Simultaneous Analysis of Defense-Related Phytohormones in Arabidopsis thaliana Responding to Fungal Infection

Katlego B. Riet, Nombuso Ndlovu, Lizelle A. Piater, Ian A. Dubery

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

13 Citations (Scopus)


Premise of the study: Simultaneous analysis of defense-related phytohormones can provide insights into underlying biochemical interactions. Ultra-high-performance liquid chromatographic (UHPLC) techniques hyphenated to electrospray ionization mass spectrometry (ESI-MS) are powerful analytical platforms, suitable for quantitative profiling of multiple classes of metabolites. Methods: An efficient and simplified extraction method was designed followed by reverse-phase UHPLC for separation of seven phytohormones: salicylic acid, methyl salicylate, jasmonic acid, methyl jasmonate, absiscic acid, indole acetic acid, and the ethylene precursor 1-aminocyclopropane-1-carboxylic acid. A triple quadrupole multiple reaction monitoring (MRM) method was developed for MS quantification. The methods were applied to analyze phytohormones in Arabidopsis leaf tissue responding to biotic stresses. Results: Under the optimized conditions, the phytohormones were separated within 15 min, with good linearities and high sensitivity. Repeatable results were obtained, with the limits of detection and quantification around 0.01 ng/L (∼9 ng/g tissue). The method was validated and applied to monitor, quantify, and compare the temporal changes of the phytohormones under biotic stress. Discussion: Quantitative changes indicate increased production of defense phytohormones from the various classes. The analytical method was useful and suitable to distinguish distinctive variations in the phytohormonal profiles and balance in A. thaliana leaves resulting from pathogen attack.

Original languageEnglish
Article number1600013
JournalApplications in Plant Sciences
Issue number8
Publication statusPublished - 2016


  • Arabidopsis thaliana
  • pathogen infection
  • phytohormones
  • quantitative analysis

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Ecology, Evolution, Behavior and Systematics
  • Plant Science


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