Nontargeted metabolomic analysis and multiple criteria decision-making method induced robust quality markers screening for the authentication of herbal medicines from different origins by taking Ophiopogon japonicus (L. f.) Ker-Gawl. as a case study.


Jin X(1)(2), Zhang J(1), Li Y(1), Wu W(1)(2), Zhang H(1)(2), Yao C(1), Wei W(1), Yao S(1), Huang Y(1), Qu H(1), Guo DA(1)(2).
Author information:
(1)Shanghai Research Center for Modernization of Traditional Chinese Medicine, National Engineering Laboratory for TCM Standardization Technology, Shanghai Institute of Materia Medica, Chinese Academy of Sciences, Haike Road 501, Shanghai, 201203, P. R. China.
(2)University of Chinese Academy of Sciences, No.19A Yuquan Road, Beijing, 100049, P. R. China.


A key segment in medicinal plant authentication is the establishment of quality markers that embody the intrinsic metabolites difference independent of instruments and experiment conditions. A strategy integrating nontargeted metabolomics and multicriteria decision-making model for robust quality markers discovery is presented and applied to authenticate Ophiopogon japonicus (L. f.) Ker-Gawl. First, an ultra-performance liquid chromatography/quadrupole time-of-flight MSE approach was established for global metabolites profiling and identification. Second, multivariate statistical analysis was performed to explore potential quality markers of different origins of ophiopogonis radix. Third, potential quality markers were ordered and filtered by multicriteria decision-making model to infer robust quality markers and further validated in different instruments and experiment conditions by validation model. Fourth, the validation model using the robust quality markers managed to discriminate the origins of ophiopogonis radix samples procured from the herbal markets. Consequently, two robust quality markers, cixi-ophiopogon B and ophiopogonin D, were discovered and further validated on different instruments and experiment conditions. This integrated strategy provided a practical solution for reliable and convenient authentication of geo-authentic herb.