Pipecolic Acid Quantification Using Gas Chromatography-coupled Mass Spectrometry

Keshun Yu, Huazhen Liu, Pradeep Kachroo

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

3 Scopus citations


Pipecolic acid (Pip), a non-proteinacious product of lysine catabolism, is an important regulator of immunity in plants and humans alike. For instance, Pip accumulation is associated with the genetic disorder Zellweger syndrome, chronic liver diseases, and pyridoxine-dependent epilepsy in humans. In plants, Pip accumulates upon pathogen infection and is required for plant defense. The aminotransferase ALD1 catalyzes biosynthesis of Pip precursor piperideine-2-carboxylic acid, which is converted to Pip via ornithine cyclodeaminase. A variety of methods are used to quantify Pip, and some of these involve use of expensive amino acid analysis kits. Here, we describe a simplified procedure for quantitative analysis of Pip from plant tissues. Pipecolic acid was extracted from leaf tissues along with an internal standard norvaline, derivatized with propyl chloroformate and analyzed by gas chromatography-coupled mass spectrometry using selective ion mode. This procedure is simple, economical, and efficient and does not involve isotopic internal standards or multiple-step derivatizations.

Original languageEnglish
Article numbere3841
Issue number23
StatePublished - 2020

Bibliographical note

Publisher Copyright:
Copyright: © 2020 The Authors.


  • Arabidopsis thaliana
  • GC-MS
  • Pipecolic acid
  • Plant defense
  • Propyl chloroformate

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • General Neuroscience
  • General Biochemistry, Genetics and Molecular Biology
  • General Immunology and Microbiology
  • Plant Science


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