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Ann Bot. 2009 Mar;103(5):665-72. doi: 10.1093/aob/mcn264. Epub 2009 Jan 31.

Using synchrotron X-ray fluorescence microprobes in the study of metal homeostasis in plants.

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1
Department of Biological Sciences, Dartmouth College, Hanover, NH 03755, USA. tracy.punshon@dartmouth.edu

Abstract

BACKGROUND AND AIMS:

This Botanical Briefing reviews the application of synchrotron X-ray fluorescence (SXRF) microprobes to the plant sciences; how the technique has expanded our knowledge of metal(loid) homeostasis, and how it can be used in the future.

SCOPE:

The use of SXRF microspectroscopy and microtomography in research on metal homeostasis in plants is reviewed. The potential use of SXRF as part of the ionomics toolbox, where it is able to provide fundamental information on the way that plants control metal homeostasis, is recommended.

CONCLUSIONS:

SXRF is one of the few techniques capable of providing spatially resolved in-vivo metal abundance data on a sub-micrometre scale, without the need for chemical fixation, coating, drying or even sectioning of samples. This gives researchers the ability to uncover mechanisms of plant metal homeostasis that can potentially be obscured by the artefacts of sample preparation. Further, new generation synchrotrons with smaller beam sizes and more sensitive detection systems will allow for the imaging of metal distribution within single living plant cells. Even greater advances in our understanding of metal homeostasis in plants can be gained by overcoming some of the practical boundaries that exist in the use of SXRF analysis.

PMID:
19182222
PMCID:
PMC2707871
DOI:
10.1093/aob/mcn264
[Indexed for MEDLINE]
Free PMC Article
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