Moving beyond the van Krevelen Diagram: A New Stoichiometric Approach for Compound Classification in Organisms Academic Article uri icon

abstract

  • van Krevelen diagrams (O/C vs H/C ratios of elemental formulas) have been widely used in studies to obtain an estimation of the main compound categories present in environmental samples. However, the limits defining a specific compound category based solely on O/C and H/C ratios of elemental formulas have never been accurately listed or proposed to classify metabolites in biological samples. Furthermore, while O/C vs H/C ratios of elemental formulas can provide an overview of the compound categories, such classification is inefficient because of the large overlap among different compound categories along both axes. We propose a more accurate compound classification for biological samples analyzed by high-resolution mass spectrometry based on an assessment of the C/H/O/N/P stoichiometric ratios of over 130 000 elemental formulas of compounds classified in 6 main categories: lipids, peptides, amino sugars, carbohydrates, nucleotides, and phytochemical compounds (oxy-aromatic compounds). Our multidimensional stoichiometric compound classification (MSCC) constraints showed a highly accurate categorization of elemental formulas to the main compound categories in biological samples with over 98% of accuracy representing a substantial improvement over any classification based on the classic van Krevelen diagram. This method represents a signficant step forward in environmental research, especially ecological stoichiometry and eco-metabolomics studies, by providing a novel and robust tool to improve our understanding of the ecosystem structure and function through the chemical characterization of biological samples.

author list (cited authors)

  • Rivas-Ubach, A., Liu, Y., Bianchi, T. S., Tolić, N., Jansson, C., & Paša-Tolić, L.

publication date

  • January 1, 2018 11:11 AM