Mass Spectrometric Imaging of Plant Metabolites

In this project, we are developing mass spectrometric imaging techniques to map metabolite distributions within plant tissues, and eventually among individual plant cells. The project build on our past advances to 1) enhance mass spectrometric imaging (MSI) for determining the distribution of metabolites at very high spatial resolution within plant tissues and cells; and 2) apply these techniques to understand the organization of complex metabolic processes at the levels of single cells and subcellular compartments.  The development of imaging technologies has wider applications in biology, but our focus on 1) lipid metabolism and trafficking, 2) biomass productivity, and 3) the acetyl-CoA-malonyl-CoA nexus.  These metabolic processes are at the core of DOE’s vision to develop sustainable systems for the generation of energy and chemicals. See project website.