Assessment of greenhouse tomato anthesis rate through metabolomics

While the high year-round production of tomatoes has been facilitated by solar greenhouse cultivation, these yields readily fluctuate in response to changing environmental conditions. Mathematic modeling has been applied to forecast phenotypes of tomatoes using environmental measurements (e.g., temperature) as indirect parameters.

In this study, metabolome data, as direct parameters reflecting plant internal status, were used to construct a predictive model of the anthesis rate of greenhouse tomatoes. Metabolome data were obtained from tomato leaves and used as variables for linear regression with the least absolute shrinkage and selection operator (LASSO) for prediction. The constructed model accurately predicted the anthesis rate, with an R ² value of 0.85. Twenty-nine of the 161 metabolites were selected as candidate markers. The selected metabolites were further validated for their association with anthesis rates using the different metabolome datasets.

To assess the importance of the selected metabolites in cultivation, the relationships between the metabolites and cultivation conditions were analyzed via correspondence analysis. Trigonelline, whose content did not exhibit a diurnal rhythm, displayed major contributions to the cultivation, and is thus a potential metabolic marker for predicting the anthesis rate. This study demonstrates that machine learning can be applied to metabolome data to identify metabolites indicative of agricultural traits.

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Siriwach, Ratklao & Matsuzaki, Jun & Saito, Takeshi & Nishimura, Hiroshi & Isozaki, Masahide & Isoyama, Yosuke & Sato, Muneo & Arita, Masanori & Akaho, Shotaro & Higashide, Tadahisa & Yano, Kentaro & Hirai, Masami. (2022). Assessment of Greenhouse Tomato Anthesis Rate Through Metabolomics Using LASSO Regularized Linear Regression Model. Frontiers in Molecular Biosciences. 9. 10.3389/fmolb.2022.839051

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