Submitted to: Mycopathologia
Publication Type: Peer Reviewed Journal
Publication Acceptance Date: 3/10/2003
Publication Date: 5/1/2004
Citation: Roitman, J.N., Merrill, G.B. 2004. Tree nut leaf volatiles using rapid znose dynamic headspace analysis. Mycopathologia. 157(4):475. Interpretive Summary: Analysis volatiles emitted by plants is an exacting process requiring two days. A newly developed hand held portable gas chromatograph called the zNose allows volatiles to be sampled and analyzed in less than one minute. This instrument was evaluated using known single compounds and mixtures. Although portability and speed make the instrument attractive, the resolution is not sufficient for analysis of complex mixtures of plant volatiles.
Technical Abstract: Analysis of plant volatiles by headspace analysis requires harvesting plant parts, transporting them to the laboratory, trapping headspace components on polymer traps, rinsing volatiles from the traps, concentrating the resulting solution to a small volume by careful distillation and analysis by gas chromatography combined with mass spectrometry. From start to finish this procedure requires at least 48hr. A newly developed portable gas chromatograph called the zNose allows volatiles to be collected and analyzed in the field. The instrument was tested in the laboratory with single component volatiles as well as mixtures of known composition. Although collection and analysis of samples is very fast (less than one minute) the special miniature metal chromatography columns have limited resolution and consequently the instrument may be of limited use for analysis of the complex mixtures of volatiles emitted by plants.