GCRF Underutilised Plants of Tropical Africa Hub
Turning plant diversity in Sub-Saharan Africa into an economic resource for community livelihoods.
I manage Kew’s metabolomic facilities employed by researchers to profile the small molecules produced by plants and fungi and identify target compounds. Data acquired on these metabolites are used to investigate ecological interactions between organisms, authenticate traded extracts, discover new uses for plants and fungi, and map the evolution of chemical traits.
The facilities are centred around an ultra high resolution liquid chromatograph interfaced with a high resolution serial mass spectrometer, a gas chromatograph-mass spectrometer with thermal desorption capability, and a 400 MHz nuclear magnetic resonance spectrometer. These are supported by several other instrumental chromatography and detection systems.
I am particularly interested in the challenge of developing mass spectrometry techniques to rapidly and confidently identify some of the estimated one million metabolites produced by plants and fungi.
Kite, G.C., Hetterscheid, W.L.A. (2017)
Phytochemistry 142: 126-142. Available online
Kite, G. C., Rowe, E.R., Veitch, N. C., Turner, J. E. & Dauncey, E. A. (2013)
Journal of Chromatography B 915-916: 21-27. Available online
Kite, G. C. & Veitch, N. C. (2011)
Rapid Communications in Mass Spectrometry 25: 2579–2590. Available online
Kite, G. C., Green, P. W. C, Veitch, N. C, Groves, M. C., Gasson, P. E. & Simmonds, M. S. J. (2010)
Phytochemistry 71: 1122-1131. Available online
Kite, G. C., Porter, E. A. & Simmonds, M. S. J. (2007)
Journal of Chromatography A 1148: 177–183. Available online