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Plant Methods. 2011 Jul 5;7(1):21. doi: 10.1186/1746-4811-7-21.

Matrix-assisted laser desorption/ionisation mass spectrometry imaging and its development for plant protein imaging.

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  • 1ARC Centre of Excellence in Plant Energy Biology and Centre for Comparative Analysis of Biomolecular Networks, M316, The University of Western Australia, Crawley, WA 6009, Australia. harvey.millar@uwa.edu.au.


Matrix-Assisted Laser Desorption/Ionisation (MALDI) mass spectrometry imaging (MSI) uses the power of high mass resolution time of flight (ToF) mass spectrometry coupled to the raster of lasers shots across the cut surface of tissues to provide new insights into the spatial distribution of biomolecules within biological tissues. The history of this technique in animals and plants is considered and the potential for analysis of proteins by this technique in plants is discussed. Protein biomarker identification from MALDI-MSI is a challenge and a number of different approaches to address this bottleneck are discussed. The technical considerations needed for MALDI-MSI are reviewed and these are presented alongside examples from our own work and a protocol for MALDI-MSI of proteins in plant samples.

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