Summary: We present ProbMetab, an R package that promotes substantial improvement in automatic probabilistic liquid chromatography–mass spectrometry-based metabolome annotation. The inference engine core is based on a Bayesian model implemented to (i) allow diverse source of experimental data and metadata to be systematically incorporated into the model with alternative ways to calculate the likelihood function and (ii) allow sensitive selection of biologically meaningful biochemical reaction databases as Dirichlet-categorical prior distribution. Additionally, to ensure result interpretation by system biologists, we display the annotation in a network where observed mass peaks are connected if their candidate metabolites are substrate/product of known biochemical reactions. This graph can be overlaid with other graph-based analysis, such as partial correlation networks, in a visualization scheme exported to Cytoscape, with web and stand-alone versions.
Availability and implementation: ProbMetab was implemented in a modular manner to fit together with established upstream (xcms, CAMERA, AStream, mzMatch.R, etc) and downstream R package tools (GeneNet, RCytoscape, DiffCorr, etc). ProbMetab, along with extensive documentation and case studies, is freely available under GNU license at: http://labpib.fmrp.usp.br/methods/probmetab/.
Supplementary data are available at Bioinformatics online.