Quantification of karrikins in smoke water using ultra-high performance liquid chromatography–tandem mass spectrometry

Hrdlička J., Gucký T., Novák O., Kulkarni M., Gupta S., van Staden J., Doležal K.
PLANT METHODS 15: 81, 2019

Abstract: Karrikins (KARs) are plant growth regulators that promote seed germination and the subsequent growth and development of seedlings of many plant species. In nature they are generated and released by combustion of plant material and promote the restoration of burned ecosystems. Smoke water can be artificially prepared as a saturated extract of all substances in smoke produced by burning plants, and it has various horticultural and agricultural applications. We have developed, validated and applied the first fast, specific and sensitive method, based on ultra-high performance liquid chromatography–tandem mass spectrometry, for quantifying KARs in smoke water. To assist these efforts and further analyses, standards of the main KARs (which are not commercially available) were synthesized. Due to the complex matrix of smoke waters, two quantification approaches (standard dilution with a structural KAR analogue and standard addition) were compared. The standard addition method allowed absolute quantification of KARs in six of eight smoke water samples of diverse origins and ages. Our findings reveal differences in both total and relative levels of KARs in smoke water, and indicate that differences in its KAR composition may be linked to variations in its bioactivity.
DOI: 10.1186/s13007-019-0467-z IEB authors: Karel Doležal, Ondřej Novák