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Publications - Stress and Develop Biology

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Hummel, J.; Strehmel, N.; Bölling, C.; Schmidt, S.; Walther D.; Kopka, J. Mass spectral search and analysis using the Golm metabolome. (Weckwerth, W.; Kahl, G.). 321-343, (2013) ISBN: 978-3-527-32777-5 DOI: 10.1002/9783527669882.ch18

The novel “omics” technologies of the postgenomic era generate large multiplexed phenotyping datasets, which can only inadequately be published in the traditional journal and supplemental formats. For this reason, public databases have been developed that utilize the efficient communication of knowledge through the World Wide Web. This trend also applies to the metabolomics field, which is, after genomics, transcriptomics, and proteomics, the fourth major systems-level phenotyping platform. Each different analytical technology used in metabolomics studies requires specific reference data for metabolite identification and optimal data formats for reporting the complex metabolite profiling data features. Therefore, we envision that every technology platform or even each high-throughput metabolomic laboratory will establish dedicated databases, which will communicate between each other and will be integrated by meta-databases and web services. The Golm Metabolome Database (GMD) (http://gmd.mpimp-golm.mpg.de/) is a metabolomic database, maintained by the Max Planck Institute of Molecular Plant Physiology, that was initiated around a nucleus of reference data from gas chromatography–mass spectrometry metabolite profiling data and is now developing toward a general mass spectrometry-based repository of reference metabolite profiles for essential plant tissues and typical variations of growth conditions. This chapter describes the mass spectral searches and analyses currently supported by the GMD. We specifically address the searches for the different chemical entities within GMD, namely the metabolites, reference substances, and the chemically derivatized analytes. We report the diverse options for mass spectral analyses and highlight the decision tree-supported prediction of chemical substructures, a feature of GMD that currently appears to be a unique among the many tools for the analysis of gas chromatography–electron ionization mass spectra.

Horbach, R.; Navarro-Quesada, A. R.; Knogge, W.; Deising, H. B. When and how to kill a plant cell: Infection strategies of plant pathogenic fungi. J Plant Physiol 168, 51-62, (2011) DOI: 10.1016/j.jplph.2010.06.014

Fungi cause severe diseases on a broad range of crop and ornamental plants, leading to significant economical losses. Plant pathogenic fungi exhibit a huge variability in their mode of infection, differentiation and function of infection structures and nutritional strategy. In this review, advances in understanding mechanisms of biotrophy, necrotrophy and hemibiotrophic lifestyles are described. Special emphasis is given to the biotrophy-necrotrophy switch of hemibiotrophic pathogens, and to biosynthesis, chemical diversity and mode of action of various fungal toxins produced during the infection process.

Baum, T.; Navarro-Quezada, A.; Knogge, W.; Douchkov, D.; Schweizer, P.; Seiffert, U. HyphArea—Automated analysis of spatiotemporal fungal patterns J Plant Physiol 168, 72-78, (2011) DOI: 10.1016/j.jplph.2010.08.004

In phytopathology quantitative measurements are rarely used to assess crop plant disease symptoms. Instead, a qualitative valuation by eye is often the method of choice. In order to close the gap between subjective human inspection and objective quantitative results, the development of an automated analysis system that is capable of recognizing and characterizing the growth patterns of fungal hyphae in micrograph images was developed. This system should enable the efficient screening of different host–pathogen combinations (e.g., barley—Blumeria graminis, barley—Rhynchosporium secalis) using different microscopy technologies (e.g., bright field, fluorescence). An image segmentation algorithm was developed for gray-scale image data that achieved good results with several microscope imaging protocols. Furthermore, adaptability towards different host–pathogen systems was obtained by using a classification that is based on a genetic algorithm. The developed software system was named HyphArea, since the quantification of the area covered by a hyphal colony is the basic task and prerequisite for all further morphological and statistical analyses in this context. By means of a typical use case the utilization and basic properties of HyphArea could be demonstrated. It was possible to detect statistically significant differences between the growth of an R. secalis wild-type strain and a virulence mutant.

Rasche, F.; Svatoš, A.; Maddula, R. K.; Böttcher, C.; Böcker, S. Computing Fragmentation Trees from Tandem Mass Spectrometry Data Anal Chem 83, 1243-1251, (2011) DOI: 10.1021/ac101825k

The structural elucidation of organic compounds in complex biofluids and tissues remains a significant analytical challenge. For mass spectrometry, the manual interpretation of collision-induced dissociation (CID) mass spectra is cumbersome and requires expert knowledge, as the fragmentation mechanisms of ions formed from small molecules are not completely understood. The automated identification of compounds is generally limited to searching in spectral libraries. Here, we present a method for interpreting the CID spectra of the organic compound’s protonated ions by computing fragmentation trees that establish not only the molecular formula of the compound and all fragment ions but also the dependencies between fragment ions. This is an important step toward the automated identification of unknowns from the CID spectra of compounds that are not in any database.
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