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Curr Opin Plant Biol. 2004 Jun;7(3):337-44.

Lipid species profiling: a high-throughput approach to identify lipid compositional changes and determine the function of genes involved in lipid metabolism and signaling.

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  • 1Division of Biology, Kansas State University, Manhattan, Kansas 66506, USA. welti@k-state.edu


The development of electrospray ionization mass spectrometry has provided the foundation for the development of strategies to identify and quantify complex lipids from unfractionated extracts of small biological samples. In the 1990s, the feasibility of detailed lipid profiling was demonstrated; in the past two years, analytical strategies have been extended to include classes of lipids that are unique to plants. High-throughput lipid profiling by electrospray ionization tandem mass spectrometry, in combination with forward- or reverse-genetics approaches, has recently been utilized to identify lipid metabolic pathways that are involved in plant development and stress responses, to specify the roles of particular genes and enzymes in plant responses to environmental cues, to determine the lipid species that serve as the substrates and products of specific enzymes, and to identify lipid-metabolizing enzymes that are involved in varied plant processes.

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