High-resolution metabolic mapping of cell types in plant roots

Arieh Moussaieff, Ilana Rogachev, Leonid Brodsky, Sergey Malitsky, Ted W. Toal, Heather Belcher, Merav Yativ, Siobhan M. Brady*, Philip N. Benfey, Asaph Aharoni

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

124 Scopus citations


Metabolite composition offers a powerful tool for understanding gene function and regulatory processes. However, metabolomics studies on multicellular organisms have thus far been performed primarily on whole organisms, organs, or cell lines, losing information about individual cell types within a tissue. With the goal of profiling metabolite content in different cell populations within an organ, we used FACS to dissect GFP-marked cells from Arabidopsis roots for metabolomics analysis. Here, we present the metabolic profiles obtained from five GFP-tagged lines representing core cell types in the root. Fifty metabolites were putatively identified, with the most prominent groups being glucosinolates, phenylpropanoids, and dipeptides, the latter of which is not yet explored in roots. The mRNA expression of enzymes or regulators in the corresponding biosynthetic pathways was compared with the relative metabolite abundance. Positive correlations suggest that the rate-limiting steps in biosynthesis of glucosinolates in the root are oxidative modifications of side chains. The current study presents a work flow for metabolomics analyses of cell-type populations.

Original languageAmerican English
Pages (from-to)E1232-E1241
JournalProceedings of the National Academy of Sciences of the United States of America
Issue number13
StatePublished - 26 Mar 2013
Externally publishedYes


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