Mass spectrometry-based forest tree metabolomics

Ana Margarida Rodrigues, Célia Miguel, Inês Chaves, Carla António

Research output: Contribution to journalReview articlepeer-review

4 Citations (Scopus)


Research in forest tree species has advanced slowly when compared with other agricultural crops and model organisms, mainly due to the long-life cycles, large genome sizes, and lack of genomic tools. Additionally, trees are complex matrices, and the presence of interferents (e.g., oleoresins and cellulose) challenges the analysis of tree tissues with mass spectrometry (MS)-based analytical platforms. In this review, advances in MS-based forest tree metabolomics are discussed. Given their economic and ecological significance, particular focus is given to Pinus, Quercus, and Eucalyptus forest tree species to better understand their metabolite responses to abiotic and biotic stresses in the current climate change scenario. Furthermore, MS-based metabolomics technologies produce large and complex datasets that require expertize to adequately manage, process, analyze, and store the data in dedicated repositories. To ensure that the full potential of forest tree metabolomics data are translated into new knowledge, these data should comply with the FAIR principles (i.e., Findable, Accessible, Interoperable, and Re-usable). It is essential that adequate standards are implemented to annotate metadata from forest tree metabolomics studies as is already required by many science and governmental agencies and some major scientific publishers.

Original languageEnglish
Number of pages32
JournalMass Spectrometry Reviews
Publication statusAccepted/In press - 1 Jan 2019


  • climate change
  • FAIR data standards
  • GC-MS
  • LC-MS
  • omics technologies
  • pinewood nematode


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