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A one‐step matrix application method for MALDI mass spectrometry imaging of bacterial colony biofilms
- Li, Bin, Comi, Troy J., Si, Tong, Dunham, Sage J. B., Sweedler, Jonathan V.
- Journal of mass spectrometry 2016 v.51 no.11 pp. 1030-1035
- 2,5-dihydroxybenzoic acid, Bacillus subtilis, biofilm, cannibalism, coatings, desorption, image analysis, ionization, matrix-assisted laser desorption-ionization mass spectrometry, metabolites, sprayers
- Matrix‐assisted laser desorption/ionization imaging of biofilms cultured on agar plates is challenging because of problems related to matrix deposition onto agar. We describe a one‐step, spray‐based application of a 2,5‐dihydroxybenzoic acid solution for direct matrix‐assisted laser desorption/ionization imaging of hydrated Bacillus subtilis biofilms on agar. Using both an optimized airbrush and a home‐built automatic sprayer, region‐specific distributions of signaling metabolites and cannibalistic factors were visualized from B. subtilis cells cultivated on biofilm‐promoting medium. The approach provides a homogeneous, relatively dry coating on hydrated samples, improving spot to spot signal repeatability compared with sieved matrix application, and is easily adapted for imaging a range of agar‐based biofilms. Copyright © 2016 John Wiley & Sons, Ltd.