Metabolic profiling of strawberry (Fragaria x ananassa Duch.) during fruit development and maturation.J Exp Bot. 2011 Jan; 62(3):1103-18.JE
Strawberry (Fragaria × ananassa Duch), a fruit of economic and nutritional importance, is also a model species for fleshy fruits and genomics in Rosaceae. Strawberry fruit quality at different harvest stages is a function of the fruit's metabolite content, which results from physiological changes during fruit growth and ripening. In order to investigate strawberry fruit development, untargeted (GC-MS) and targeted (HPLC) metabolic profiling analyses were conducted. Principal component analysis (PCA) and partial least squares discriminant analysis (PLS-DA) were employed to explore the non-polar and polar metabolite profiles from fruit samples at seven developmental stages. Different cluster patterns and a broad range of metabolites that exerted influence on cluster formation of metabolite profiles were observed. Significant changes in metabolite levels were found in both fruits turning red and fruits over-ripening in comparison with red-ripening fruits. The levels of free amino acids decreased gradually before the red-ripening stage, but increased significantly in the over-ripening stage. Metabolite correlation and network analysis revealed the interdependencies of individual metabolites and metabolic pathways. Activities of several metabolic pathways, including ester biosynthesis, the tricarboxylic acid cycle, the shikimate pathway, and amino acid metabolism, shifted during fruit growth and ripening. These results not only confirmed published metabolic data but also revealed new insights into strawberry fruit composition and metabolite changes, thus demonstrating the value of metabolomics as a functional genomics tool in characterizing the mechanism of fruit quality formation, a key developmental stage in most economically important fruit crops.