Towards improved analytical competences of Master students in plant breeding: introduction of a practical session on the volatile fraction

Autores UPV
Año
CONGRESO Towards improved analytical competences of Master students in plant breeding: introduction of a practical session on the volatile fraction

Abstract

Chemical analysis is increasingly important for plant sciences, and particularly in plant breeding and genomics. To quantifying the levels of specific compounds with biological relevance, as well as metabolomic studies, are essential to understand the diversity and the inheritance of agronomic traits in plants. Therefore, a Master degree in plant sciences should provide students with the competence to use advanced instrumental techniques for chemical analysis. Our Institute offers a Master degree in Plant Breeding, for which several subjects require the support of analytical methods. To optimize the efforts of students during the learning process, it is essential that theoretical lessons are put into practice in practical sessions. Therefore, the knowledge of advanced analytical techniques is of paramount importance for a precise evaluation of the main volatile compounds, which increases the efficiency of breeding programs aimed to the improvement of aroma and flavor of fruits and vegetables. In the present work, we propose the introduction of a high-technology practical session in the mandatory subject ¿Instrumental Techniques¿: the analysis of the volatile fraction, by means of gas chromatography-mass spectrometry (GC-MS) facilities. For this practical lesson, peppers and related species (Capsicum sp.) will be used as they show a plethora o aromas and volatile compounds. The lesson is divided into two sessions and includes the different steps of the analysis, including the preparation of the sample and extraction (head space solid phase microextration, HS-SPME), programming the GC temperature regime and obtaining the chromatogram. In the second lesson, chromatogram peaks will be identified by means of MS library and chemical standards. This lesson allows students to acquire the competence for the use of a high-technology chemical analysis system (HS-SPME extraction and GC-MS analysis) as well as to study results and deal with real problems that they can learn how to fix. As a result, with this session our Plant Breeding Master students enhance their competence for chemical analysis for compounds of interest to develop new cultivars. Moreover this practical session can be adapted to the study and genetic improvement of many other vegetables of fruits, raw or processed, and may be also useful for students from plant sciences or food technology.