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Anal Chem. 2006 Jul 1;78(13):4334-41.

MET-IDEA: data extraction tool for mass spectrometry-based metabolomics.

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Plant Biology Division, Samuel Roberts Noble Foundation, P.O. Box 2180, Ardmore, Oklahoma 73401, USA.


A current and significant limitation to metabolomics is the large-scale, high-throughput conversion of raw chromatographically coupled mass spectrometry datasets into organized data matrices necessary for further statistical processing and data visualization. This article describes a new data extraction tool, MET-IDEA (Metabolomics Ion-based Data Extraction Algorithm) which surmounts this void. MET-IDEA is compatible with a diversity of chromatographically coupled mass spectrometry systems, generates an output similar to traditional quantification methods, utilizes the sensitivity and selectivity associated with selected ion quantification, and greatly reduces the time and effort necessary to obtain large-scale organized datasets by several orders of magnitude. The functionality of MET-IDEA is illustrated using metabolomics data obtained for elicited cell culture exudates from the model legume, Medicago truncatula. The results indicate that MET-IDEA is capable of rapidly extracting semiquantitative data from raw data files, which allows for more rapid biological insight. MET-IDEA is freely available to academic users upon request.

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