Metabolomics is the analysis of small molecule metabolites in the biological system. In plant-based metabolomics, it is common to refer to "primary" and "secondary" metabolites. Metabolism is a powerful tool that together with genomics (high-throughput DNA sequencing), proteomics (protein profiling) and transcriptomics (gene expression profiling) can give an understanding of the complex molecular interactions in biological systems.

In our labs, metabolomics is used for studying plants at the molecular level and to characterize the metabolome of plants under specific conditions. We work on different plants, moss and microorganisms and use liquid and gas chromatography as well as mass spectrometry to study both primary and secondary metabolites. Our research topics include:

  • High value compounds: high-value terpenoids with pharmacological or biological activity, yet with limited natural sources.
  • Bioactive compounds - Cyanogenic glucosides: this includes elucidation of the biosynthesis and turn-over of selected bioactive natural products (secondary metabolites) in plants and studies of the assembly of the pathways within metabolons.
  • Bioengineering and dynamic molecular interactions: addressing basic biological questions using the model plant Arabidopsis thaliana and its primary defense compounds, glucosinolates, as a powerful model system.
  • Carbohydrate and Phosphate Metabolism: assimilation, flux and storage of carbon and phosphate to identify and characterize key elements of regulatory mechanisms and enzyme reactions which determine the flow of carbon and nutrients in plants.

The metabolomics facilities is a collaboration between the DynaMo Center, the Section for Molecular Plant Biology and the Section for Plant Biochemistry at the Department of Plant and Environmental Sciences.

Technical specification
Our metabolomics facilities include the following equipment:

Analytical HPLC-UV-DAD&FLD&ELSD Shimadzu Prominence
This HPLC is equipped with three different kind of detectors and is used for quantification of known compounds.

DynaMo Metabolomics Facility
At the DynaMo Center are two state-of-the-art LC-MS instruments for metabolomic analysis of small molecules and peptides: a high performance Triple Quadrupole Mass Spectrometer and a Q-TOF Mass Spectrometer.

This hybrid quadrupole-time of flight instrument is ideal for structure elucidation.

GC-FID Bruker 436
The GC-FID Bruker 436 is dedicated to quantitative analysis of known compounds and it is especially suitable for fatty acids analysis.

GC-MS Shimadzu QP-2010 Plus
These two single quadrupole instruments are dedicated to routine low resolutionGC-MS qualitative and quantitative analyses of volatile and semi-volatile organic compounds.

The GC-QqQ Bruker SCION is capable of full scan, single ion monitoring, multiple reaction and neutral loss for highest selectivity and sensitivity in ultracomplex samples.

Preparative and Analytical GC-MS Agilent 5977A
This instrument is dedicated to the purification of volatile and semi-volatile organic compounds.

Preparative HPLC-UV-DAD Shimadzu Prominence
This HPLC is equipped with an Ultraviolet/Visible Diode Array Detector and is used for purification of known compounds.


Terms of use:
The facilities are used by the core staff but are also available for external partners by appointment with David Pattison

Department of Plant and Environmental Sciences, Thorvaldsensvej 40, 1871 Frederiksberg C.