Liquid chromatography-mass spectroscopy (LC-MS) equipment for plant metabolism and host-pathogen interactions.

Lead Research Organisation: University of Exeter
Department Name: Biosciences

Abstract

Liquid chromatography-mass spectroscopy (LC-MS) is a technique that allows separation and precise identification of a wide range of biologically-important molecules. The LC-MS will supplement gas chromatography-mass spectrometers and nuclear magnetic resonance spectrometers housed in the School of Biosciences at Exeter University, to provide an analytical facility for biomolecules. The LC-MS will be used to support a wide range of research projects in the area of plant and microbial sciences. The projects to be supported and enabled include the following. 1. Investigations of the synthesis and function of vitamin C in plants and of the genetic control of metabolism. 2. The response of plants to fungal and bacterial pathogens: what kinds of chemical signals and defensive chemicals are involved in disease resistance. 3. Toxin production by pathogenic bacteria. 4. Algal metabolism: algae (phytoplankton) are important for photosynthesis and productivity in the oceans and are key in absorbing carbon dioxide from the atmosphere. Studies of algal metabolism in conjunction with new genome sequence information will provide new information on their response to climate change.

Technical Summary

We propose to purchase a liquid-chromatography-mass spectroscopy (LC-MS) system suitable for separation and identification of a range of metabolites and hormones. The proposed system is an Agilent 6510 quadrupole time of flight mass spectrometer (QTOF) interfaced to liquid chromatograph capable of running rapid resolution (small particle size) columns. It will be used for small molecule (metabolite) identification (using MS/MS and exact mass from time flight) and metabolic profiling. An in-house LC-MS system is justified firstly by the large number of funded projects in the areas of host pathogen interactions and plant metabolism that can take immediate advantage of the equipment. Secondly, because many of the proposed uses are non-standard, a capacity for in-house method development is important. Examples of research projects that will use LC-MS are listed in the Objectives section.

Publications

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Chen M (2014) Maternal temperature history activates Flowering Locus T in fruits to control progeny dormancy according to time of year. in Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences of the United States of America

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Howard TP (2013) Synthesis of customized petroleum-replica fuel molecules by targeted modification of free fatty acid pools in Escherichia coli. in Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences of the United States of America

 
Description The grant enable purchase of two mass spectrometers and associated equipment to establish a metabolomics and proteomics capability at Exeter University. The facility has enabled a wide range of research and successful research grant applications.
Exploitation Route The facility is available for use at Exeter and by external collaborators
Sectors Agriculture, Food and Drink

URL http://biosciences.exeter.ac.uk/facilities/spectrometry/
 
Description BBSRC-NSF Photosynthesis
Amount £285,651 (GBP)
Funding ID BB/M011429/1 
Organisation Biotechnology and Biological Sciences Research Council (BBSRC) 
Sector Public
Country United Kingdom
Start 10/2014 
End 09/2017
 
Description Decreasing the oxygenase activity of Rubisco: a synthetic biology approach
Amount £174 (GBP)
Funding ID BB/J004057/1 
Organisation Biotechnology and Biological Sciences Research Council (BBSRC) 
Sector Public
Country United Kingdom
Start 01/2012 
End 07/2013
 
Description Funding enabled by purchase of mass spectrometry equipment
Amount £375 (GBP)
Funding ID BB/G021678/1 
Organisation Biotechnology and Biological Sciences Research Council (BBSRC) 
Sector Public
Country United Kingdom
Start 07/2009 
End 07/2012
 
Description Seed coat compost ion and dormancy
Amount £365 (GBP)
Funding ID BB/L003198/1 
Organisation Biotechnology and Biological Sciences Research Council (BBSRC) 
Sector Public
Country United Kingdom
Start 11/2013 
End 11/2014
 
Description Research Seminar Royal Holloway College London Oct 2014 
Form Of Engagement Activity A talk or presentation
Part Of Official Scheme? No
Geographic Reach National
Primary Audience Other academic audiences (collaborators, peers etc.)
Results and Impact n/a
Year(s) Of Engagement Activity 2014