Metabolome Analysis of Gram-Positive Bacteria such as Staphylococcus aureus by GC-MS and LC-MS

  • Manuel LiebekeEmail author
  • Kirsten Dörries
  • Hanna Meyer
  • Michael Lalk
Part of the Methods in Molecular Biology book series (MIMB, volume 815)


The field of metabolomics has become increasingly important in the context of functional genomics. Together with other ”omics“ data, the investigation of the metabolome is an essential part of systems biology. Beside the analysis of human and animal biofluids, the investigation of the microbial physiology by methods of metabolomics has gained increased attention. For example, the analysis of metabolic processes during growth or virulence factor expression is crucially important to understand pathogenesis of bacteria. Common bioanalytical techniques for metabolome analysis include liquid and gas chromatographic methods coupled to mass spectrometry (LC-MS and GC-MS) and spectroscopic approaches such as NMR. In order to achieve metabolome data representing the physiological status of a microorganism, well-verified protocols for sampling and analysis are necessary. This chapter presents a detailed protocol for metabolome analysis of the Gram-positive bacterium Staphylococcus aureus. A detailed manual for cell sampling and metabolite extraction is given, followed by the description of the analytical procedures GC-MS and LC-MS. The advantages and limitations of each experimental setup are discussed. Here, a guideline specified for S. aureus metabolomics and information for important protocol steps are presented, to avoid common pitfalls in microbial metabolome analysis.

Key words

Metabolomics Liquid chromatography Gas chromatography Mass spectrometry Bacteria Staphylococcus aureus Energy charge Protocol Sampling Ion-pairing 


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Copyright information

© Springer Science+Business Media, LLC 2012

Authors and Affiliations

  • Manuel Liebeke
    • 1
    Email author
  • Kirsten Dörries
    • 2
  • Hanna Meyer
    • 3
  • Michael Lalk
    • 3
  1. 1.Biomolecular Medicine, Department of Surgery and CancerFaculty of Medicine, Imperial College LondonLondonUK
  2. 2.Institute of PharmacyErnst-Moritz-Arndt-University GreifswaldGreifswaldGermany
  3. 3.Institute of Pharmacy, Interfaculty Institute for Genetics and Functional GenomicsUniversity of GreifswaldGreifswaldGermany

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