Research Summary: Detection of Plant Volatiles after Leaf Wounding and Darkening by Proton Transfer Reaction “Time-of-Flight” Mass Spectrometry (PTR-TOF)


Proton transfer reaction-time of flight (PTR-TOF) mass spectrometry was used to
improve detection of biogenic volatiles organic compounds (BVOCs) induced by
leaf wounding and darkening. PTR-TOF measurements unambiguously captured the
kinetic of the large emissions of green leaf volatiles (GLVs) and acetaldehyde
after wounding and darkening. GLVs emission correlated with the extent of
wounding, thus confirming to be an excellent indicator of mechanical damage.
Transient emissions of methanol, C5 compounds and isoprene from plant species
that do not emit isoprene constitutively were also detected after wounding. In
the strong isoprene-emitter Populus alba, light-dependent
isoprene emission was sustained and even enhanced for hours after photosynthesis
inhibition due to leaf cutting. Thus isoprene emission can uncouple from
photosynthesis and may occur even after cutting leaves or branches, e.g., by
agricultural practices or because of abiotic and biotic stresses. This
observation may have important implications for assessments of isoprene sources
and budget in the atmosphere, and consequences for tropospheric chemistry.


Publisher: Public Library of Science

Date Published: 26-May-2011

Author(s): Brilli F., Ruuskanen T., Schnitzhofer R., Müller M., Breitenlechner M., Bittner V., Wohlfahrt G., Loreto F., Hansel A.


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