The metabolomics lab is equipped with state-of-the-art instrumentation for separations and metabolite detection/identification. The lab’s two main analytical platforms are CE-MS and GC-MS. For data analysis we have mass spectral libraries, an online relational database (EMIS), and specialist software for multivariate statistics.

Success stories & firsts

Notable success stories in the first years of the lab’s operation include:

  • First identification and quantification of peptides in soil (APCE 2011)
  • First comprehensive profiling of polar metabolites in the model tree species Eucalyptus (Plant, Cell and Environment 34: 1609–1629; Metabolomics DOI 10.1007/s11306-011-0299-y)
  • Discovery of two metabolites responsible for osmotic adjustment in Acacia spp. that were overlooked by the previous 30+ years of research (Plant, Cell and Environment 34: 1609–1629)
  • First GC-MS mass spectral database for methane and ammonia chemical ionization (Metabolomics DOI: 10.1007/s11306-011-0346-8)

Services available


Cost* ($AUD/sample) 

Targeted analysis of amino acids/amines (~25 common amino acids plus others on request)

Targeted analysis of carbohydrates (mono-, di- and tri-saccharides)  35
Targeted analysis of FAMES  please enquire
Untargeted metabolite profiling (amino acids, organic acids, sugars, sugar alcohols, sugar phosphates, cyclic sugars etc.)  45
Biomarker compounds (e.g. D/L amino acids, muramic acid, aminosugars, ergosterol)  please enquire



Profiling of cations

please enquire
Profiling of anions please enquire
MS and MS/MS of peptides please enquire
Metabolic fingerprinting by direct infusion MS please enquire

*Costs are indicative values applicable to academic customers with non-commercial samples. Minimum sample numbers apply. Costs are charged irrespective of results. Please e-mail Assoc Prof Charles Warren to find out more about services and costs.

Analytical workflow

A simplified generic workflow for untargeted metabolomics is shown in the figure below. Note that to obtain a broad coverage of the metabolome we commonly use multiple mass spectrometry platforms (e.g. GC-MS and CE-MS) in combination with multiple separation modes (e.g. CE-MS of anions, CE-MS of cations) and derivatization schemes.

generic metabolomics workflow

Metabolomics workflow (from Lee et al 2010 BioTechniques 49:557–565)