Plant Metabolomics

The workshop will introduce the basic requirements to understand plant metabolism and present the techniques used to study plant metabolic processes. The presented material will provide a broad overview of the most essential metabolomics concepts, as well as the workflow researchers usually follow in plant metabolomics studies. Different aspects and techniques used for data analysis will be introduced, with the main focus on two mass spectrometry techniques: gas chromatography (GC) and liquid chromatography (LC), as the most popular and widely applied ones. Finally, data processing and statistical analysis will be presented, discussed, and exercised. The course organizer will be Dr. Fidele Tugizimana and Dr. Msizi Mhlongo. The workshop will be divided into the following main parts:

• Introduction and principles of metabolomics: fundamentals, study design, targeted and untargeted approaches;

• Analytical platforms in metabolomics, MS-based systems (GC-MS and LC-MS): hands-on training, method development, quality assurance and quality controls in sample analyses, absolute quantification;

• Mining metabolomics data (I): hands-on training on data processing, license-based and license-free software, bioinformatics and computational tools used for processing metabolomics data;

• Mining metabolomics data (II): statistical analysis, chemometrics, machine learning methods in analyzing metabolomics data;

• Metabolite annotation and identification: hands-on training on emerging computational tools for interrogating metabolomics (spectral) data, untargeted metabolite annotation, e.g. tools hosted in GNPS ecosystem;

• Interpretation of metabolomics data: metabolomics pathway and network analysis.