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Effect of Environment and Genotype on Commercial Maize Hybrids Using LC/MS-Based Metabolomics

Journal of Agricultural and Food Chemistry
January 18, 2014

We recently applied gas chromatography coupled to time-of-flight mass spectrometry (GC/TOF-MS) and multivariate statistical analysis to measure biological variation of many metabolites due to environment and genotype in forage and grain samples collected from 50 genetically diverse nongenetically modified (non-GM) DuPont Pioneer commercial maize hybrids grown at six North American locations. In the present study, the metabolome coverage was extended using a core subset of these grain and forage samples employing ultra high pressure liquid chromatography (uHPLC) mass spectrometry (LC/MS). A total of 286 and 857 metabolites were detected in grain and forage samples, respectively, using LC/MS. Multivariate statistical analysis was utilized to compare and correlate the metabolite profiles. Environment had a greater effect on the metabolome than genetic background. The results of this study support and extend previously published insights into the environmental and genetic associated perturbations to the metabolome that are not associated with transgenic modification.