1H-Nuclear Magnetic Resonance Metabolomics Study of Perfluoroalkyl Substance Exposure on the Metabolic Profile of Arabidopsis thaliana

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O'Hara, Liam

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University of Guelph


This thesis investigates the use of proton (1H) nuclear magnetic resonance (NMR) spectroscopy for non-targeted metabolomics to measure the metabolic response of Arabidopsis thaliana exposed to PFAS. The metabolic response of model plant species A. thaliana exposed to the common PFAS compounds perfluorooctanoic acid (PFOA) and perfluorooctanesulfonic acid (PFOS) is observed using 1H-NMR-based non-targeted metabolomics. Polar metabolites are extracted from the leaf tissue of A. thaliana using a biphasic extraction and analyzed using 1H-NMR, followed by multivariate statistical analysis using principal component analysis (PCA) to determine the changes in the metabolic profile efficiently and reproducibility. Exposure to high concentrations of PFAS results in changes in the physiological appearance and large changes in metabolic profile. At lower, more environmentally relevant concentrations, exposure to PFAS results in no change in the physiological state of A. thaliana though changes are observed in the metabolic profile.



metabolomics, nuclear magnetic resonance, arabidopsis thaliana, perfluorooctanoic acid, perfluorooctane sulfonic acid, non-targeted