Mass Spectrometry for Discovering Natural Products
This chapter describes the application of mass spectrometry (MS) in the structural elucidation of natural products, starting with electron ionization and going through other techniques of soft ionization. If MS gives information about molecular formulas, this technique is also pivotal in the task of the identification of natural products. In this context the advent of hyphenated protocols has created the opportunity of identifying each compound in complex mixtures. Using gas chromatography MS and high-performance liquid chromatography MS it has been possible to generate a wide range of applications to natural products. More recently the use of imaging MS has opened up new avenues in the identification of natural products as they occur in living organisms. In this chapter some examples of applications of MS to natural products research are discussed.