Simplifying the Preparation of Pollen Grains for MALDI-TOF MS Classification

Matrix-assisted laser desorption ionization time of flight mass spectrometry (MALDI-TOF MS) is a well-implemented analytical technique for the investigation of complex biological samples. In MS, the sample preparation strategy is decisive for the success of the measurements. Here, sample preparation processes and target materials for the investigation of different pollen grains are compared. A reduced and optimized sample preparation process prior to MALDI-TOF measurement is presented using conductive carbon tape as target. The application of conductive tape yields in enhanced absolute signal intensities and mass spectral pattern information, which leads to a clear separation in subsequent pattern analysis. The results will be used to improve the taxonomic differentiation and identification, and might be useful for the development of a simple routine method to identify pollen based on mass spectrometry.


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