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Application of nanoscale secondary ion mass spectrometry to plant cell research

Lookup NU author(s): Dr Elizabeth Stockdale, Dr Anke Herrmann


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Imaging resource flow in soil-plant systems remains central to understanding plant development and interactions with the environment. Typically, subcellular resolution is required to fully elucidate the compartmentation, behavior, and mode of action of organic compounds and mineral elements within plants. For many situations this has been limited by the poor spatial resolution of imaging techniques and the inability to undertake studies in situ. Here we demonstrate the potential of Nanoscale Secondary Ion Mass Spectrometry (NanoSIMS), which is capable of the quantitative high-resolution spatial imaging of stable isotopes (e.g., 12C, 13C, 14N, 15N, 16O, 18O, 31P, 34S) within intact plant-microbial-soil systems. We present examples showing how the approach can be used to investigate competition for 15N-labelled nitrogen compounds between plant roots and soil microorganisms living in the rhizosphere and the spatial imaging of 31P in roots. We conclude that NanoSIMS has great potential to elucidate the flow of isoto-pically-labelled compounds in complex media (e.g., soil) and opens up countless new opportunities for studying plant responses to abiotic stress (e.g., 18O3, elevated 13CO2), signal exchange, nutrient flow and plant-microbial interactions.

Publication metadata

Author(s): Kilburn MR, Jones DL, Clode PL, Cliff JB, Stockdale EA, Herrmann AM, Murphy DV

Publication type: Article

Publication status: Published

Journal: Plant Signaling & Behavior

Year: 2010

Volume: 5

Issue: 6

Pages: 760-762

Print publication date: 25/03/2010

ISSN (print): 1559-2316

ISSN (electronic): 1559-2324

Publisher: Landes Bioscience


DOI: 10.4161/psb.5.6.11775


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