Comparative analysis of the volatile metabolomes of Pseudomonas aeruginosa clinical isolates

Heather Bean, Christiaan A. Rees, Jane E. Hill

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52 Scopus citations


Pseudomonas aeruginosa is a nearly ubiquitous Gram-negative organism, well known to occupy a multitude of environmental niches and cause human infections at a variety of bodily sites, due to its metabolic flexibility, secondary to extensive genetic heterogeneity at the species level. Because of its dynamic metabolism and clinical importance, we sought to perform a comparative analysis on the volatile metabolome (the 'volatilome') produced by P. aeruginosa clinical isolates. In this study, we analyzed the headspace volatile molecules of 24 P. aeruginosa clinical isolates grown in vitro, using 2D gas chromatography time-of-flight mass spectrometry (GCGC-TOFMS). We identified 391 non-redundant compounds that we associate with the growth and metabolism of P. aeruginosa (the 'pan-volatilome'). Of these, 70 were produced by all 24 isolates (the 'core volatilome'), 52 by only a single isolate, and the remaining 269 volatile molecules by a subset. Sixty-five of the detected compounds could be assigned putative compound identifications, of which 43 had not previously been associated with P. aeruginosa. Using the accessory volatile molecules, we determined the inter-strain variation in the metabolomes of these isolates, clustering strains by their metabotypes. Assessing the extent of metabolomic diversity in P. aeruginosa through an analysis of the volatile molecules that it produces is a critical next step in the identification of novel diagnostic or prognostic biomarkers.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Article number047102
JournalJournal of Breath Research
Issue number4
StatePublished - Nov 21 2016


  • Pseudomonas aeruginosa
  • bacterial infections, biomarkers
  • comparative metabolomics

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Pulmonary and Respiratory Medicine


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