Journal Article

Using synchrotron X-ray fluorescence microprobes in the study of metal homeostasis in plants

Tracy Punshon, Mary Lou Guerinot and Antonio Lanzirotti

in Annals of Botany

Published on behalf of The Annals of Botany Company

Volume 103, issue 5, pages 665-672
Published in print March 2009 | ISSN: 0305-7364
Published online January 2009 | e-ISSN: 1095-8290 | DOI: http://dx.doi.org/10.1093/aob/mcn264
Using synchrotron X-ray fluorescence microprobes in the study of metal homeostasis in plants

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  • Ecology and Conservation
  • Evolutionary Biology
  • Plant Sciences and Forestry

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Background and Aims

This Botanical Briefing reviews the application of synchrotron X-ray fluorescence (SXRF) microprobes to the plant sciences; how the technique has expanded our knowledge of metal(loid) homeostasis, and how it can be used in the future.

Scope

The use of SXRF microspectroscopy and microtomography in research on metal homeostasis in plants is reviewed. The potential use of SXRF as part of the ionomics toolbox, where it is able to provide fundamental information on the way that plants control metal homeostasis, is recommended.

Conclusions

SXRF is one of the few techniques capable of providing spatially resolved in-vivo metal abundance data on a sub-micrometre scale, without the need for chemical fixation, coating, drying or even sectioning of samples. This gives researchers the ability to uncover mechanisms of plant metal homeostasis that can potentially be obscured by the artefacts of sample preparation. Further, new generation synchrotrons with smaller beam sizes and more sensitive detection systems will allow for the imaging of metal distribution within single living plant cells. Even greater advances in our understanding of metal homeostasis in plants can be gained by overcoming some of the practical boundaries that exist in the use of SXRF analysis.

Keywords: Metal homeostasis; synchrotron X-ray fluorescence; SXRF; microspectroscopy; microtomography; X-ray absorption spectroscopy; XAS; ionomics; Arabidopsis thaliana; hyperaccumulator

Journal Article.  4962 words.  Illustrated.

Subjects: Ecology and Conservation ; Evolutionary Biology ; Plant Sciences and Forestry

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