Chemotaxonomic classification applied to the identification of two closely-related citrus TCMs using UPLC-Q-TOF-MS-based metabolomics

Si Yu Zhao, Zhen Li Liu, Yi Song Shu, Meng Lei Wang, Dan He, Zhi Qian Song, Hong Lian Zeng, Zhang Chi Ning, Cheng Lu, Aiping LYU, Yuan Yan Liu*

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalJournal articlepeer-review

45 Citations (Scopus)


This manuscript elaborates on the establishment of a chemotaxonomic classification strategy for closely-related Citrus fruits in Traditional Chinese Medicines (TCMs). UPLC-Q-TOF-MS-based metabolomics was applied to depict the variable chemotaxonomic markers and elucidate the metabolic mechanism of Citrus TCMs from different species and at different ripening stages. Metabolomics can capture a comprehensive analysis of small molecule metabolites and can provide a powerful approach to establish metabolic profiling, creating a bridge between genotype and phenotype. To further investigate the different metabolites in four closely-related Citrus TCMs, non-targeted metabolite profiling analysis was employed as an efficient technique to profile the primary and secondary metabolites. The results presented in this manuscript indicate that primary metabolites enable the discrimination of species, whereas secondary metabolites are associated with species and the ripening process. In addition, analysis of the biosynthetic pathway highlighted that the syntheses of flavone and flavone glycosides are deeply affected in Citrus ripening stages. Ultimately, this work might provide a feasible strategy for the authentication of Citrus fruits from different species and ripening stages and facilitate a better understanding of their different medicinal uses.

Original languageEnglish
Article number1721
Issue number10
Publication statusPublished - Oct 2017

Scopus Subject Areas

  • Analytical Chemistry
  • Chemistry (miscellaneous)
  • Molecular Medicine
  • Pharmaceutical Science
  • Drug Discovery
  • Physical and Theoretical Chemistry
  • Organic Chemistry

User-Defined Keywords

  • Chemotaxonomic classification
  • Closely-related Citrus TCMs
  • Metabolic pathway
  • Metabolomics
  • Primary and secondary metabolites
  • Ultra-performance liquid chromatography-quadrupoletime- of-flight-MS (UPLC-Q-TOF-MS)


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