Metabolomics Society Celebrates 20 Years

Metabolomics Society Celebrates 20 Years

This year marks the 20th annual conference of the Metabolomics Society! LECO is excited to be a sponsor for Metabolomics 2024, starting on 16 June and ending 20 June, and we’re counting down the minutes until the conference begins. Held in the buzzing metropolis of Osaka, Japan, this event is the largest metabolomics meeting worldwide. Topics covered will include the major scientific themes of technological advances; computational metabolomics, statistics and bioinformatics; metabolomics in health and disease; and metabolomics of food, plants, environment, and microbes.

LECO will have several poster presentations throughout the length of the show, as well as a vendor presentation by Applications Chemist Dr. David Alonso on “Enhancing Semi-Target Metabolomics using Advanced GC-MS Technology & Software Workflow Solutions.” Posters will be put together by LECO experts themselves, or by collaborators who use our state-of-the-art equipment. See below to learn more about these poster presentations, as well as poster numbers if you’ll be attending. Learn more about LECO’s Metabolomic Analysis offerings.


LECO Presenters


Monitoring probe metabolites in exhaled breath by using trap enrichment, thermal desorption combining comprehensive two-dimensional gas chromatography and mass spectrometry

The high potential of exhaled breath for disease diagnosis has been highlighted in numerous studies. However, exhaled breath analysis is suffering from a lack of standardized sampling and analysis procedures, impacting the robustness of inter-laboratory results, and thus hampering proper external validation. The aim of this work was to verify compliance and validate the performance of a comprehensive two-dimensional gas chromatography – mass spectrometry system (GCxGC-MS) by monitoring probe metabolites in exhaled breath. These probe analytes were selected after the ingestion of coffee or a digestive pill.

The GCxGC-MS system herein used consisted of the following features: I) a quad-jet thermal modulator to ensure the high-sensitivity and high separation power needed for the analysis of complex biological samples and trace metabolites; II) a time-of-flight MS combining high sensitivity, proper data-point density for the fast modulated peaks and spectral consistency which enables reliable deconvolution; III) an online thermal desorption unit, constituted by a fast heating/cooling inlet body and a cold trap, allowing the efficient thermal desorption of breath metabolites from the trap tubes into the GCxGC-MS system.

In addition, we evaluated and compared the VOCs sampling performance of different adsorbent materials for thermal desorption, in both in vitro and in vivo situations, in the context of clinically relevant samples. Specifically, we used 7 different adsorbents, packed singularly and in combination, on Fetal Bovine Serum (FBS) and human breath spiked with probe analytes. For the evaluation, we selected a mix of 19 standards to monitor and compare the sensitivity and repeatability between the different adsorbents.

Fumie Kabashima | Applications Chemist Director, LECO Corporation
#1440 | Technology Advancements | Monday and Tuesday

Geospatial Analysis of Thyme Varieties: Exploring Geographic Diversity through Statistical Characterization

Aroma profiles of natural products, such as herbs and spices, contribute to the product’s overall flavor and fragrance. In this study, aroma profiles of dried thyme from four different geographical origins (France, Morocco, Poland, and Spain) were differentiated using an analytical workflow solution combining GC-TOFMS and automated statistical data processing to understand the chemical profile that may impact their aroma. A full mass range collected at high sensitivity revealed highly complex aroma profiles. Identification for untargeted analytes was done by matching observed mass spectral and retention index (RI) to library databases. Confident identifications of analytes provided good insights into the samples and variances in their aromas. For example, thymol (herbal) was found to be highest in France’s sample and lowest in Morocco’s (similarity of 851 and observed RI of 1294 (lib. value 1291). On the other hand, trends for carvacrol (spicy note) (similarity of 931) were found to be highest in Morocco relative to the other countries (observed RI of 1303 vs 1299).

Respective analytes have their aroma notes that likely contribute to the aroma profile of the sample. In addition, using GC-TOFMS eliminates mass spectral skewing, enabling efficient use of deconvolution algorithms. 2-pentyl furan (fruity) and B-myrcene (spicy) were deconvoluted and mathematically separated with similarity scores of 835 and 905, respectively, and RI support of 992 (lib. 991) and 993 (lib. 993), respectively. The automated statistical tool efficiently aligned and compiled analyte information across the sample set, facilitating comparison and interpretation. This revealed distinct analytes with interesting aroma notes for each region and linked these distinct chemicals to the origins of the four thyme varieties. This efficient, full workflow solution demonstrates an ability to quickly gain important insights, which can help consumer goods producers develop better products, understand the competition, and respond faster in resolving quality, supply, or manufacturing issues.

