A decade of plant proteomics and mass spectrometry: Translation of technical advancements to food security and safety issues


Correspondence to: G. K. Agrawal,

Research Laboratory for Biotechnology and Biochemistry (RLABB), P.O. Box 13265, Sanepa, Kathmandu, Nepal.

E-mail: gkagrawal123@gmail.com

R. Rakwal,

GGEC Program Office, Seino A 205, Graduate School of Life and Environmental Sciences, University of Tsukuba, Tsukuba 305-8572, Ibaraki, Japan.

E-mail: plantproteomics@gmail.com


Tremendous progress in plant proteomics driven by mass spectrometry (MS) techniques has been made since 2000 when few proteomics reports were published and plant proteomics was in its infancy. These achievements include the refinement of existing techniques and the search for new techniques to address food security, safety, and health issues. It is projected that in 2050, the world's population will reach 9–12 billion people demanding a food production increase of 34–70% (FAO, 2009) from today's food production. Provision of food in a sustainable and environmentally committed manner for such a demand without threatening natural resources, requires that agricultural production increases significantly and that postharvest handling and food manufacturing systems become more efficient requiring lower energy expenditure, a decrease in postharvest losses, less waste generation and food with longer shelf life. There is also a need to look for alternative protein sources to animal based (i.e., plant based) to be able to fulfill the increase in protein demands by 2050. Thus, plant biology has a critical role to play as a science capable of addressing such challenges. In this review, we discuss proteomics especially MS, as a platform, being utilized in plant biology research for the past 10 years having the potential to expedite the process of understanding plant biology for human benefits. The increasing application of proteomics technologies in food security, analysis, and safety is emphasized in this review. But, we are aware that no unique approach/technology is capable to address the global food issues. Proteomics-generated information/resources must be integrated and correlated with other omics-based approaches, information, and conventional programs to ensure sufficient food and resources for human development now and in the future. © 2013 Wiley Periodicals, Inc. Rapid Commun. Mass Spectrom. 32: 335–365, 2013.