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High-Throughput Metabolic Profiling of Soybean Leaves by Fourier Transform Ion Cyclotron Resonance Mass Spectrometry

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posted on 19.01.2016, 00:00 by Ali Yilmaz, Heather L. Rudolph, Jerod J. Hurst, Troy D. Wood
As a relatively recent research field, plant metabolomics has gained increasing interest in the past few years and has been applied to answer biological questions through large-scale qualitative and quantitative analyses of the plant metabolome. The combination of sensitivity and selectivity offered by mass spectrometry (MS) for measurement of many metabolites in a single shot makes it an indispensable platform in metabolomics. In this regard, Fourier-transform ion cyclotron resonance (FTICR) has the unique advantage of delivering high mass resolving power and mass accuracy simultaneously, making it ideal for the study of complex mixtures such as plant extracts. Here we optimize soybean leaf extraction methods compatible with high-throughput reproducible MS-based metabolomics. In addition, matrix-assisted laser desorption ionization (MALDI) and direct LDI of soybean leaves are compared for metabolite profiling. The extraction method combined with electrospray (ESI)-FTICR is supported by the significant reduction of chlorophyll and its related metabolites as the growing season moves from midsummer to the autumn harvest day. To our knowledge for the first time, the use of ESI-FTICR MS and MALDI-FTICR MS is described in a complementary manner with the aim of metabolic profiling of plant leaves that have been collected at different time points during the growing season.