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Article|19 Dec 2023|OPEN
A metabolomics study in citrus provides insight into bioactive phenylpropanoid metabolism
Shouchuang Wang1,2 ,† , Shuangqian Shen1,2 ,† , Chao Wang1 ,† , Xia Wang3 , Chenkun Yang1 , Shen Zhou1 , Ran Zhang1 , Qianqian Zhou4 , Huiwen Yu3 , Hao Guo1 , Weikang Zheng3 , Xianqing Liu1 , Juan Xu3 and Xiuxin Deng3 , Qiang Xu3 , Jie Luo,1,2 ,
1Sanya Nanfan Research Institute, Hainan University, Sanya, 572025, China
2Yazhouwan National Laboratory, Sanya 572025, China
3National Key Laboratory for Germplasm Innovation & Utilization of Horticultural Crops, Huazhong Agricultural University, Wuhan 430070, China
4National Key Laboratory of Crop Genetic Improvement and National Center of Plant Gene Research, Huazhong Agricultural University, Wuhan 430070, China
*Corresponding author. E-mail:
Shouchuang Wang and Shuangqian Shen,Chao Wang contributed equally to the study.

Horticulture Research 11,
Article number: uhad267 (2024)
Views: 61

Received: 11 Oct 2023
Accepted: 01 Dec 2023
Published online: 19 Dec 2023


Citrus fruits are widely consumed worldwide in juices or as fresh and provide a broad range of phytonutrients that are important for human health. Here, a citrus multi-omics resource is presented: comprehensive metabolic profiling of various citrus species was performed and metabolic profiles were compared among species, with a focus on the phenylpropanoid metabolic pathway. A metabolite-based genome-wide association analysis (mGWAS) of 154 pummelo accessions was performed using factored spectrally transformed linear mixed models (FaST-LMM) and efficient mixed-model association eXpedited (EMMAX), and the genetic and biochemical basis of metabolomic variation was comprehensively analysed. A metabolite-single nucleotide polymorphism-gene (metabolite-SNP-gene) interaction network was constructed for pummelo, and many candidate loci controlling the synthesis and regulation of bioactive compounds were identified; among these loci, three BAHD malonyltransferases were involved in the malonylation of flavonoid glycosides. Further investigation revealed that an R2R3-MYB transcription factor CgMYB1 positively controls the metabolism of phenylpropanoid molecules, particularly the flavonoid derivatives. This study provides valuable data resources on the metabolic regulatory networks of bioactive components in citrus, in addition to demonstrating an efficient method for metabolic pathway dissection and providing targets for future breeding work with the aim of improving nutritional value.