Cell-type specific metabolic profiling of Arabidopsis thaliana protoplasts as a tool for plant systems biology
Metabolomics. 2015;11(6):1679-1689

Petersson SV, Lindén P, Moritz T, Ljung K

Flow cytometry combined with cell sorting of protoplasts has previously been used successfully for transcript profiling of the Arabidopsis thaliana root. We have developed the technique further, and in this paper we present a robust and reliable method for metabolite profiling in specific cell types isolated from Arabidopsis roots. The method uses a combination of fluorescence-activated cell sorting and gas chromatography-time of flight-mass spectrometry analysis. Cortical and endodermal cells from the green fluorescent protein (GFP)-expressing enhancer trap line J0571 were analysed and compared with non-GFP-expressing cells and intact root tissue. Of the metabolites identified, several showed significant differences in concentration between cell types. Multivariate statistical analysis was used to compare metabolite patterns between cell and tissue types, showing that the patterns differed substantially. Isolation of specific cell populations combined with highly sensitive MS-analysis will be a powerful tool for future studies of plant metabolism, and can also be combined with transcript and protein profiling for in-depth analyses of cellular processes.

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