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Mass spectrometry imaging of glucosinolates in arabidopsis flowers and siliques

Sarsby, J., Towers, M. W., Stain, C., Cramer, R. ORCID: and Koroleva, O. A. (2012) Mass spectrometry imaging of glucosinolates in arabidopsis flowers and siliques. Phytochemistry, 77. pp. 110-118. ISSN 0031-9422

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To link to this item DOI: 10.1016/j.phytochem.2012.01.026


Glucosinolates are multi-functional plant secondary metabolites which play a vital role in plant defence and are, as dietary compounds, important to human health and livestock well-being. Knowledge of the tissue-specific regulation of their biosynthesis and accumulation is essential for plant breeding programs. Here, we report that in Arabidopsis thaliana, glucosinolates are accumulated differentially in specific cells of reproductive organs. Using matrix-assisted laser desorption/ionization (MALDI) mass spectrometry imaging (MSI), distribution patterns of three selected compounds, 4-methylsulfinylbutyl (glucoraphanin), indol-3-ylmethyl (glucobrassicin), and 4-benzoyloxybutyl glucosinolates, were mapped in the tissues of whole flower buds, sepals and siliques. The results show that tissue localization patterns of aliphatic glucosinolate glucoraphanin and 4-benzoyloxybutyl glucosinolate were similar, but indole glucosinolate glucobrassicin had different localisation, indicating a possible difference in function. The high resolution images obtained by a complementary approach, cryo-SEM Energy Dispersive X-ray analysis (cryo-SEM-EDX), confirmed increased concentration of sulphur in areas with elevated amounts of glucosinolates, and allowed identifying the cell types implicated in accumulation of glucosinolates. High concentration of sulphur was found in S-cells adjacent to the phloem in pedicels and siliques, indicating the presence of glucosinolates. Moreover, both MALDI MSI and cryo-SEM-EDX analyses indicated accumulation of glucosinolates in cells on the outer surface of the sepals, suggesting that a layer of glucosinolate-accumulating epidermal cells protects the whole of the developing flower, in addition to the S-cells, which protect the phloem. This research demonstrates the high potential of MALDI MSI for understanding the cell-specific compartmentation of plant metabolites and its regulation.

Item Type:Article
Divisions:Interdisciplinary centres and themes > Chemical Analysis Facility (CAF)
Life Sciences > School of Chemistry, Food and Pharmacy > Department of Chemistry
ID Code:30233
Uncontrolled Keywords:Arabidopsis thaliana; Glucosinolates; MALDI MSI; Mass Spectrometry Imaging; Cryo-SEM-EDX; S-cells


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