Plant Science


Protocols in Current Issue
Protocols in Past Issues
0 Q&A 4246 Views Dec 20, 2019
Arabidopsis seed coat epidermal cells deposit a significant quantity of mucilage, composed of the cell wall components pectin, hemicellulose, and cellulose, into the apoplast during development. When mature seeds are hydrated, mucilage extrudes to form a gelatinous capsule around the seed. Determining the monosaccharide composition of both extruded mucilage and whole seeds is an essential technique for characterizing seed coat developmental processes and mutants with altered mucilage composition. This protocol covers growth of plants to produce seeds suitable for analysis, extraction of extruded mucilage using water and sodium carbonate (used for mutants with impaired mucilage release), and extraction of alcohol insoluble residue (AIR) from whole seeds. The prepared polysaccharides are then hydrolyzed using sulfuric acid, which hydrolyses all polysaccharides including cellulose. Sensitive and reproducible quantification of the resulting monosaccharides is achieved using high-performance anion exchange chromatography coupled with pulsed amperometric detection (HPAEC-PAD).
1 Q&A 8659 Views Aug 5, 2019
Lignocellulosic biomass is a versatile renewable resource for fuels, buildings, crafts, and biomaterials. Strategies of molecularly designing lignocellulose for industrial application has been developed by the discoveries of novel genes after the screenings of various mutants and transformed lines of Arabidopsis whose cell walls could be modified in the inflorescence stem, a model woody tissue. The mechanical properties are used as a quantitative index for the chemorehological behavior of the genetically modified cell wall in the tissue. This parameter can be measured with tensile or bending tests of tissue explants, the vibration analysis of tissue behavior or using atomic force microscopy to probe the tissue surface. Here, we describe in detail the procedure to determine the stiffness of methanol-fixed, rehydrated and pronase-treated inflorescence explants with a tensile testing machine based on classical methods for the determination of cell wall extensibility.
0 Q&A 6055 Views Apr 5, 2018
The bulk transport of molecules through plant tissues underpins growth and development. The stem acts as a conduit between the upper and low domains of the plant, facilitating transport of solutes and water from the roots to the shoot system, and sugar plus other elaborated metabolites towards the non-photosynthetic organs. In order to perform this function efficiently, the stem needs to be optimized for transport. This is achieved through the formation of vasculature that connects the whole plant but also through connectivity signatures that reduce path length distributions outside the vascular system. This protocol was devised to characterize how cell connectivity affects the bulk flow of molecules traversing the stem. This is achieved by exposing young seedlings to fluorescein, for which no specific transporter is assumed to be present in A. thaliana, and assessing the relative concentration of this fluorescent compound in individual cells of the embryonic stem (hypocotyl) using confocal microscopy and quantitative 3D image analysis after a given exposure time.
0 Q&A 6553 Views Aug 5, 2017
Polyamines (PAs) are polycationic compounds found in all living organisms and play crucial roles in growth and survival. We here show the ‘Polyamine and paraquat (PQ) transport assay’ protocol, which can be used to examine the uptake activity of PA/PQ transporters. We have used this protocol to demonstrate that PUT3 in Arabidopsis is a polyamine transporter and is able to take up spermidine and its analog paraquat.
2 Q&A 12236 Views Jun 20, 2017
Estimation of stomatal aperture using low viscosity silicone-base impression material has the advantage of working with the whole leaf. The developmental stage and the environment strongly affect the stomatal aperture. Therefore, it is mandatory to have accurate estimations of the stomatal aperture of intact leaves under different situations. With this technique, it is possible to get the real picture at any moment. The outputs of the data include studies on cell area and morphology, epidermis cell and stomata lineages, among others. This protocol is useful for the accurate estimation of stomatal aperture in many samples of intact leaves in Arabidopsis thaliana.
0 Q&A 12044 Views Apr 20, 2017
Stomatal conductance, the reciprocal of stomatal resistance, represents the gas exchange ability of stomata. Generally, the stomatal conductance is higher when stomata open wider, and vice versa. In this protocol, we describe how to measure stomatal conductance in rice using Li-6400 (Licor, USA).
0 Q&A 11788 Views Sep 5, 2016
Leaf epidermal cell size and number are positively correlated to leaf area. Stomata are specialized epidermal cells vital for gas exchange and water transpiration. So, observation and statistical analysis of the leaf epidermal cells are valuable for the study of leaf development and response to environmental stimulus. The classical method is using the scanning electron microscope (SEM), which is an expensive and time-consuming method, thus makes the large-scale screening of epidermis impractical. Here we provide simple but effective methods (agarose-based epidermal imprinting and tape-based epidermis tearing) for solving this problem without using the SEM.
0 Q&A 8922 Views Jun 20, 2016
Measurement of auxin transport capacity provides quantitative data on the physiological machinery involved in auxin transport within plants. This technique is easy to perform and gives quick results. Radiolabelled auxin (indole-3-acetic-acid) is fed into the roots of Medicago truncatula via an agar block. The resulting radioactivity from radiolabelled auxin uptake in the roots is measured with a liquid scintillation counter. Here, we describe the measurement of auxin transport capacity around the nodulation susceptible zone in young seedling roots of M. truncatula in response to rhizobia inoculation. Similar assays could be adapted in other plant species and to answer other biological questions.
0 Q&A 9234 Views Jun 20, 2016
Auxins represent a major group of phytohormones controlling plant development. The spatio-temporal regulation of auxin gradients is essential for the initiation, growth and correct development of plant organs. Because auxins and their metabolites occur at trace levels in plant tissue, experiments requiring identification plus their selective and specific quantification can be most conveniently achieved using mass spectrometry (MS) and the associated chromatographic methods. With the advent of appropriate liquid-based ionisation techniques, emphasis has moved from the use of gas chromatography as the sample interface to the MS (GC/MS), with its concomitant need for derivatisation, to the more sensitive liquid chromatography tandem mass spectrometry (LC-MS/MS). We describe an optimized liquid chromatography electrospray-ionisation quadrupole time-of-flight (LC-ESI-QTOF) methodology for the quantification of auxins. While the solvent extraction of young Medicago truncatula (M. truncatula) roots, as described herein, is relatively straightforward, older, woody or oily plant tissues may also be analyzed with appropriate modification to remove interferences and/or enhance extraction efficiency. In our hands, the analytical assay has proved sufficiently sensitive for the quantification of auxins to investigate their roles in various organogenic events, such as root nodulation in M. truncatula. Further increases in sensitivity can be expected with the use of the latest generation of instruments.
0 Q&A 9195 Views Mar 20, 2016
Variation in the tissue structure of short rotation coppice (SRC) willow is a principle factor driving differences in lignocellulosic sugar yield yet much of the physiology and development of this tissue is unknown. Traditional sectioning can be both difficult and destructive in woody tissue; however, technology such as three dimensional X-ray micro-computational tomography (μCT) scanning can be used to move biological researchers beyond traditional two dimensional assessment of tissue variation without having to destructively cut cells. This technology does not replace classical microscopic techniques but rather can be carefully integrated with traditional methods to improve exploration of the world of plant biology in three dimensions. The procedures below outline preparation of willow for 3D X-ray μCT and associated xylem staining and visualisation techniques, in particular secondary xylem programmed-cell-death (PCD) delay during gelatinous fibre (g-fibre) development. Many of the staining techniques here are transferable to other woody species such as poplar and Eucalyptus.



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