Articles | Volume 3, issue 6
Research article
23 Nov 2010
Research article |  | 23 Nov 2010

Quantitative and enantioselective analysis of monoterpenes from plant chambers and in ambient air using SPME

N. Yassaa, T. Custer, W. Song, F. Pech, J. Kesselmeier, and J. Williams

Abstract. A headspace solid-phase microextraction (HS-SPME) and gas chromatography/mass spectrometry (GC/MS) system has been developed for quantifying enantiomeric and nonenantiomeric monoterpenes in plant chamber studies and ambient air. Performance of this system was checked using a capillary diffusion system to produce monoterpene standards. The adsorption efficiency, competitive adsorption and chromatographic peak resolution of monoterpene enantiomer pairs were compared for three SPME fibre coatings: 75 μm Carboxen-PDMS (CAR-PDMS), 50/30 μm divinylbenzene-carboxen-polydimethylsiloxane (DVB-CAR-PDMS) and 65 μm divinylbenzene-polydimethylsiloxane (DVB-PDMS). Key parameters such as the linearity and reproducibility of the SPME system have been investigated in this work. The best compromise between the enantiomeric separation of monoterpenes and competitive adsorption of the isoprenoids on the solid SPME fibre coating was found for DVB-PDMS fibres. The optimum conditions using DVB-PDMS fibres were applied to measure the exchange rates of monoterpenes in the emission of Quercus ilex using a laboratory whole plant enclosure under light and dark conditions, as well as in ambient air. With 592 and 223 ng m−2 s−1 respectively, β-myrcene and limonene were the predominant monoterpenes in the emission of Q. ilex. These values were closely comparable to those obtained using a zNose and cartridge GC-FID systems.