Stable isotope labeling restricts the number of possible chemical formulae for measured mass values in metabolomics datasets. All panels show a distribution of chemically representative unique masses in chemical space. In panel (A) HR2 was used to calculate the proportion of these unique masses having either no mass degeneracy (black) within (at 5 ppm), masses having a single mass degeneracy (blue), or two or more mass degeneracies (red). Panels (B) and (C) show how specifying points in chemical space by not only the exact mass, but also C atom counts and N atom counts as determined by stable isotopic labeling, affects the degeneracy. Panel (B) uses HR2 to estimate the degeneracy, while in (C) Brute Force is used.
Bowen et al. BMC Genomics 2011 12(Suppl 1):S6 doi:10.1186/1471-2164-12-S1-S6