Analytical and bioanalytical chemistry

Quantification of free and total salicylic acid in plants by solid-phase extraction and isocratic high-performance anion-exchange chromatography.

PMID 15997378


Salicylic acid (SA) is an important signaling compound in plants and is involved in various defense responses. Here we report a new method for quantification of free and total soluble SA in Arabidopsis thaliana with 5-fluorosalicylic acid (5-FSA) as internal standard. The SA was isolated from leaf extracts by solid-phase extraction with phenyl-phase cartridges and selectively eluted as the cationic iron(III)-complex. Recoveries of SA and 5-FSA were equal and exceeded 90%. Free SA was subsequently released from the iron(III)-complex by addition of 2,2'-bipyridyl and high-performance anion-exchange chromatography was performed on an NH2 column. The SA appeared as last peak with a retention time of 15 min, baseline-separated from other substances. On-line detection was performed fluorimetrically for both SA and 5-FSA at an excitation wavelength of 300 nm and an emission wavelength of 410 nm, because both substances give similar fluorescence spectra. The detection limit for SA was 5 ng g(-1) FW for a sample size of 100 mg. Thus the main advantages of the method are highly selective sample preparation, increased sensitivity, reduced analysis time compared with reversed-phase HPLC, and use of a novel internal standard detectable under the same conditions as SA. The techniques described are applicable to other plant materials.

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5-Fluorosalicylic acid, 97%