Reygel Estrella | Applications Chemist, LECO Corporation
#1011 | Computational Metabolomics, Statistics, and Bioinformatics | Wednesday and Thursday

Non-targeted profiling of Nepeta Cataria using multidimensional gas chromatography, and high-performance mass spectrometry

Nepeta Cataria (Catnip) is well-known for its aromatic intoxicating effects on felines. This euphoric effect is characterized by playful, sometimes aggressive cat behavior. Catnip essential oil is rich in bioactive compounds that have led to its use as an antioxidant, anti-inflammatory, anti-cancer, and antimicrobial material. In addition, the oil has shown promise as a natural insect repellent. New analysis methods should be implemented for the characterization of this valuable plant material. Unfortunately, the plant is very complex due to its large number of constituents with different physiochemical properties that are present in a wide range of concentrations. In this study, we developed a method that combines enhanced chromatographic separation with high-performance time-of-flight mass spectrometry for the comprehensive profiling of catnip.

David Alonso | Applications Chemist, LECO Corporation
#1430 | Plants, Food, Environment, and Microbes | Monday and Tuesday

LECO Collaborators


Soil volatilomics reveals the soybean-grown soil omics nexus in agricultural fields

In this study, a comprehensive soil volatilomics analysis method was developed using gas chromatography—time-of-flight—mass spectrometry (GC-TOFMS). This method enabled to detect more than 200 peaks through three years in soybean-grown field in Fukushima, Japan. Of these, approximately 50 compounds could be annotated, including alcohol, aldehyde, alkane, aromatic, ester, fatty acid, heterocyclic, ketone and terpene. Multivariate analysis revealed that the VOC profiles could discriminate the presence and absence of soybean in the field during the flowering period.

Miyako Kusano | Professor, University of Tsukuba
#1383 | Plants, Food, Environment, and Microbes | Wednesday and Thursday

Changes in free and bound volatile compounds in fruits of the different tomato cultivars fruits over the three years

The pleasant smell of different tomato cultivars mainly depends on free volatiles including hexanal. In this study, it was discovered that bound volatiles contain unique compounds that affect tomato aroma, e.g., linalool. Therefore, analyzing both free and bound volatiles in tomato fruits of multiple cultivars harvested from different years can help to narrow down attractive cultivars with more desirable aroma.

Yingtao Li  | Student, Tsukuba University
#1413 | Plants, Food, Environment and Microbes | Wednesday and Thursday

Comparative Soil VOC Profiling Collected from Six Soybean Fields over the Two Years

In this study, a comprehensive profiling of volatile organic compounds (VOCs) – a class of secondary metabolites – in soil obtained from six soybean-grown fields in Japan throughout two years was conducted. Soil samples were collected at three stages—before sowing, flowering and at maturity at each field in 2021 and 2022. Soil VOC profiling was carried out by using SPME-GC-TOF/MS analysis.

Suzuka Matsuki | Student, Tsukuba University
#1384 | Plants, Food, Environment and Microbes | Monday and Tuesday

GC×GC/MS based Serum Metabolomics of Hypocalcemia in Dairy Cows

Hypocalcemia is a common disease in dairy cows that challenges to maintain in vivo calcium (Ca) homeostasis against loss of Ca to the abundant milk production. The present study examined serum metabolites in 21 Holstein-Friesian cows which were diagnostically treated with calcium based on their clinical signs such as anorexia and astasia prior to blood testing.

Tamako Miyazaki | Associate Professor, Iwate University
#1469 | Technology Advancements | Wednesday and Thursday

Baby’s head volatile analysis with GCxGC-MS and a chemical data-dependent sensory evaluation study

New babies’ odor of humans might have some meaningful influence on child-rearing and/or baby-mother bonding, although there is little chemico-psychological evidence for that. A chemical analysis was made of the odors collected from the heads of 19 neonates up to 4 days old, and results showed that the chemical compositions of the babies’ head odor had most (16 of 19 odor samples) in common. Student volunteers then made a sensory evaluation of the artificial odor mixtures mimicking those babies’ odors. For comparison, another sensory evaluation was made with the different group of volunteers using the real head odors of babies up to 9 months old, suggesting basically similar evaluation to each other.

Mamiko Ozaki | Professor Emeritus, Kobe University
#1411 | Technology Advancements | Wednesday and Thursday