Development of a two-step screening ESI-TOF-MS method for rapid determination of significant stress-induced metabolome modifications in plant leaf extracts: the wound response in Arabidopsis thaliana as a case study

J Sep Sci. 2007 Sep;30(14):2268-78. doi: 10.1002/jssc.200700143.


To study the stress-induced effects caused by wounding under a new perspective, a metabolomic strategy based on HPLC-MS has been devised for the model plant Arabidopsis thaliana. To detect induced metabolites and precisely localise these compounds among the numerous constitutive metabolites, HPLC-MS analyses were performed in a two-step strategy. In a first step, rapid direct TOF-MS measurements of the crude leaf extract were performed with a ballistic gradient on a short LC-column. The HPLC-MS data were investigated by multivariate analysis as total mass spectra (TMS). Principal components analysis (PCA) and hierarchical cluster analysis (HCA) on principal coordinates were combined for data treatment. PCA and HCA demonstrated a clear clustering of plant specimens selecting the highest discriminating ions given by the complete data analysis, leading to the specific detection of discrete-induced ions (m/z values). Furthermore, pool constitution with plants of homogeneous behaviour was achieved for confirmatory analysis. In this second step, long high-resolution LC profilings on an UPLC-TOF-MS system were used on pooled samples. This allowed to precisely localise the putative biological marker induced by wounding and by specific extraction of accurate m/z values detected in the screening procedure with the TMS spectra.

Publication types

  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Arabidopsis / metabolism*
  • Chromatography, High Pressure Liquid / methods
  • Cluster Analysis
  • Lipid Metabolism
  • Plant Extracts / isolation & purification
  • Plant Extracts / metabolism
  • Plant Leaves / metabolism
  • Principal Component Analysis
  • Spectrometry, Mass, Electrospray Ionization / methods*


  • Plant Extracts