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Keywords:

  • lipid;
  • metabolism;
  • signaling;
  • mass spectrometry;
  • lipid droplets

Summary

Mass spectrometry (MS) advances in recent years have revolutionized the biochemical analysis of lipids in plants, and made possible new theories about the structural diversity and functional complexity of lipids in plant cells. Approaches have been developed to profile the lipidome of plants with increasing chemical and spatial resolution. Here we highlight a variety of methods for lipidomics analysis at the tissue, cellular and subcellular levels. These procedures allow the simultaneous identification and quantification of hundreds of lipids species in tissue extracts by direct-infusion MS, localization of lipids in tissues and cells by laser desorption/ionization MS, and even profiling of lipids in individual subcellular compartments by direct-organelle MS. Applications of these approaches to achieve improved understanding of plant lipid metabolism, compartmentation and function are discussed.