The infection of Capsicum annuum cv. mirasol by Candidatus Phytoplasma trifolii (16SrVI) causes devastating crop losses in northern Mexico. This study addresses the metabolomics profiling of mirasol chili peppers (Capsicum annuum cv. mirasol) infected by Candidatus Phytoplasma trifolii. For this study, 25 diseased fruits and 25 healthy fruits were used. Principal component analysis (PCA) and orthogonal projections to latent structures discriminant analysis (OPLS-DA) revealed dramatic changes in the content of 42 metabolites which were identified in diseased and healthy mirasol chili peppers. The endogenous levels of fructose, glucose and formic acid were substantially decreased in the diseased chili peppers. In the same group of samples, high concentrations of alanine, asparagine, fumaric acid, sucrose and threonine were observed. The content of Choline didńt present a significant difference. This evidence supports the fact that Candidatus Phytoplasma trifolii infection reduces de CO2 fixation into carbohydrates, decreases invertase activity, and inhibits glycolysis in the diseased plant tissues. The levels of ascorbic acid, capsaicin and dihydrocapsaicinin in diseased fruits were dramatically decreased, suggesting that Candidatus Phytoplasma trifolii can reduce the pungency and the nutraceutical value of mirasol chili peppers.
- Candidatus Phytoplasma trifolii
- Capsicum annuum cv. mirasol
- Metabolomic fingerprinting
- Multivariate analysis
- Nuclear magnetic resonance spectroscopy