High-mass-resolution MALDI mass spectrometry imaging reveals detailed spatial distribution of metabolites and lipids in roots of barley seedlings in response to salinity stress
journal contributionposted on 2018-05-01, 00:00 authored by L D Sarabia, B A Boughton, T Rupasinghe, A M L van de Meene, Damien CallahanDamien Callahan, C B Hill, U Roessner
Introduction: Mass spectrometry imaging (MSI) is a technology that enables the visualization of the spatial distribution of hundreds to thousands of metabolites in the same tissue section simultaneously. Roots are below-ground plant organs that anchor plants to the soil, take up water and nutrients, and sense and respond to external stresses. Physiological responses to salinity are multifaceted and have predominantly been studied using whole plant tissues that cannot resolve plant salinity responses spatially. Objectives: This study aimed to use a comprehensive approach to study the spatial distribution and profiles of metabolites, and to quantify the changes in the elemental content in young developing barley seminal roots before and after salinity stress. Methods: Here, we used a combination of liquid chromatography–mass spectrometry (LC–MS), inductively coupled plasma mass spectrometry (ICP–MS), and matrix-assisted laser desorption/ionization (MALDI–MSI) platforms to profile and analyze the spatial distribution of ions, metabolites and lipids across three anatomically different barley root zones before and after a short-term salinity stress (150 mM NaCl). Results: We localized, visualized and discriminated compounds in fine detail along longitudinal root sections and compared ion, metabolite, and lipid composition before and after salt stress. Large changes in the phosphatidylcholine (PC) profiles were observed as a response to salt stress with PC 34:n showing an overall reduction in salt treated roots. ICP–MS analysis quantified changes in the elemental content of roots with increases of Na + and decreases of K + content. Conclusion: Our results established the suitability of combining three mass spectrometry platforms to analyze and map ionic and metabolic responses to salinity stress in plant roots and to elucidate tolerance mechanisms in response to abiotic stress, such as salinity stress.