New Technique Yields Information Critical to Biofuels Research
(R&D Magazine) Pioneering mass spectrometry methods developed at the U.S. Department of Energy’s (DOE’s) Ames Laboratory are helping plant biologists get their first glimpses of never-before-seen plant tissue structures.
The new method opens up new realms of study, ones that might have long-ranging implications for biofuels research and crop genetics.
…Young-Jin Lee, a faculty scientist in Ames Laboratory’s Chemical and Biological Sciences Division, has successfully demonstrated the use of matrix-assisted laser deposition/ionization-mass spectrometry, or MALDI-MS, to map the lipids in cottonseed in a paper published in The Plant Cell.
The research group’s technique is also featured in a paper published in The Plant Journal, highlighting new developments in high-resolution measurements in plant biology. The imaging technique can make maps of the locations of molecules in plant materials with resolution of 10 to 50 microns, less than a quarter the size of a human hair.
…”This is really about the sustainability of our chemical world,” he says. “When you’re talking about chemical energy, you’re talking about carbon. Historically, over the last 100 years, it’s been carbon from petroleum. If you’re going to make biorenewable chemicals, the carbon comes in through photosynthesis, through plants. That process happens in discrete compartments within the organism, within individual cells. Science needs to know that highly detailed spatial information to take full advantage of it.” READ MORE and MORE (Ames Laboratory) and MORE (IIP Digital) and MORE (CleanTechnica) Abstract (The Plant Cell) Abstract (The Plant Journal)