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Plant Physiol. 2004 Aug;135(4):2398-410. Epub 2004 Jul 30.

Metabolic discrimination of Catharanthus roseus leaves infected by phytoplasma using 1H-NMR spectroscopy and multivariate data analysis.

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  • 1Division of Pharmacognosy, Section Metabolomics, Institute of Biology, Leiden University, 2300 RA Leiden, The Netherlands.


A comprehensive metabolomic profiling of Catharanthus roseus L. G. Don infected by 10 types of phytoplasmas was carried out using one-dimensional and two-dimensional NMR spectroscopy followed by principal component analysis (PCA), an unsupervised clustering method requiring no knowledge of the data set and used to reduce the dimensionality of multivariate data while preserving most of the variance within it. With a combination of these techniques, we were able to identify those metabolites that were present in different levels in phytoplasma-infected C. roseus leaves than in healthy ones. The infection by phytoplasma in C. roseus leaves causes an increase of metabolites related to the biosynthetic pathways of phenylpropanoids or terpenoid indole alkaloids: chlorogenic acid, loganic acid, secologanin, and vindoline. Furthermore, higher abundance of Glc, Glu, polyphenols, succinic acid, and Suc were detected in the phytoplasma-infected leaves. The PCA of the (1)H-NMR signals of healthy and phytoplasma-infected C. roseus leaves shows that these metabolites are major discriminating factors to characterize the phytoplasma-infected C. roseus leaves from healthy ones. Based on the NMR and PCA analysis, it might be suggested that the biosynthetic pathway of terpenoid indole alkaloids, together with that of phenylpropanoids, is stimulated by the infection of phytoplasma.

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