Isolation and quantification of mandelonitrile from Arabidopsis thaliana using Gas Chromatography/Mass Spectometry

Mandelonitrile is a nitrogen-containing compound, considered an essential secondary metabolite. Chemically, it is a cyanohydrin derivative of benzaldehyde, with relevant functions in different physiological processes including defense against phytophagous arthropods. So far, procedures for detecting mandelonitrile have been effectively applied in cyanogenic plant species such as Prunus spp. Nevertheless, its presence in Arabidopsis thaliana, considered a non-cyanogenic species, has never been determined. Here, we report the development of an accurate protocol for mandelonitrile quantification in A. thaliana within the context of A. thaliana -spider mite interaction. First, mandelonitrile was isolated from Arabidopsis rosettes using methanol; then, it was derivatized by silylation to enhance detection and, finally, it was quantified using gas chromatography -mass spectrometry. The selectivity and sensitivity of this method make it possible to detect low levels of mandelonitrile (LOD 3 ppm) in a plant species considered non-cyanogenic that, therefore, will have little to no cyanogenic compounds, using a small quantity of starting material (≥ 100 mg).

Original Paper:

Arnaiz, A., Lucas Vallejo-García, J., Vallejos, S., Diaz, I. 2023. Isolation and Quantification of Mandelonitrile from Arabidopsis thaliana Using Gas Chromatography/Mass Spectrometry. Bio-protocol 13. DOI: 10.21769/BioProtoc.4700