Plant hormones are for a long time known to act as chemical messengers in the regulation of physiological processes during a plant’s life cycle, from germination to senescence. Furthermore, plant hormones simultaneously coordinate physiological responses to biotic and abiotic stresses. To study the hormonal regulation of physiological processes, three main approaches have been used (1) exogenous application of hormones, (2) correlative studies through measurements of endogenous hormone levels, and (3) use of transgenic and/or mutant plants altered in hormone metabolism or signaling. A plant hormone profiling method is useful to unravel cross talk between hormones and help unravel the hormonal regulation of physiological processes in studies using any of the aforementioned approaches. However, hormone profiling is still particularly challenging due to their very low abundance in plant tissues. In this chapter, a sensitive, rapid, and accurate method to quantify all the five “classic” classes of plant hormones plus other plant growth regulators, such as jasmonates, salicylic acid, melatonin, and brassinosteroids is described. The method includes a fast and simple extraction procedure without time consuming steps as purification or derivatization, followed by optimized ultrahigh-performance liquid chromatography coupled to electrospray ionization-tandem mass spectrometry (UHPLC-MS/MS) analysis. This protocol facilitates the high-throughput analysis of hormone profiling and is applicable to different plant tissues.
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We thank Barbara Simancas and Javier A. Miret for help in extraction of Arabidopsis thaliana leaves and Iris × hollandica tepals.
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