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Rapid Commun Mass Spectrom. 2012 Aug 30;26(16):1868-74. doi: 10.1002/rcm.6294.

Studies in search of selective detection of isomeric biogenic hexen-1-ols and hexanal by flowing afterglow tandem mass spectrometry using [H3O]+ and [NO]+ reagent ions.

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Belgian Institute for Space Aeronomy, Ringlaan 3, B-1180, Brussels, Belgium.



Plants emit a blend of oxygenated volatile C(6) compounds, known as green leaf volatiles (GLVs), in response to leaf tissue damage related to stress conditions. On-line chemical ionization mass spectrometry (CI-MS) techniques have often been used to study the dynamics of these emissions but they fail to selectively detect some important GLV compounds.


A flowing afterglow tandem mass spectrometer (FA-TMS) was used to investigate the feasibility of selective on-line detection of isomeric hexen-1-ols and hexanal. Product ions at m/z 101 and 83 from chemical ionization (CI) of these compounds by [H(3)O](+), and product ions at m/z 100, 99, 83, 82 and 72 from CI by [NO](+), have been subjected to collision-induced dissociation (CID) in the collision cell of the TMS at center-of-mass energies ranging between 0 and 9‚ÄČeV.


CID of product ions at m/z 101 and 83 from CI of GLVs with [H(3)O](+) and of product ions at m/z 83, 82 and 72 from CI of GLVs with [NO](+) resulted in identical fragmentation patterns for all measured compounds, ruling out any selectivity. However, CID of product ions at m/z 100 and 99 from CI by [NO](+) led to CID product ions with abundances differing largely between the compounds, allowing the fast selective detection of 2-hexen-1-ols, 3-hexen-1-ols and hexanal with a chosen accuracy within a well-defined range of relative concentrations.


This research illustrates that, in contrast to common CI-MS techniques, FA-TMS allows the selective detection of hexanal in a mixture of hexanal and hexen-1-ols with a chosen accuracy for a well-defined range of relative concentrations and represents a step forward in the search for selective detection of GLVs in CI-TMS.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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