Application of gas chromatography-mass spectrometry metabolite profiling techniques to the analysis of heathland plant diets of sheep

Ifat Parveen*, Jon Moorby, Mariecia Fraser, Gordon Allison, Joachim Kopka

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

20 Citations (SciVal)

Abstract

Little is known about how plant biochemistry influences the grazing behavior of animals consuming heterogeneous plant communities. The biochemical profiles of grassland species are mostly restricted to major nutritional characteristics, although recent developments in analytical techniques and data analysis have made possible the detailed analysis of minor components that may influence animal feeding preferences, performance, and health. In the present study, gas chromatography coupled with time-of-flight mass spectrometry (GC-TOF/MS) was used to profile the abundances of metabolites in nine specific heathland plant groups and in three mixed forage diets containing 10, 20, or 30% heather (Calluna vulgaris) and also in plasma and feces from sheep offered one of the three diets. Statistical and chemometric approaches, that is, principal component analysis (PCA) and hierarchical cluster analysis (HCA), were used to discriminate between these diets and between individual animals maintained on these diets. It is shown that GC-TOF/MS analysis of sheep plasma allowed distinction between the very similar diets by PCA and HCA, and, moreover, the plant metabolites responsible for the differences observed have been identified. Furthermore, metabolite markers of herbage mixtures and individual plant groups have been identified, and markers have been detected in sheep plasma and feces.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)1129-1138
Number of pages10
JournalJournal of Agricultural and Food Chemistry
Volume55
Issue number4
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - 21 Feb 2007
Externally publishedYes

Keywords

  • ruminant nutrition
  • HERBIVORE DIETS
  • GC-TOF/MS
  • CHAIN FATTY ALCOHOLS
  • N-ALKANES
  • COMPOSITION MARKERS
  • METABONOMIC TECHNIQUES
  • diet composition
  • SAMPLES
  • FECAL NIRS EQUATIONS
  • BOTANICAL COMPOSITION
  • IDENTIFICATION
  • STEERS
  • metabolite markers
  • Ruminant nutrition
  • Diet composition
  • Metabolite markers
  • Calluna/chemistry
  • Diet/veterinary
  • Poaceae/chemistry
  • Feces/chemistry
  • Plants/chemistry
  • Sheep/blood
  • Animals
  • Animal Nutritional Physiological Phenomena
  • Gas Chromatography-Mass Spectrometry/methods

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