Fully Automated Trimethylsilyl (TMS) Derivatisation Protocol for Metabolite Profiling by GC-MS
In this paper, automated sample preparation, retention time locked gas chromatography-mass spectrometry (GC-MS) and data analysis methods for the metabolomics study were evaluated. A miniaturized and automated derivatisation method using sequential oximation and silylation was applied to a polar extract of 4 types (2 types×2 ages) of Arabidopsis thaliana, a popular model organism often used in plant sciences and genetics. Automation of the derivatisation process offers excellent repeatability, and the time between sample preparation and analysis was short and constant, reducing artifact formation. Retention time locked (RTL) gas chromatography-mass spectrometry was used, resulting in reproducible retention times and GC-MS profiles. Two approaches were used for data analysis. XCMS followed by principal component analysis (approach 1) and AMDIS deconvolution combined with a commercially available program (Mass Profiler Professional) followed by principal component analysis (approach 2) were compared. Several features that were up- or down-regulated in the different types were detected.