Journal Article

Capillary electrophoresis for the determination of major amino acids and sugars in foliage: application to the nitrogen nutrition of sclerophyllous species

Charles R. Warren and Mark A. Adams

in Journal of Experimental Botany

Volume 51, issue 347, pages 1147-1157
Published in print June 2000 | ISSN: 0022-0957
Published online June 2000 | e-ISSN: 1460-2431 | DOI: http://dx.doi.org/10.1093/jexbot/51.347.1147
Capillary electrophoresis for the determination of major amino acids and sugars in foliage: application to the nitrogen nutrition of sclerophyllous species

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Amino acids and sugars are probably the most commonly measured solutes in plant fluids and tissue extracts. Chromatographic techniques used for the measurement of such solutes require complex derivatization procedures, analysis times are long and separate analyses are required for sugars and amino acids. Two methods were developed for the analysis of underivatized sugars and amino acids by capillary electrophoresis (CE). Separation of a range of sugars and amino acids was achieved in under 30 min, with good reproducibility and linearity. In general, there was close agreement between amino acid analyses by CE and HPLC with post‐column derivatization. An alternative, more rapid method was optimized for the common neutral sugars. Separation of a mixture of fructose, glucose, sucrose, and fucose (internal standard) was achieved in less than 5 min. How the source of N applied (nitrate or ammonium) and its concentration (8.0 or 0.5 mM) affects the amino acid and sugar composition of leaves from Banksia grandis Willd. and Hakea prostrata R. Br. was investigated. The amino acid pool of Banksia and Hakea were dominated by seven amino acids (aspartic acid, glutamic acid, asparagine, glutamine, serine, proline, and arginine). Of these, asparagaine and glutamine dominated at low N‐supply, whereas at high N‐supply the concentration of arginine increased and dominated amino‐N. Plants grown with nitrate had a greater concentration of proline relative to plants with ammonium. In Banksia the concentration of amides was greatest and arginine least with a nitrate N‐source, whereas in Hakea amides were least and arginine greatest with nitrate N‐source. The concentration of sugars was greater in Banksia than Hakea and in both species at greater N‐supply.

Keywords: Capillary electrophoresis; sugars; amino acids; nitrate; ammonium.

Journal Article.  7556 words.  Illustrated.

Subjects: Plant Sciences and Forestry

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