Direct analysis in real time mass spectrometry combined with single-drop liquid–liquid–liquid microextraction for the rapid analysis of multiple phytohormones in fruit juice

Authors: Jialing Zhang, Yu Bai, Huwei Liu
Anal Bioanal Chem. 2012, Feb, 14, [Epub ahead of print],


A rapid, simple, and efficient method for the fast determination of multiple phytohormones was developed in this work, based on single-drop liquid-liquid-liquid microextraction (SD-LLLME) combined with direct analysis in real-time mass spectrometry (DART®-MS). Six phytohormones-indole-3-acetic acid (IAA), indole-3-butyric acid (IBA), jasmonic acid (JA), salicylic acid (SA), abscisic acid (ABA), and gibberellin A(3) (GA(3))-were analyzed simultaneously using this method, and the conditions employed for DART®-MS and SD-LLLME were optimized systematically. Satisfactory results were obtained in terms of linearity (R (2) values for all phytohormones were 0.991-0.996), sensitivity (limits of detection were 0.65-72 ng/mL), and repeatability (RSD values were 6.9-14%). In addition, the proposed method was applied to determine the endogenous phytohormones in three kinds of fruit juice. Different concentrations of phytohormones were detected with satisfactory recoveries, and the whole analytical procedure took no more than 30 min. Therefore, this combination of SD-LLLME and DART®-MS was shown to be a suitable and effective approach for the fast analysis of targets present at trace level concentrations in complex matrices.