Kolloquium der Biologisch-Pharmazeutischen Fakultät

Mass spectrometric imaging of plants, insects and bacteria: looking for semiochemicals

Dr. Ales Svatos

Mass Spectrometry/Proteomics, MPI für Chemische Oekologie



Hörsaal 5, Ernst-Abbe-Platz

Understanding of cellular structure of whole organism or organs was achieved in past by optical microscopy accompanied with a specific staining. Nowadays fluorescence microscopy can even resolve subcellular structures. Alternatively, infrared and Raman microscopy can beside the morphological information provide insight on chemical classes of molecules abundant in cells.

Mass spectrometry (MS) is one of the most sensitive analytical methods available today with a wide range of attainable analytes from simple ions to large proteins or their complexes with DNA. MS data can provide information on molecular composition and if tandem MS is performed we can predict molecular structure of the analyte in question.

Performing measurement of MS spectra from many spots of the sample enable constructing chemical maps of abundance for all masses we are able to resolve. This method, named MS imaging (MSI), enhance information on cellular organization with a chemical contrast and identify even low-abundant compounds as semiochemicals on/in organisms.

In my lecture I will summarize our research on MSI of plants, insects and bacteria focusing on deciphering chemical structure of semiochemicals and their spatial distributions on studied samples. These data were correlated with biological observations and on many cases lead to new insights to chemical ecology.