Rapid screening and identification of non-target flavonoid components in invasive weeds by LC/MS-IT-TOF
The paper presents a novel and universally applicable strategy to rapidly screen and identify non-target flavonoid components in invasive weeds by liquid chromatography hybrid ion trap time-of-flight mass spectrometry. This strategy consists of three steps of data processing including the diagnostic fragment ion (DFI) determination, the flavonoid component screening out based on the extracted ion chromatograms of DFIs and the final validation via manual fragment comparison. The main advantages of this strategy are the complete non-target or semi-target identification and simplifying the complicated procedures of structural characterization by rapidly classifying the peaks into well-known chemical families. The flavonoid identification strategy was validated to be very useful and powerful for the identification of flavonoid components in three invasive weeds Flaveria bidentis (L.) Kuntze, Mikania micrantha Kunth and Solanum rostratum Dunal. Using this approach, a total of 17 flavonoid components have been detected rapidly and identified in Flaveria bidentis (L.) Kuntze, ten of which were in accordance with those in our previous publication using manual analysis; moreover, 7 new flavonoid components were also detected. This developed strategy is highly efficient and would be widely applicable to the component identification of other complex matrices like biological, alimental or environmental sources.