The diversity of quinoa morphological traits and seed metabolic composition

Iman Tabatabaei, Saleh Alseekh, Mohammad Shahid, Ewa Leniak, Mateusz Wagner, Henda Mahmoudi, Sumitha Thushar, Alisdair R. Fernie, Kevin M. Murphy, Sandra M. Schmöckel, Mark A. Tester, Bernd Mueller-Roeber, Aleksandra Skirycz, Salma Balazadeh

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

14 Scopus citations


Quinoa (Chenopodium quinoa Willd.) is an herbaceous annual crop of the amaranth family (Amaranthaceae). It is increasingly cultivated for its nutritious grains, which are rich in protein and essential amino acids, lipids, and minerals. Quinoa exhibits a high tolerance towards various abiotic stresses including drought and salinity, which supports its agricultural cultivation under climate change conditions. The use of quinoa grains is compromised by anti-nutritional saponins, a terpenoid class of secondary metabolites deposited in the seed coat; their removal before consumption requires extensive washing, an economically and environmentally unfavorable process; or their accumulation can be reduced through breeding. In this study, we analyzed the seed metabolomes, including amino acids, fatty acids, and saponins, from 471 quinoa cultivars, including two related species, by liquid chromatography – mass spectrometry. Additionally, we determined a large number of agronomic traits including biomass, flowering time, and seed yield. The results revealed considerable diversity between genotypes and provide a knowledge base for future breeding or genome editing of quinoa.
Original languageEnglish (US)
JournalScientific data
Issue number1
StatePublished - Jun 20 2022

Bibliographical note

KAUST Repository Item: Exported on 2022-06-22
Acknowledgements: Open Access funding enabled and organized by Projekt DEAL. S.B. thanks the Federal Ministry of Education and Research of Germany (BMBF) and the Arab-German Young Academy of Sciences and Humanities (AGYA) for funding of two Research Mobility Program grants to Dubai, United Arab Emirates, which allowed establishing the research reported here. B.M.-R. thanks the University of Potsdam, and S.B. thanks the Max Planck Institute of Molecular Plant Physiology for financial support. A.R.F. and B.M.-R. thank the European Union’s Horizon 2020 Research and Innovation Programme, project PlantaSYST (SGA-CSA No. 739582 under FPA No. 664620) for funding. All authors are very grateful to Rostyslav Braginets and Dirk Walther from the Max Planck Institute of Molecular Plant Physiology, Potsdam, for their great help in uploading the metabolomics data to the MetaboLights database.


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