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Thermo Fisher Scientific’s Mass Spectrometry Technology Selected by Victoria’s New Agricultural Biosciences Research Center

Thermo Fisher Scientific Inc., the world leader in serving science, today announced it is outfitting a new research center, AgriBio, the Centre for AgriBioscience located in Victoria, Australia, with a AU$2.5 million of state-of-the-art mass spectrometry (MS) technology. AgriBio, a AU$288 million public private partnership, is a joint initiative of the Victorian Department of Primary Industries and La Trobe University in Melbourne, Australia. Using Thermo Scientific mass spectrometry instrumentation, its activities will support Victoria's AU$11.8 billion agricultural sector, through cutting-edge research to improve productivity, profitability and sustainability and it will address other challenges such as climate change and drought. 

"We are making this investment at the new world class centre to enhance and align our technology capabilities with our strategic agricultural initiatives," said Professor German Spangenberg executive director, Biosciences Research Division, Department of Primary Industries (DPI). "Our investment in Thermo Scientific mass spectrometry systems will help ensure that AgriBio is a central hub of biotechnology-driven research to improve the profitability and sustainability of the Victorian and Australian agricultural industries."

The DPI's Biosciences Research Division already uses the Thermo Scientific LTQ mass spectrometer and has just installed two more Thermo Scientific LTQ Orbitrap Velos systems with Electron Transfer Dissociation (ETD). The research facility also has a Thermo Scientific TSQ Vantage triple stage quadrupole mass spectrometer with a Thermo Scientific Transcend system. The systems will be used to further both small-molecule metabolomics and proteomics research. 

Metabolomics applications underpinning innovation for Victoria's dairy industry will enable molecular dissection of key metabolic pathways such as lignin, fructan and condensed tannin biosynthesis in forages.  Investigations of milk and rumen metabolomes of dairy cows will improve cow management for enhanced productivity and important environmental and health outcomes. "The ability of the LTQ Orbitrap VelosTM to perform MSn and its accurate mass capability will be essential in determining the structure of the small molecule metabolites we study," said Dr. Simone Rochfort, principal research scientist, DPI. 

Proteomics applications include understanding quality traits in key animal and plant species. Disease resistance, production efficiency and stress tolerance will be defined and then proteomic phenotypes for these traits will be measured across populations.  The LTQ Orbitrap Velos was chosen because of its superior mass accuracy and sensitivity, robust MSn capability and multiple fragmentation modes including ETD. ETD is a powerful fragmentation technique that complements traditional collision-induced dissociation (CID). Together, ETD and CID can significantly increase sequence coverage and give added confidence to protein identifications.  "The ETD and collision cell options will enhance our ability to generate accurate protein sequence information to help move our proteomics work forward," said Dr Matt McDonagh, leader Discovery Technologies, DPI.           

AgriBio will use the TSQ VantageTM with the TranscendTM system to speed quantitation of metabolites in complex sample matrices and validate putative proteomics biomarkers. The Transcend system combines the power of automated online sample preparation with multiplexing to increase the efficiency of mass spectrometry workflows. It is designed to increase productivity, enhance efficiency, and boost throughput, without compromising data quality or sensitivity. 

For more information about Thermo Scientific mass spectrometry solutions, including the LTQ Orbitrap Velos, TSQ Vantage and Transcend system, please call +1 800-532-4742 or visit 

Thermo Scientific is part of Thermo Fisher Scientific, the world leader in serving science.

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