Development of a MALDI two-layer volume sample preparation technique for analysis of colored conidia spores of Fusarium by MALDI linear TOF mass spectrometry.Anal Bioanal Chem. 2009 Nov; 395(5):1373-83.AB
Matrix-assisted laser desorption/ionization time-of-flight mass spectrometry (MALDI-TOF MS) has been proved to be a powerful tool for the identification and characterization of microorganisms based on their surface peptide/protein pattern. Because of the complexity of microorganisms, there are no standardized protocols to acquire reproducible peptide/protein profiles for a broad range of microorganisms and for fungi in particular. Small variations during MALDI MS sample preparation affect the quality of mass spectra quite often. In this study, we were aiming to develop a sample preparation method for the analysis of colored, a quite often observed phenomenon, and mycotoxin-producing Fusarium conidia spores using MALDI-TOF MS. Different washing solvent systems for light- and deep-colored (from slightly orange to red-brown) conidia spores and connected sample deposition techniques were evaluated based on MS reproducibility and number and intensities of peaks. As a method of choice for generation of reproducible and characteristic MALDI-TOF mass spectra, the use of a washing process for colored Fusarium conidia spores with acetonitrile/0.5% formic acid (7/3) was found and subsequently combined with two-layer volume technique (spores/matrix (ferulic acid) solution was deposited onto a MALDI target, and after solvent evaporation, a second matrix layer was deposited). With the application of this sample preparation method, for deep-colored Fusarium species, 19 abundant molecular ions in the m/z range 2,000-10,000 were always detected with an S/N ratio of 3:1 or better. Finally this optimized sample preparation for the first time provided mass spectrometric fingerprints of strongly colored Fusarium conidia spores resulting in the possibility of differentiation of such spores at the species level.