gc-ms metabolite analysisDid you know that there are up to 5 million metabolites (link to Wikipedia) in the plant kingdom? As a result, the identification and monitoring of these compounds can be extremely challenging. Here, I am pleased to present a couple of resources on the use of gas chromatography-mass spectrometry techniques that can increase the number of identifiable and selectively quantifiable metabolites by combining analytical methods for the different phases of the analysis. (By the way, previously I had written about the use of capillary ion chromatography and HR/AM for the metabolite profiling of oral cancers.)

Application Note 51999, Metabolomics Strategies Using GC-MS/MS Technology, (downloadable PDF), describes the investigation of plant metabolism and phytohromone profiling in the Arabidopsis thaliana leaf material and combines two phases of metabolomic workflow phases, discovery phase analysis and targeted quantitation, on a single instrument platform. The strategy resulted in a highly sensitive and selective method for the detection and absolute quantification of metabolites. (The stunning image is a fluorescence microscope image of the Arabidopsis thaliana flower.)

The platform consists of one of our triple quadrupole mass spectrometers (Thermo Scientific TSQ Quantum Triple Quadrupole GC-MS/MS system) equipped with one of our GC systems (Thermo Scientific TRACE Ultra Gas Chromatograph) and one of our automated autosamplers (Thermo Scientific TriPlus Autosampler). The advantage of this approach means both methods are applied directly to the same sample thus providing the highest convenience of sample handling, high sample throughput, and accurate and selective identification.

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A recently presented webinar, now available on-demand and titled, The Role of GC-MS/MS in Metabolomics Experiments and the Exploration of Optimized Workflows,(click the title above to access a short registration page before you can play the webinar), features Dr. Vladimir Shulaev, Dept. of Biological Sciences, University of North Texas (USA) and Dwain Cardona, Senior Application Scientist, Thermo Fisher Scientific, Inc. The experts explore the development of an optimized workflow for metabolite screening and targeted analysis, including sample preparation automation, automated GC-MS method development and various tools for data processing.

Additional Resources

  • Our recently released Chromatography Solution Online Center features many useful and complimentary chromatography tools which can help speed up your analysis. The site is updated on a monthly basis; therefore, do check out the Archives section to see what was previously featured.

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