Akhila Ajith


Research Student


BS-MS Dual Degree (2021)
Major: Chemistry; Minor: Biology. Physics, Mathematics
Indian Institute of Science Education and Research Tirupati (IISER
Tirupati), Tirupati, Andhra Pradesh, India

Mass Spectrometry Imaging of xenobiotics in foliar systems

By 2050 it is expected that 4 billion of people will be living in countries with water scarcity, facing food shortages.  At least 60% greater food production is needed to deliver future food security. Crop Protection (CP) products (herbicides, insecticides and fungicides) are designed to meet this global challenge, producing plants that require less water, provide higher yield and are protected from insects, weeds and diseases.  Understanding the identity and distribution of active ingredients in target foliar systems is of key importance for assessing CP project compounds and helping farmers produce safe, nutritious and affordable food while minimising environmental impact.

This project will explore the novel application of established and emerging mass spectrometry imaging (MSI) technologies to measure improved uptake, distribution and metabolism of active ingredients in leaves and plants.  The advantages that MSI offer over current approaches are that the studies can be conducted earlier in the project pipeline, producing richer data regarding the identity of the active ingredient (or it’s metabolite) and endogenous species in shorter timescales.


Ajith, A.; Milnes, P.J.; Johnson, G.N.; Lockyer, N.P. Mass Spectrometry Imaging for Spatial Chemical Profiling of Vegetative Parts of Plants. Plants 202211, 1234. https://doi.org/10.3390/plants11091234