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Proc Natl Acad Sci U S A. 2017 Oct 31;114(44):11685-11690. doi: 10.1073/pnas.1710248114. Epub 2017 Oct 12.

Meta-mass shift chemical profiling of metabolomes from coral reefs.

Author information

1
Department of Biology, San Diego State University, San Diego, CA 92182; aaron.hartmann@gmail.com.
2
Invertebrate Zoology, National Museum of Natural History, Smithsonian Institution, Washington, DC 20560.
3
Collaborative Mass Spectrometry Innovation Center, Skaggs School of Pharmacy and Pharmaceutical Sciences, University of California, San Diego, La Jolla, CA 92093.
4
Structural and Computational Biology Unit, European Molecular Biology Laboratory, 69117 Heidelberg, Germany.
5
Southwest Fisheries Science Center, National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration, La Jolla, CA 92037.
6
Department of Life Sciences, Imperial College London, Ascot SL5 7PY, United Kingdom.
7
School of Ocean Sciences, Bangor University, Anglesey LL59 5AB, United Kingdom.
8
Department of Mathematics and Statistics, San Diego State University, San Diego, CA 92182.
9
CARMABI Foundation, Willemstad, Curaçao.
10
Aquatic Microbiology, Institute for Biodiversity and Ecosystem Dynamics, University of Amsterdam, 1098 XH Amsterdam, The Netherlands.
11
Department of Biology, San Diego State University, San Diego, CA 92182.

Abstract

Untargeted metabolomics of environmental samples routinely detects thousands of small molecules, the vast majority of which cannot be identified. Meta-mass shift chemical (MeMSChem) profiling was developed to identify mass differences between related molecules using molecular networks. This approach illuminates metabolome-wide relationships between molecules and the putative chemical groups that differentiate them (e.g., H2, CH2, COCH2). MeMSChem profiling was used to analyze a publicly available metabolomic dataset of coral, algal, and fungal mat holobionts (i.e., the host and its associated microbes and viruses) sampled from some of Earth's most remote and pristine coral reefs. Each type of holobiont had distinct mass shift profiles, even when the analysis was restricted to molecules found in all samples. This result suggests that holobionts modify the same molecules in different ways and offers insights into the generation of molecular diversity. Three genera of stony corals had distinct patterns of molecular relatedness despite their high degree of taxonomic relatedness. MeMSChem profiles also partially differentiated between individuals, suggesting that every coral reef holobiont is a potential source of novel chemical diversity.

KEYWORDS:

coral reefs; molecular networking; small molecules; untargeted metabolomics

PMID:
29078340
PMCID:
PMC5676912
DOI:
10.1073/pnas.1710248114
[Indexed for MEDLINE]
Free PMC Article

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