Metabolomics by Proton High-Resolution Magic-Angle-Spinning Nuclear Magnetic Resonance of Tomato Plants Treated with Two Secondary Metabolites Isolated from Trichoderma

Trichoderma fungi release 6-pentyl-2H-pyran-2-one (1) and harzianic acid (2) secondary metabolites to improve plant growth and health protection. We isolated metabolites 1 and 2 from Trichoderma strains, whose different concentrations were used to treat seeds of Solanum lycopersicum. The metabolic profile in the resulting 15 day old tomato leaves was studied by high-resolution magic-angle-spinning nuclear magnetic resonance (HRMAS NMR) spectroscopy directly on the whole samples without any preliminary extraction. Principal component analysis (PCA) of HRMAS NMR showed significantly enhanced acetylcholine and γ-aminobutyric acid (GABA) content accompanied by variable amount of amino acids in samples treated with both Trichoderma secondary metabolites. Seed germination rates, seedling fresh weight, and the metabolome of tomato leaves were also dependent upon doses of metabolites 1 and 2 treatments. HRMAS NMR spectroscopy was proven to represent a rapid and reliable technique for evaluating specific changes in the metabolome of plant leaves and calibrating the best concentration of bioactive compounds required to stimulate plant growth.