently-developed in silico metabolite annotation tools and develop an improved pipeline to mine specifically-generated metabolomics data sets for deep phytochemical phenotyping of crop plants. The reference metabolite databases to be generated together with this data pipeline shall allow metabolomics to become a generic key technology in present and future research within the Topsectors Horticulture&Starting Materials and Agri&Food
Develop a novel, generic metabolomics workflow using existing but yet untested tools for faster and broader annotation/biochemical classification of crop phytochemicals, using potato and lettuce as examples.
Develop extensive potato and lettuce metabloite libraries as references for querying applications
Generate various comprehensive metabolomics data sets of diverse series of potato and lettuce samples from participating companies.
Deep dive into these metabolomics data sets using the new annotation workflow in combination withe the new reference libraries, to enable linking the obeserved metabolome differences to I) underlying genetic variation and II) differences in the crop sustainability aspects inclusing (a)biotic stress resistance and product quality traits.
Improved and wider application of metabolomics as a generic, key anabling technology in research within the Topsectors Horticulture&Starting Materials and Agri&Food, dedicated though not restricted to the potato and lettuce breeding and post-harvest industries.
Reference metabolite databases, generated from contrasting potato and lettuce tissues and genotypes, available for all partners in current and future collaborations.
Novel and deep insights into differences in phytochemical composition across sample series and how these differences relate to genotype and phenotype
Validation of the improved metabolomics pipeling in 2 relevant case studies related to the Green Deal initiatives: I) plant breeding, to boost genetical metobolomics studies aimed at identifying genes and genetic markers regulating a preferred phytochemical composition II) agronomy and post-harvest processing: to boost comparative metabolomics studies aimed at identifying phytochemical markers playing a key role in sustainable crop quality traits like tuber vitality, biotic stress resistance, storability and food appreciation (flavour).