High Enrichment [13 C]-Labeling of Plants Grown Hydroponically from Seed to Seed in a Controlled 13 C-Carbon Dioxide Atmosphere Enclosure

Calvin P. Peters, Erin M. Evans, Jerry D. Cohen, Adrian D. Hegeman

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

2 Scopus citations


In vivo isotopic labeling empowers proteomic and metabolomic analyses to resolve relationships between the molecular composition, environment, and phenotype of an organism. Carbon-13 is particularly useful for plant labeling as it can be introduced via 13 CO2 gas and readily assimilated into plant metabolic systems through natural carbon fixation. While short-term labeling experiments can be performed within a simple sealed enclosure, long-term growth in an isolated environment raises many challenges beyond nutrient availability and buildup of metabolic waste. Viable growth conditions must be maintained by means that do not compromise the integrity of the carbon-13 enrichment. To address these issues, an automated growth chamber equipped with countermeasures to neutralize stresses and ensure high isotopic enrichment throughout the life cycle of the plant has been developed. The following describes this growth chamber and its use in an example 130-day growth of ten soybean plants to full maturity, achieving 100% carbon-13 enrichment of new seed tissue.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)e20069
JournalCurrent protocols in plant biology
Issue number2
StatePublished - Jun 1 2018


  • 13CO2
  • carbon-13
  • growth chamber
  • isotopic labeling

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