Strawberry is composed of numerous primary metabolites (sugars, amino acids, organic acids) and secondary metabolites (anthocyanins, flavan-3-ols, phenolic acids), which play an essential role in fruit quality, organoleptic characteristics and healthy benefits. In this context, metabolomics presents a great potential to get a deep overview of this complex chemical meshwork, which can provide valuable information on the effect of multiple growing factors in the strawberry composition. In this work, we show the utility of different metabolomic approaches to investigate the influence of variety and agronomic conditions in the strawberry metabolome on the basis of data acquired in two published studies conducted in our research group. First, we conducted a GC/MS-based non-targeted metabolomic analysis in strawberries of three varieties with different sensitivity to environmental conditions (Camarosa, Festival and Palomar), which in turn were grown in soilless systems by using various agronomic conditions (electrical conductivity, coverage and substrates) (1). Complementarily, a targeted metabolomic approach based on UHPLC-MS/MS was also applied to identify and quantitate the main polyphenol compounds in these strawberry fruits (2). The most discriminant metabolites were several amino acids, sugars, organic acids, anthocyanins, ellagic acid derivatives, flavan-3-ols, chlorogenic acid and quercetin 3-O-glucuronide, which could be associated with differences in organoleptic characteristics and the biosynthesis of strawberry antioxidants.
(1) I. Akhatou, R. González-Domínguez, A. Fernández-Recamales. Investigation of the effect of genotype and agronomic conditions on metabolomic profiles of selected strawberry cultivars with different sensitivity to environmental stress. Plant Physiol. Biochem. 101 (2016) 14-22
(2) I. Akhatou, A. Sayago, R. González-Domínguez, Á. Fernández-Recamales. Application of targeted metabolomics to investigate optimum growing conditions to enhance bioactive content of strawberry. J. Agric. Food Chem. 65 (2017) 9559-9567