Imaging element distribution and speciation in plant cells

F J Zhao, K L Moore, E Lombi, Y G Zhu

    Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


    To maintain cellular homeostasis, concentrations, chemical speciation, and localization of mineral nutrients and toxic trace elements need to be regulated. Imaging the cellular and subcellular localization of elements and measuring their in situ chemical speciation are challenging tasks that can be undertaken using synchrotron-based techniques, such as X-ray fluorescence and X-ray absorption spectrometry, and mass spectrometry-based techniques, such as secondary ion mass spectrometry and laser-ablation inductively coupled plasma mass spectrometry. We review the advantages and limitations of these techniques, and discuss examples of their applications, which have revealed highly heterogeneous distribution patterns of elements in different cell types, often varying in chemical speciation. Combining these techniques with molecular genetic approaches can unravel functions of genes involved in element homeostasis. © 2013 Elsevier Ltd.
    Original languageEnglish
    Pages (from-to)183-192
    Number of pages10
    JournalTrends in Plant Science
    Issue number3
    Publication statusPublished - 2014


    • Chemical speciation
    • Plant cells
    • Synchrotron-based techniques
    • mass spectrometry
    • metabolism
    • plant cell
    • review
    • spectrometry
    • Spectrometry, X-Ray Emission


    Dive into the research topics of 'Imaging element distribution and speciation in plant cells'. Together they form a unique fingerprint.

    Cite this