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Metabolomics Insight into Desiccation Tolerance in Plants Published in The Plant Cell

Data targeted at improving drought tolerance in crops


RESEARCH TRIANGLE PARK, N.C.--(BUSINESS WIRE)--Apr 28, 2011 - Metabolon, Inc., the leader in metabolomics, biomarker discovery and biochemical analysis, announces the publication of “A Sister Group Contrast Using Untargeted Global Metabolomic Analysis Delineates the Biochemical Regulation Underlying Desiccation Tolerance in Sporobolus stapfianus” in The Plant Cell Online (April 2011, tpc.110.082800). Non-targeted biochemical profiling (metabolomics) provided insight into the biochemical mechanisms underlying plant drought tolerance. The study was carried out by Dr. Melvin J. Oliver and colleagues, USDA-ARS scientists at the University of Missouri in Columbia, Dr. Bernard W.M. Wone and John C. Cushman and colleagues at the University of Nevada in Reno, and Dr. John Ryals, Dr. Lining Guo, and Dr. Danny Alexander at Metabolon, Inc.

To develop novel strategies for improving drought tolerance in crops, understanding how plants tolerate dehydration is a prerequisite. Non-targeted metabolomics analysis of two sister grass species, the desiccation-tolerant (DT) Sporobolus stapfianus and the desiccation-sensitive (DS) Sporobolus pyramidalis, revealed adaptive metabolic responses to dehydration. Drought tolerance was associated with higher concentrations of osmolytes, lower concentrations of metabolites associated with energy metabolism, and higher concentrations of nitrogen metabolites in the fully watered state, suggesting that the drought tolerant species is primed metabolically for dehydration stress. Under water stress a metabolic shift toward the production of protective compounds was observed in the drought tolerant plants. Biochemical alterations associated with drought tolerance included antioxidant production, nitrogen remobilization, ammonia detoxification, and soluble sugar production. Collectively, the metabolic profiles obtained uncovered a cascade of biochemical regulation strategies critical to the survival of S. stapfianus under desiccation.

The article has been published on-line in The Plant Cell Advance Online Publication and may be accessed by this link:

About Metabolon

Metabolon, Inc. has advanced the field of metabolomics by pioneering and patenting the industry's leading biochemical biomarker discovery and profiling platform. It has developed the technology to quickly identify and measure all of the biochemicals in a biological sample through its proprietary global processing method. Through the generation and interpretation of data, this method provides a precise understanding of disease etiology and drug action, and advances personalized medicine beyond what genomics and other approaches can promise. Metabolon's expertise is being embraced by a wide range of pharmaceutical, biotechnology, food and agricultural companies. Metabolytics, its biomarker discovery and analysis business, has completed over 320 client studies and processed over 30,000 samples for customers in 2010 alone. Building on its expertise in biochemistry understanding, Metabolon is also developing proprietary diagnostic tests to determine and track disease progression. For more information about Metabolon, please visit or contact Matt Zaske at or 919-595-2200.




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Posted: April 2011