Lloyd W. Sumner, PhD




MU Metabolomics Center

Contact Information

Email SumnerLW@missouri.edu
Phone 573-882-5486
Address 240D Bond Life Sciences Center
Websites Sumner Lab Website
MU Metabolomics Center
CV Download PDF


BS Chemistry Cameron University Lawton, Okla.
PhD Analytical Chemistry Oklahoma State University Stillwater, Okla.

Research Description

The research focus of the Sumner lab includes the development of cutting-edge technologies for large-scale biochemical profiling of plant metabolites (ie metabolomics) and integrating these with other omics data. These technologies are then applied in a symbiotic manner for plant gene discovery, gene characterization and the elucidation of mechanistic responses to external stimuli; especially related to plant specialized metabolism or plant natural products biosynthesis. Technology enables the biology and the biology drives technology development. Current technology development projects include the development of a sophisticated and integrated ensemble including UHPLC-MS-SPE-NMR for the systematic and biologically driven annotation of plant metabolomes. This suite of tools is being applied to better understand carbon sequestration in cell wall lignin and lipids. The Sumner lab is also currently using integrated metabolomics for the discovery and characterization of triterpene saponin biosynthetic genes in the model legume Medicago truncatula. We have proven success in using this technology for a better understanding of natural products including flavonoids, isoflavonoids, terpenoids, and waxes.

The Sumner lab has a long and proven history of productive collaboration and relocated to the University of Missouri in 2016 where they have also established a new University of Missouri Metabolomics Center (UMMC) to further enhance and enable additional collaborations. The UMMC provides regular training courses and continual educational opportunities for collaborators. The Sumner lab has also hosted approximately 19, one-week long, hands-on annual workshops that provided in-depth metabolomics and proteomics training for approximately 400 graduate students, postdocs, professional staff and faculty.  The Sumner lab has hosted a total of approximately 94 undergraduate, graduate, postdoctoral and visiting researchers over the years and welcomes the opportunity for more.   We are always interested in discussing opportunities with those with multidisciplinary interests and backgrounds.

Notable Honors and Service

  • Board of Directors, Metabolomics Association of North America, 2018-present
  • Board of Directors, Metabolomics Society, 2016-2018
  • President Emeritus, Phytochemistry Society of North America, 2016-2017
  • President, Phytochemistry Society of North America, 2015-2016
  • Lifetime Honorary Fellow of the Metabolomics Society for contributions towards establishing the Metabolomics Society as a truly international and financially sound organization, and for influential research contributions to the field of plant metabolomics, 2013.
  • Front Pages Co-Editor with Robert Hall, Metabolomics, 2013-2015
  • Associate Editor, Frontiers Plant Metabolism and Chemodiversity, 2015-present
  • Scientific Advisory Board Member, The Netherlands Metabolomics Center, Thomas Hankemeier (PI) July 2011-present
  • Scientific Advisory Board Member, Center for Advanced Biofuel Systems, Richard Sayre (PI), March 2011-2014
  • Review Editorial Boards for Frontiers in Plant Proteomics (March 2011-present), Frontiers in Plant Biotechnology (Jan 2011 – present), Frontiers in Plant Science, Frontiers in Bioengineering and Biotechnology, and Frontiers Technical Advances in Plant Science
  • Treasurer, The Metabolomics Society, Oct. 2010 – Sept.2012
  • Advisory Committee Member, Southern Oklahoma Technology Center Biotechnology Aug. 2010 – Dec 2015
  • President, The Metabolomics Society, Oct.2008 – Sept. 2010
  • Interim Treasurer, The Metabolomics Society, Oct. 2007 to Dec. 2008
  • Adjunct Professor, Oklahoma University, Dept. of Botany and Microbiology, Jan 2008-present
  • Faculty of 1000, 2008-present
  • Board of Directors, Metabolomics Society, Oct 2007-2010.
  • Cameron University Distinguished Alumni 2007 Award
  • Editorial Board: Plant Physiology (American Society for Plant Biology), Jan 2007-2015.
  • Fellow, The American Association for the Advancement of Science (Sept. 2005-present)
  • Editorial Board: Metabolomics journal (Springer), Oct. 2004 to date.
  • Scientific Advisory Board, Metabolomics Society, Cambridge, MA (2004-2007)
  • External Scientific Advisory Committee Member – Colorado State University Metabolomics Consortium (2004-2006)
  • Scientific Consultant for Sigma-Aldrich Plant Biotech Initiative (2004-2005)
  • Adjunct Associate Professor, Oklahoma State University, Department of Biochemistry and Molecular Biology, 2004-present.
  • Co-founding Member of the International Advisory Committee for Plant Metabolomics (2001-2008)

Selected Publications

Bhatia A, Sarma SJ, Lei Z, Sumner LW. (2019). UHPLC-QTOF-MS/MS-SPE-NMR: A Solution to the Metabolomics Grand Challenge of Higher-Throughput, Confident Metabolite Identifications. Methods Mol Biol. 2037:113-133. doi: 10.1007/978-1-4939-9690-2_7. [PubMed]

