Expanding the : C.A. Rees et al.Klebsiella pneumoniae: C.A. Rees et al. volatile metabolome using advanced analytical instrumentation for the detection of novel metabolites: C.A. Rees et al.

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The purpose of this study was to identify the volatile molecules produced by the pathogenic Gram-negative bacterium Klebsiella pneumoniae (ATCC 13883) during in vitro growth using comprehensive two-dimensional gas chromatography coupled to time-of-flight mass spectrometry (GC×GC-TOFMS).

Methods and Results

Klebsiella pneumoniae ATCC 13883 was incubated in lysogeny broth to mid-exponential and stationary growth phases. Headspace volatile molecules from culture supernatants were concentrated using solid-phase microextraction (SPME) and analysed via GC×GC-TOFMS. Ninety-two K. pneumoniae-associated volatile molecules were detected, of which 78 (85%) were detected at both phases of growth and 14 (15%) were detected at either mid-exponential or stationary growth phases.


This study has increased the total number of reported K. pneumoniae-associated volatile molecules from 77 to 150, demonstrating the sensitivity and resolution achieved by employing GC×GC-TOFMS for the analysis of bacterial headspace volatiles.

Significance and Impact of the Study

This study represents an early-stage comprehensive volatile metabolomic analysis of an opportunistic bacterial pathogen. Characterizing the volatile molecules produced by K. pneumoniae during in vitro growth could provide us with a better understanding of this organisms’ metabolism, an area that has not been extensively studied to date.

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