Monitoring of Plant VOC Kinetics

The interactions of plants with their environment determines their survival in nature and yields in agriculture. Plants can release specific VOCs (volatile organic compounds) to attract beneficial organisms and can detect VOCs as environmental cues.  The Vocus PTR-TOF provides fast, real-time VOC measurements at ultra–low concentrations while preserving molecular identity.  Our unique autosampler integration enables quasi-simultaneous, real-time monitoring of over 100 samples with a single mass spectrometer.

Imaging Distributions of Trace Elements in Plant Tissue

In biological studies it is often important to detect and quantify certain trace elements and to visualize their distribution within the tissue. Two hot topics in the study of plants are the transport pathways and behavior of key nutrients. The combination of inductively-coupled plasma time-of-flight mass spectrometry and fast-washout laser ablation systems allows for multi-element imaging at high speed and spatial resolution and thus makes the icpTOF a promising tool in the investigation of plants.

Determining Isomeric Purity of Plant Extracts

Nature produces a plethora of organic compounds. For centuries, these natural products have been a continuous source for medicinal products. Plant extracts or nutrition from natural sources contain a rich array of molecules, many of which exist as isomeric mixtures. Subtle changes in the ratio of such isomers can significantly affect their properties, e.g. strongly change the medicinal efficacy of a natural remedy. It is therefore crucial to be able to characterize the active molecules in these natural mixtures; yet, the detection of isomeric substances poses a major obstacle in many cases.

NMR and chromatography methods are still the gold standards for determination of isomeric purity. Whereas for NMR a rather large amount of pure sample is needed, chromatography methods are usually slow. IMS-MS is an extremely attractive alternative as it allows the rapid characterization of complex samples. Yet, only high resolution IMS as delivered by the TOFWERK IMS-TOF provides sufficient separation power to allow determination of the isomeric purity.