Untargeted metabolomic analysis of Aureobasidium pullulans volatilome and its mechanistic investigation for the inhibition of plant pathogenic Botrytis cinerea and Alternaria alternata

Sashika Yalage Don, Christopher Steel, Joanna Gambetta, Leigh Schmidtke

Research output: Other contribution to conferencePosterpeer-review


Botrytis cinerea and Alternaria alternata are devastating fungal pathogens infecting horticultural crops worldwide. Microbial antagonists provide ecofriendly disease management alternatives to synthetic fungicides. Aureobasidium pullulans, a yeast-like fungus, utilises several antagonistic mechanisms including antifungal VOCs. This study quantitatively analysed the A. pullulans volatilome and associated antifungal mechanisms against B. cinerea and A. alternata in vitro to gain insights into potential biocontrol applications. Confrontation experiments using double Petri dish assays demonstrated that exposure to A. pullulans volatilome supresses pathogen growth. An untargeted metabolomic analysis of dual culture headspace utilising a novel setup to grow both antagonist and pathogen in a non-physical interactive space was undertaken using solid-phase microextraction-gas chromatography-mass spectrometry (SPME-GC-MS). Multivariate curve resolution-alternating least squares deconvolution of spectra revealed fourteen A. pullulans VOCs with five newly identified compounds from A. pullulans. Partial least squares discriminant analysis models using extracted peak areas from SPME-GC-MS profiles were used to discriminate samples class, and variables importance in projection scores and selectivity ratios identified important features associated with sample discrimination. Ethanol, 2-methyl-1-propanol, 3-methyl-1-butanol and 2-phenylethanol were high in discriminatory power. Ethanol was the most abundant VOC in A. pullulans headspace. Response surface modelling determined ethanol and 2-phenylethanol with significant (p<0.05) inhibitory effects against both pathogens. Fluorescence microscopic analysis using 2’,7’-dichlorofluorescein diacetate and mitochondrial respiratory chain (MRC) complex I inhibitor rotenone indicated that A. pullulans VOCs may target MRC complex I, leading to mitochondrial dysfunction and ROS accumulation in exposed mycelia. Insights from this study will assist in quantitative analysis of microbial VOCs in antagonist-pathogen interaction systems, strain selection and elucidation of antifungal mechanisms of microbial VOCs.


ConferenceMetabolomics 2021
OtherSave the Date! Metabolomics 2021 Online will take place June 22-24, 2021. Registration is now open!

We are excited to introduce Metabolomics 2021 Online, the second virtual conference that will take place from June 22-24, 2021. While we will not be meeting in person, I am confident that the caliber of our program this year will push the boundaries of our understanding in multiple domains of metabolomics research.

The conference will follow the general format that we instituted for Metabolomics 2020 Online, with the conference taking place in all time zones, enabling it to continue as a truly international event. We will open the conference with day 1 offering workshops on special interest topics, which has now become a tradition of our conference format. Days 2 and 3 will feature scientific sessions that will begin with a keynote speaker followed by talks selected from submitted abstracts and T the ability for viewers to ask questions, in order to maximize member interactions. For each of us, some talks will be at more convenient times than others because the conference will take place through many time zones. Fortunately, recorded talks will be available to access and watch later during the virtual event, so don’t worry about staying up all night to attend a talk you wanted to hear at 3 AM!

We will also host virtual poster sessions, networking opportunities, and special interest sessions that will include a town hall and early career member network meetings, among others. One thing that we can say is the plethora of virtual meetings over the last year has taught us much on how to effectively engage through virtual events and we will use this to our advantage. So get excited about Metabolomics 2021 Online! Registration fees for the meeting will be greatly reduced for all registered members of the Society.

Now is a great time to become a member of the Society! If you are already a member, then please go ahead and register for the meeting. I would also encourage you to submit an abstract to present your work at the conference, as we depend on each of you to hear about the latest in cutting-edge research. We look forward to seeing you virtually at Metabolomics 2021 Online.
Internet address


Dive into the research topics of 'Untargeted metabolomic analysis of Aureobasidium pullulans volatilome and its mechanistic investigation for the inhibition of plant pathogenic Botrytis cinerea and Alternaria alternata'. Together they form a unique fingerprint.

Cite this