J Integr Plant Biol. ›› 2014, Vol. 56 ›› Issue (9): 816-825.DOI: 10.1111/jipb.12181

• Minireview • Previous Articles     Next Articles

Recent progress in polar metabolite quantification in plants using liquid chromatography–mass spectrometry

Zhiqian Liu1,2* and Simone Rochfort1,2,3   

  1. 1Department of Environment and Primary Industries, AgriBio, Bundoora, Victoria, Australia
    2Dairy Futures Co-operative Research Centre, AgriBio, Bundoora, Victoria, Australia
    3La Trobe University, Bundoora, Victoria, Australia


Metabolite analysis or metabolomics is an important component of systems biology in the post-genomic era. Although separate liquid chromatography (LC) methods for quantification of the major classes of polar metabolites of plants have been available for decades, a single method that enables simultaneous determination of hundreds of polar metabolites is possible only with gas chromatography–mass spectrometry (GC–MS) techniques. The rapid expansion of new LC stationary phases in the market and the ready access of mass spectrometry in many laboratories provides an excellent opportunity for developing LC–MS based methods for multi-target quantification of polar metabolites. Although various LC–MS methods have been developed over the last 10 years with the aim to quantify one or more classes of polar compounds in different matrices, currently there is no consensus LC–MS method that is widely used in plant metabolomics studies. The most promising methods applicable to plant metabolite analysis will be reviewed in this paper and the major problems encountered highlighted. The aim of this review is to provide plant scientists, with limited to moderate experience in analytical chemistry, with up-to-date and simplified information regarding the current status of polar metabolite analysis using LC–MS techniques.


Liu Z, Rochfort S (2014) Recent progress in polar metabolite quantification in plants using liquid chromatography–mass spectrometry. J Integr Plant Biol 56: 816–825. doi: 10.1111/jipb.12181

Key words: Aqueous normal phase chromatography, hydrophilic interaction liquid chromatography, liquid chromatography-mass spectrometry, plants, polar metabolites

Editorial Office, Journal of Integrative Plant Biology, Institute of Botany, CAS
No. 20 Nanxincun, Xiangshan, Beijing 100093, China
Tel: +86 10 6283 6133 Fax: +86 10 8259 2636 E-mail: jipb@ibcas.ac.cn
Copyright © 2022 by the Institute of Botany, the Chinese Academy of Sciences
Online ISSN: 1744-7909 Print ISSN: 1672-9072 CN: 11-5067/Q