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Method|28 Feb 2023|OPEN
High-throughput analysis of anthocyanins in horticultural crops using probe electrospray ionization tandem mass spectrometry (PESI/MS/MS)
Misaki Ishibashi1,2 , , Kei Zaitsu3 , Ikue Yoshikawa1 , Shungo Otagaki1,4 and Shogo Matsumoto1 , Akira Oikawa2 , Katsuhiro Shiratake,1 ,
1Graduate School of Bioagricultural Sciences, Nagoya University, Chikusa, Nagoya, Aichi 464-8601, Japan
2Graduate School of Agriculture, Kyoto University, Sakyo, Kyoto 606-8502, Japan
3Faculty of Biology-Oriented Science and Technology, Kindai University, Nishimitani, Kinokawa, Wakayama 649-6493, Japan
4Faculty of Agriculture, Meijo University, Tenpaku, Nagoya, Aichi 468-8502, Japan
*Corresponding author. E-mail:,

Horticulture Research 10,
Article number: uhad039 (2023)
Views: 232

Received: 13 Sep 2022
Accepted: 23 Feb 2023
Published online: 28 Feb 2023


Plant secondary metabolites exhibit various horticultural traits. Simple and rapid analysis methods for evaluating these metabolites are in demand in breeding and consumer markets dealing with horticultural crops. We applied probe electrospray ionization (PESI) to evaluate secondary metabolite levels in horticultural crops. PESI does not require pre-treatment and separation of samples, which makes it suitable for high-throughput analysis. In this study, we targeted anthocyanins, one of the primary pigments in horticultural crops. Eighty-one anthocyanins were detected in approximately 3 minutes in the selected reaction-monitoring mode. Tandem mass spectrometry (MS/MS) could adequately distinguish between the fragments of anthocyanins and flavonols. Probe sampling, an intuitive method of sticking a probe directly to the sample, could detect anthocyanins qualitatively on a micro-area scale, such as achenes and receptacles in strawberry fruit. Our results suggest that PESI/MS/MS can be a powerful tool to characterize the profile of anthocyanins and compare their content among cultivars.