, Volume 16, Issue 1, pp 107-115

In-situ probing of the biotic-abiotic boundary of plants by laser desorption/ionization time-of-flight mass spectrometry


Laser desorption/ionization time-of-flight (LDI-TOF) mass spectrometry was applied for the direct analysis of cuticular waxes on intact plant tissues. Cuticular wax compounds were ionized by laser desorption in the presence of colloidal silver. Silver-adduct ions were detected on samples from Arabidopsis thaliana and from maize. Good spot-to-spot reproducibility indicated homogeneous coverage of the sample by the fine colloidal material. The results were consistent with GC-MS analyses of cuticular extracts, thus confirming the feasibility of direct analysis based on this protocol. Molecular masses of the adduct ions correspond well with the known composition of cuticular waxes. Moreover, LDI-TOF gave good estimates of the relative local abundances of a given compound. However, bias was found in cases where compounds with different ionization efficiencies were analyzed.

Published online December 15, 2004