Simultaneous quantification of jasmonic acid and salicylic acid in plants by vapor-phase extraction and gas chromatography-chemical ionization-mass spectrometry

Anal Biochem. 2003 Jan 15;312(2):242-50. doi: 10.1016/s0003-2697(02)00466-9.


Jasmonic acid and salicylic acid represent important signaling compounds in plant defensive responses against other organisms. Here, we present a new method for the easy, sensitive, and reproducible quantification of both compounds by vapor-phase extraction and gas chromatography-positive ion chemical ionization-mass spectrometry. The method is based on a one-step extraction, phase partitioning, methylation with HCl/methanol, and collection of methylated and, thus, volatilized compounds on Super Q filters, thereby omitting further purification steps. Eluted samples are analyzed and quantified by GC/MS with chemical ionization. Standard curves were linear over a range of 5-1000 ng for jasmonic acid and salicylic acid. The correlation coefficients were greater than 0.999 and the recovery rates estimated between 70 and 90% for salicylic acid and 90 and 100% for jasmonic acid. The limit of detection was about 500 fg by using single ion detection mode. Both, cis- and trans-isomers for jasmonic acid can be detected. A comparison with established methods indicates the new method to be highly efficient, allowing reliable quantification of both compounds from small amounts of plant material (5-400mg fresh weight).

Publication types

  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Alamethicin / pharmacology
  • Animals
  • Arachis / chemistry
  • Arachis / parasitology
  • Cyclopentanes / analysis*
  • Gas Chromatography-Mass Spectrometry / instrumentation
  • Gas Chromatography-Mass Spectrometry / methods*
  • Gases / chemistry
  • Oxylipins
  • Plant Extracts / chemistry
  • Plants / chemistry*
  • Salicylic Acid / analysis*
  • Sensitivity and Specificity
  • Spodoptera / physiology
  • Tobacco / chemistry
  • Zea mays / chemistry


  • Cyclopentanes
  • Gases
  • Oxylipins
  • Plant Extracts
  • Alamethicin
  • jasmonic acid
  • Salicylic Acid