HIGH-RESOLUTION MEASUREMENTS IN PLANT BIOLOGY
Use of mass spectrometry for imaging metabolites in plants
Article first published online: 27 MAR 2012
Published 2012. This article is a US Government work and is in the public domain in the USA
The Plant Journal
Special Issue: High-resolution Measurements in Plant Biology
Volume 70, Issue 1, pages 81–95, April 2012
How to Cite
Lee, Y. J., Perdian, D. C., Song, Z., Yeung, E. S. and Nikolau, B. J. (2012), Use of mass spectrometry for imaging metabolites in plants. The Plant Journal, 70: 81–95. doi: 10.1111/j.1365-313X.2012.04899.x
- Issue published online: 27 MAR 2012
- Article first published online: 27 MAR 2012
- Received 27 October 2011; revised 17 December 2011; accepted 29 December 2011.
- high-spatial resolution
We discuss and illustrate recent advances that have been made to image the distribution of metabolites among cells and tissues of plants using different mass spectrometry technologies. These technologies include matrix-assisted laser desorption ionization, desorption electrospray ionization, and secondary ion mass spectrometry. These are relatively new technological applications of mass spectrometry and they are providing highly spatially resolved data concerning the cellular distribution of metabolites. We discuss the advantages and limitations of each of these mass spectrometric methods, and provide a description of the technical barriers that are currently limiting the technology to the level of single-cell resolution. However, we anticipate that advances in the next few years will increase the resolving power of the technology to provide unprecedented data on the distribution of metabolites at the subcellular level, which will increase our ability to decipher new knowledge concerning the spatial organization of metabolic processes in plants.