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Mass Spectrom Rev. 2006 Mar-Apr;25(2):173-214.

The role of mass spectrometry in plant systems biology.

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Max Planck Institute of Molecular Plant Physiology, 14476 Potsdam-Golm, Germany.


Large-scale analyses of proteins and metabolites are intimately bound to advancements in MS technologies. The aim of these non-targeted "omic" technologies is to extend our understanding beyond the analysis of only parts of the system. Here, metabolomics and proteomics emerged in parallel with the development of novel mass analyzers and hyphenated techniques such as gas chromatography coupled to time-of-flight mass spectrometry (GC-TOF-MS) and multidimensional liquid chromatography coupled to mass spectrometry (LC-MS). The analysis of (i) proteins (ii) phosphoproteins, and (iii) metabolites is discussed in the context of plant physiology and environment and with a focus on novel method developments. Recently published studies measuring dynamic (quantitative) behavior at these levels are summarized; for these works, the completely sequenced plants Arabidopsis thaliana and Oryza sativa (rice) have been the primary models of choice. Particular emphasis is given to key physiological processes such as metabolism, development, stress, and defense. Moreover, attempts to combine spatial, tissue-specific resolution with systematic profiling are described. Finally, we summarize the initial steps to characterize the molecular plant phenotype as a corollary of environment and genotype.

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