Laser Microdissection: a Sample Preparation Technique for Plant Micrometabolic Profiling

Authors


ABSTRACT

Introduction

Unlike unicellular organisms, plants have evolved as complex organisms that are defined by their ability to distribute special vital functions to spatially separated organs and tissues. Current phytochemical approaches mostly ignore this fact by analysing samples that consist of different cell types and thus average the information obtained. A comprehensive metabolite analysis with high spatial resolution is essential to fully characterise the state of a certain tissue; hence, the analysis of metabolites occurring in specialised plant cells is of considerable interest in chemical ecology, plant natural product chemistry and other bioscience disciplines. Laser microdissection (LMD), including laser capture microdissection and laser microdissection and pressure catapulting, is a convenient sampling technique to harvest homogeneous cell types for the microanalysis of plant metabolites.

Objective

The objective of this work is to provide an introduction to LMD methodology and a concise review of recent applications of LMD in the high-resolution analysis of metabolites in different plant materials.

Methods

A step-by-step approach to LMD sampling techniques is described. How LMD can be used to sample cells or microscopic tissue pieces from different plant organs, such as leaves, stems, and seeds, is shown in detail. Finally, the future of LMD in plant metabolites analysis is discussed.

Results

This review summarises studies over the past decade not only showing technical details but also indicating the wide application of this method for high-resolution plant metabolite analysis.

Conclusion

Laser microdissection is a powerful sampling technique for plant micrometabolic profiling and metabolomics research. Copyright © 2013 John Wiley & Sons, Ltd.

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