Metabolomics approach based on NMR spectroscopy and multivariate data analysis to explore the interaction between the leafminer Tuta absoluta and tomato (Solanum lycopersicum)

Bruna de Falco, Daniele Manzo, Guido Incerti, Antonio Pietro Garonna, Maria Ercolano*, Virginia Lanzotti

*Corresponding author for this work

    Research output: Contribution to journalSpecial issue

    1 Citation (Scopus)


    Introduction: Tuta absoluta (Meyrick) (Lepidoptera: Gelechiidae) is one of the most devastating and harmful pests of tomato (Solanum lycopersicum) crops causing up to 80–100% yield losses. A large arsenal of plant metabolites is induced by the leafminer feeding including defence compounds that could differ among varieties. 

    Objective: To compare the metabolomic changes of different genotypes of tomato (tolerant “T”, susceptible “S” and “F1” hybrid obtained between T and S) after exposition to T. absoluta. 

    Methodology: Nuclear magnetic resonance (NMR) spectroscopy followed by multivariate data analysis were performed to analyse the metabolic profiles of control and infested samples on three different tomato genotypes.

    Results: Signals related to GABA (γ-aminobutyric acid) were relatively much higher in all infested samples compared to the non-infested plants used as control. Infested T genotype samples were the most abundant in organic acids, including fatty acids and acyl sugars, chlorogenic acid, neo-chlorogenic acid and feruloyl quinic acid, indicating a clear link between the exposure to leafminer. Results also showed an increase of trigonelline in all tomato varieties after exposition to T. absoluta

    Conclusion: Metabolomics approach based on NMR spectroscopy followed by multivariate data analysis allowed for a detailed metabolite profile of plant defences, providing fundamental information for breeding programmes in plant crops.

    Original languageEnglish
    Pages (from-to)556-563
    Number of pages8
    JournalPhytochemical Analysis
    Issue number5
    Early online date8 Jul 2019
    Publication statusPublished - 6 Aug 2019


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