UHPLC-(ESI)-HRMS and NMR-based metabolomics approach to access the seasonality of Byrsonima intermedia and Serjania marginata from Brazilian Cerrado flora diversity

Ana C. Zanatta, Wagner Vilegas, Ru Angelie Edrada-Ebel

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5 Citations (Scopus)
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Seasonality is one of the major environmental factors that exert influence over the synthesis and accumulation of secondary metabolites in medicinal plants. The application of the metabolomics approach for quality control of plant extracts is essentially important because it helps one to establish a standard metabolite profile and to analyze factors that affect the effectiveness of the medicinal plants. The Brazilian Cerrado flora is characterized by a rich diversity of native plant species, and a number of these plant species have been found to have suitable medicinal properties. Some of these plant species include Byrsonima intermedia and Serjania marginata. To better understand the chemical composition of these plant species, we conducted a study using the state-of-the-art techniques including the HPLC system coupled to an Exactive-Orbitrap high resolution mass spectrometer with electrospray ionization interface UHPLC-(ESI)-HRMS and by NMR being performed 2D J-resolved and proton NMR spectroscopy. For the analysis, samples were harvested bimonthly during two consecutive years. UHPLC-(ESI)-HRMS data were preprocessed and the output data uploaded into an in-house Excel macro for peak dereplication. MS and NMR data were concatenated using the data fusion method and submitted to multivariate statistical analysis. The dereplication of LC-HRMS data helped in the annotation of the major compounds present in the extracts of the three plant species investigated allowing the annotation of 68 compounds in the extracts of B. intermedia (cinnamic acids, phenolic acids derived from galloyl quinic and shikimic acid, proanthocyanidins, glycosylated flavonoids, triterpenes and other phenols) and 81 compounds in the extracts of S. marginata (phenolic acids, saponins, proanthocyanidins, glycosylated flavonoids among other compounds). For a better assessment of the great number of responses, the significance of the chemical variables for the differentiation and correlation of the seasons was determined using the variable importance on projection (VIP) technique and through the application of the false discovery rate (FDR) estimation. The statistical data obtained showed that seasonal factors played an important role on the production of metabolites in each plant species. Temperature conditions, drought and solar radiation were found to be the main factors that affected the variability of phenolic compounds in each species.

Original languageEnglish
Article number710025
Number of pages17
JournalFrontiers in Chemistry
Publication statusPublished - 6 Jul 2021


  • environmental factors
  • metabolomic approach
  • phenolic compounds
  • saponins
  • seasonality
  • specialized metabolites
  • triterpenes


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