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Curr Opin Microbiol. 2008 Jun;11(3):233-9. doi: 10.1016/j.mib.2008.04.002. Epub 2008 Jun 4.

Separation and mass spectrometry in microbial metabolomics.

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Joint BioEnergy Institute, Emeryville, CA 94608, USA.


Measurements of low molecular weight metabolites have been increasingly incorporated in the characterization of cellular physiology, qualitative studies in functional genomics, and stress response determination. The application of cutting edge analytical technologies to the measurement of metabolites and the changes in metabolite concentrations under defined conditions have helped illuminate the effects of perturbations in pathways of interest, such as the tricarboxylic acid cycle, as well as unbiased characterizations of microbial stress responses as a whole. Owing to the complexity of microbial metabolite extracts and the large number of metabolites therein, advanced and high-throughput separation techniques in gas chromatography, liquid chromatography, and capillary electrophoresis have been coupled to mass spectrometry - usually high-resolution mass spectrometry, but not exclusively - to make these measurements.

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