Objective & Background: In this review, we summarize the principle and applicability of
hyphenations of planar chromatography in natural product research. Direct bioautography, the combination of
planar chromatography with antimicrobial assay, is suitable for rapid, high-throughput screening of plant
extracts, and can be used as a bio-monitoring system in effect-directed processes. It permits testing of
separated, individual matrix components against various bacterial or fungal species.
Discussion: The bioautogram (developed adsorbent layer immersed into a cell suspension) can be visualized
using vital dyes or by detecting the emitted light of luminescent cells. Further characterization of active
compounds, selected according to the bioautogram, can be carried out in or ex situ by spectroscopic (e.g.,
FTIR, FT-Raman, SERS, NMR) and/or spectrometric (MS with various ionization techniques) techniques. In
the last decade, intense innovation work on planar chromatography-mass spectrometry implemented a rapid
characterization of separated components by the use of a manually operated, pneumatically driven TLC-MS
interface comprising an elution head or by techniques with one-step desorption and ionization that can be
carried out with spray, laser or excited gas beam. The advantages of overpressured layer chromatography
(OPLC) in these approaches are also demonstrated.