The recent production of transformed plants with enhanced capacity for glutathione synthesis has highlighted the interactions between foliar glutathione and turnover of free amino acid pools. The development of a convenient method for simultaneous measurement of glutathione, gamma-glutamylcysteine, and 16 amino acids is reported. This method utilizes derivatization of compounds with o-phthalaldehyde in the presence of 2-mercaptoethanol followed by separation using reversed-phase high-performance liquid chromatography. Eluted compounds are detected fluorimetrically. The method was tested using untransformed poplars and poplars in which foliar thiol contents have been enhanced by overexpression of gamma-glutamylcysteine synthetase. Foliar contents of glutathione determined by this method were comparable to those measured in common extracts by two other techniques.
Copyright 1998 Academic Press.