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Title: Comparative Evaluation of Preprocessing Freeware on Chromatography/Mass Spectrometry Data for Signature Discovery

Preprocessing software is crucial for the discovery of chemical signatures in metabolomics, chemical forensics, and other signature-focused disciplines that involve analyzing large data sets from chemical instruments. Here, four freely available and published preprocessing tools known as metAlign, MZmine, SpectConnect, and XCMS were evaluated for impurity profiling using nominal mass GC/MS data and accurate mass LC/MS data. Both data sets were previously collected from the analysis of replicate samples from multiple stocks of a nerve-agent precursor. Each of the four tools had their parameters set for the untargeted detection of chromatographic peaks from impurities present in the stocks. The peak table generated by each preprocessing tool was analyzed to determine the number of impurity components detected in all replicate samples per stock. A cumulative set of impurity components was then generated using all available peak tables and used as a reference to calculate the percent of component detections for each tool, in which 100% indicated the detection of every component. For the nominal mass GC/MS data, metAlign performed the best followed by MZmine, SpectConnect, and XCMS with detection percentages of 83, 60, 47, and 42%, respectively. For the accurate mass LC/MS data, the order was metAlign, XCMS, and MZmine withmore » detection percentages of 80, 45, and 35%, respectively. SpectConnect did not function for the accurate mass LC/MS data. Larger detection percentages were obtained by combining the top performer with at least one of the other tools such as 96% by combining metAlign with MZmine for the GC/MS data and 93% by combining metAlign with XCMS for the LC/MS data. In terms of quantitative performance, the reported peak intensities had average absolute biases of 41, 4.4, 1.3 and 1.3% for SpectConnect, metAlign, XCMS, and MZmine, respectively, for the GC/MS data. For the LC/MS data, the average absolute biases were 22, 4.5, and 3.1% for metAlign, MZmine, and XCMS, respectively. In summary, metAlign performed the best in terms of peak discovery; however, more than one preprocessing tool should be considered to avoid missing potential chemical signatures.« less
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Journal Article
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Journal Name: Journal of Chromatography A, 1358:155-164
Research Org:
Pacific Northwest National Laboratory (PNNL), Richland, WA (US)
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Country of Publication:
United States
chemical forensics, chemometrics