Lei Z, Watson BS, Huhman D, Yang DS, Sumner LW. (2019). Large-Scale Profiling of Saponins in Different Ecotypes of Medicago truncatula. Front Plant Sci. 10:850. doi: 10.3389/fpls.2019.00850. eCollection 2019. [PubMed]

Poudel AN, Holtsclaw RE, Kimberlin A, Sen S, Zeng S, Joshi T, Lei Z, Sumner LW, Singh K, Matsuura H, Koo AJ. (2019). 12-Hydroxy-jasmonoyl-L-isoleucine is an active jasmonate that signals through CORONATINE INSENSITIVE 1 and contributes to the wound response in Arabidopsis. Plant Cell Physiol. 2019 May 31. doi: 10.1093/pcp/pcz109. Epub ahead of print. [PubMed]

Tzin V, Snyder JH, Yang DS, Huhman DV, Watson BS, Allen SN, Tang Y, Miettinen K, Arendt P, Pollier J, Goossens A, Sumner LW. (2019). Integrated metabolomics identifies CYP72A67 and CYP72A68 oxidases in the biosynthesis of Medicago truncatula oleanate sapogenins. Metabolomics. 15(6):85. doi: 10.1007/s11306-019-1542-1. [PubMed]

Lei Z, Sumner BW, Bhatia A, Sarma SJ, Sumner LW. (2019). UHPLC-MS Analyses of Plant Flavonoids. Curr Protoc Plant Biol. 4(1):e20085. doi: 10.1002/cppb.20085. [PubMed]

Qiu F, Lei Z, Sumner LW. (2018). MetExpert: An expert system to enhance gas chromatography‒mass spectrometry-based metabolite identifications. Anal Chim Acta. 1037:316-326. doi: 10.1016/j.aca.2018.03.052. [PubMed]

Lei Z, Kranawetter C, Sumner BW, Huhman D, Wherritt DJ, Thomas AL, Rohla C, Sumner LW. (2018). Metabolomics of Two Pecan Varieties Provides Insights into Scab Resistance. Metabolites. 8(4). doi: 10.3390/metabo8040056. [PubMed]

Qiu F, Fine DD, Wherritt DJ, Lei Z, Sumner LW. (2016). PlantMAT: A Metabolomics Tool for Predicting the Specialized Metabolic Potential of a System and for Large-Scale Metabolite Identifications. Anal Chem. 88(23):11373-11383. [PubMed]

Watson BS, Bedair MF, Urbanczyk-Wochniak E, Huhman DV, Yang DS, Allen SN, Li W, Tang Y, Sumner LW. (2015). Integrated metabolomics and transcriptomics reveal enhanced specialized metabolism in Medicago truncatula root border cells. Plant Physiol. 167(4):1699-716. doi: 10.1104/pp.114.253054. [PubMed]

Current Funding

Project title:  Missouri Resource for Cryo-Electron Microscopy

Source of support:  University of Missouri Strategic Investments

Investigators:  Michael Chapman (PI), Donald Burke, Jack Tanner, Tommi White, Lloyd Sumner, Xiaolan Yao (CoPIs)

Total award amount: $3,988,378

Total award period:  30Aug2019 – 31Jul2021


Project title:  Using Metabolomics to Predict and Guarantee Beef Flavor for the Consumer

Source of support:  National Cattlemen’s Beef Association

Investigators:  Lorenzen (PI), Kevin Wells, Lloyd W. Sumner, Zhentian Lei, Koushik Adhikari (CoPIs)

Total award amount: $96,524.50

Total award period:  May 1, 2019 – May 31, 2020


Source of support:  Bruker Daltonics, Gmbh

Investigators:  Lloyd W. Sumner (PI)

Total award amount: $500,000 in kind instrumentation contribution of a Bruker TIMS-QTofMS/MS

Total award period:  01/01/17 – 12/31/19

Effort:  Cal: 1.0


Project title:  RCN:  Integrating and Coordinating a National and International Plant, Algae, and Microbial Metabolomics Research Coordination Network

Source of support:  National Science Foundation IOS Award#1340058 & 1743594

Investigators:  Lloyd W. Sumner (PI), Georg Jander, Oliver Fiehn, James C. Liao, Basil J. Nikolau

Total award amount: $499,797

Total award period:  09/01/13 – 09/31/19 (no cost extension)

Effort:  Cal: 0.5


Project title:  Metabolomics: Advancing the Scientific Promise to Better Understand Plant Specialized Metabolism for a Low-Carbon Society

Source of support:  National Science Foundation IOS and Japanese Science and Technology Agency joint Metabolomics initiative, # 1139489 and 1639618.

Investigators:  Lloyd W. Sumner (PI), Richard A. Dixon, Ji He, Basil Nikolau

Total award amount: $ 2,754,116

Total award period:  12/01/11 – 11/30/19 (no cost extension)

Effort:  Cal: 1


Title:       Network guided modification of soybean meal composition

Source of Support:              Smith Bucklin & Assoc

Investigators: M. Stacey (PI)

Total Award Amount:         $187,266

Total Award Period Covered:           10/1/2016-9/30/2019

Location of Project:             University of Missouri

Person-Months/Year Effort:             <0.2 calendar month

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