Metabolite profiling of Chlamydomonas reinhardtii under nutrient deprivation

Christian Bölling, Oliver Fiehn

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

180 Scopus citations


A metabolite profiling technique for Chlamydomonas reinhardtii cells for multiparallel analysis of low-molecular weight polar compounds was developed. The experimental protocol was optimized to quickly inactivate enzymatic activity achieve maximum extraction capacity and process large sample quantities. As a result of the rapid sampling, extraction, and analysis by gas chromatography coupled to time-of-flight mass spectrometry more than 800 analytes from a single sample could be measured, of which more than 100 could be identified. Analyte responses could be determined mostly with SES less than 10%. Wild-type cells of C. reinharatii strain CC-125 subjected to nitrogen-, phosphorus-, sulfur-, or iron-depleted growth conditions develop highly distinctive metabolite profiles. Individual metabolites undergo marked changes in their steady-state levels. Compared to control conditions, sulfur-depleted cells accumulated 4-hydroxyproline more than 50-fold, whereas the amount of 2-ketovaline was reduced to 2% of control levels. The contribution of each compound to the differences observed in the metabolic phenotypes is summarized in a quantitatively rigorous way by principal component analysis, which clearly discriminates the cells from different growth regimes and indicates that phosphorus-depleted conditions induce a deficiency syndrome quite different from the response to nitrogen, sulfur, or iron starvation.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)1995-2005
Number of pages11
JournalPlant Physiology
Issue number4
StatePublished - 2005

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Plant Science


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