Ultrahigh-Performance Liquid Chromatography–Mass Spectrometry Analysis of Carotenoid-Derived Hormones and Apocarotenoids in Plants

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


Carotenoid oxidative cleavage products, apocarotenoids (APOs), are a class of important plant secondary metabolites, which include phytohormones abscisic acid (ABA) and strigolactones (SLs), and growth regulators and signaling molecules such as β-cyclocitral, zaxinone, anchorene, β-apo-11-carotenoids, and retinal. Qualitative and quantitative analysis of these bioactive compounds is crucial for understanding their metabolism and may also enable discovering further regulatory APOs. The state-of-the-art mass spectrometry (MS) technology has advanced the detection of plant APOs; however, it is still challenging to perform an accurate analysis of the low-level phytohormones ABA and SL and the structurally diverse APOs from complex plant matrices. Here, we describe ultrahigh-performance liquid chromatography-MS (UHPLC-MS) methods to determine carotenoid-derived hormones and APOs from plants by integrating ultrasound-assisted extraction and solid-phase extraction. These assays enable an accurate quantification of carotenoid-derived hormones and APOs from plant tissues by using an UHPLC hybrid quadrupole-Orbitrap mass spectrometer. Basic Protocol 1: UHPLC-MS analysis of APOs from rice roots. Support Protocol: Preparation of dried plant root powder. Basic Protocol 2: UHPLC-MS analysis of SLs from rice roots. Basic Protocol 3: UHPLC-MS analysis of ABA from rice roots.
Original languageEnglish (US)
JournalCurrent Protocols
Issue number2
StatePublished - Feb 24 2022

Bibliographical note

KAUST Repository Item: Exported on 2022-04-26
Acknowledged KAUST grant number(s): CRG4, CRG5
Acknowledgements: Supported by baseline funding and a Competitive Research Grant (CRG4 and CRG5) given to Salim Al-Babili from the King Abdullah University of Science and Technology.


Dive into the research topics of 'Ultrahigh-Performance Liquid Chromatography–Mass Spectrometry Analysis of Carotenoid-Derived Hormones and Apocarotenoids in Plants'. Together they form a unique fingerprint.

Cite this