Metabolite profiling using gas chromatography-mass spectrometry (GC-MS) permits the annotation and quantification of a relatively wide variety of metabolites, covering a wide range of biochemical groups of metabolites. Lisec et al. (2006) established a method for GC-MS profiling in plants. Based on this protocol, we provide here a detailed GC-MS-based metabolite profiling protocol to identify compounds belonging to several biochemical groups in the primary metabolism of mature Arabidopsis thaliana seeds (Cohen et al., 2014). The protocol uses methoxyamine hydrochloride and N-methyl-N-trimethylsilyltriflouroacetamide (MSTFA) as derivatization reagents, as previous studies indicated these are the most appropriate compounds for profiling of plant metabolites. The protocol is relatively rapid, delivers reproducible results, and can be employed to profile metabolites of many other types of plant tissues with only minor modifications. In this context, developing seeds can serve as an excellent system for studying metabolic regulation, since during their development, a massive synthesis of reserve compounds occurs controlled under tight transcriptional regulation and associated with temporally distinct metabolic switches.
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