Rapid microorganism identification with on-slide proteolytic digestion followed by matrix-assisted laser desorption/ionization tandem mass spectrometry and database searching

Zhongping Yao, Carlos Afonso, Catherine Fenselau

Research output: Journal article publicationJournal articleAcademic researchpeer-review

47 Citations (Scopus)


A simple method for microorganism identification is proposed in this paper. In this method, no isolation or fractionation of microorganisms and no special search algorithm or database are needed. Experimentally, a sample of the unfractionated intact microorganism is subjected to brief on-slide proteolytic digestion and the digestion product ions detected in matrix-assisted laser desorption/ionization mass spectrometry (MALDI-MS) are selected for tandem mass spectrometry (MS/MS). Database searching using the MS/MS spectrum identifies the microorganism protein, and thereby, according to the source of the protein, the microorganism. The method was demonstrated to be feasible with enterobacteriophage MS2 as the model microorganism. The novel method is simple, rapid, and requires a small quantity of sample.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)1953-1956
Number of pages4
JournalRapid Communications in Mass Spectrometry
Issue number20
Publication statusPublished - 1 Jan 2002
Externally publishedYes

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Analytical Chemistry
  • Spectroscopy
  • Organic Chemistry

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