Technical Advance: Quantification of near attomole gibberellins in floral organs dissected froma single Arabidopsis flower ($)

We all learned the series milli-, micro-, nano-, pico-,  femto-, but I didn’t learn atto- (10-18), as it’s rarely used in biology, representing such a tiny number (FYI, atto- is followed by zepto- and yocto-).  Li et al provide a method for quantifying gibberellin (GA) hormones at “near attomole” amounts from a single Arabidopsis flower. Any molecule is hard to isolate in attomolar amounts, but gibberellins provide a particular challenge as they are a family of closely-related compounds that are difficult to separate. By reacting the GAs with a positively-charged moiety [N-(3-dimethylaminopropyl)-N’-ethylcarbodiimide (EDC)] in ethanol, the authors were able to use an ultra-high-performance liquid chromatography (UHPLC)-ESI-MS/MS method to detect tiny amounts of different GAs from the dissected organs of a single Arabidopsis flower. Plant J. 10.1111/tpj.13580