Plant Science


Protocols in Current Issue
Protocols in Past Issues
0 Q&A 1332 Views Dec 20, 2021

Phosphoenolpyruvate carboxylase (PEPC) catalyzes a critical step in carbon metabolism in plants and bacteria, the irreversible reaction between bicarbonate and phosphoenolpyruvate to produce the C4 compound oxaloacetate. This enzyme is particularly important in the context of C4 photosynthesis, where it is the initial carbon-fixing enzyme. Many studies have used kinetic approaches to characterize the properties of PEPCs from different species, different post-translational states, and after mutagenesis. Most of these studies have worked at a fixed saturating concentration of bicarbonate. Controlling the concentration of bicarbonate is difficult at low concentrations because of equilibration with atmospheric CO2. We describe here a simple, repeatable, and gas-tight assay system for PEPC that allows bicarbonate concentrations to be controlled above ca. 50 µM.


0 Q&A 1913 Views Oct 20, 2021

Ascorbate (Vitamin C) fulfills various functions in plant photosynthesis and abiotic stress tolerance. The four key enzymes involved in the ascorbate-turnover pathway are ascorbate peroxidase, ascorbate oxidase, monodehydroascorbate reductase, and dehydroascorbate reductase. Several reports have shown the pivotal roles of these enzymes in plant development and stress tolerance. Therefore, reliable and rapid assay protocols are required for researchers to investigate their enzymatic activities during plant development and stress responses. Previously published methods for analyzing these enzymatic activities rely on cuvette spectrophotometers, which can only handle one sample per test, leading to a prolonged investigation. In this protocol, we employed a 96-well microplate reader to analyze at least eight samples with two technical replicates simultaneously. We analyzed two rice (Oryza sativa L.) genotypes with distinct ascorbate oxidase and dehydroascorbate reductase activities to demonstrate the assay process, including plant growth, sample preparation, reaction setup, and data analysis. Our protocol provides a high throughput method for investigating ascorbate turnover-related enzymatic activities in plants.

0 Q&A 3375 Views May 5, 2021

Post-translational modification of proteins by ubiquitin is an essential cellular signaling mechanism in all eukaryotes. Ubiquitin is removed from target proteins by a wide range of deubiquitinase (DUB) enzymes with different activities and substrate specificities. Understanding how DUBs function in vitro is a vital first step to uncovering their cellular roles. Here, we provide protocols for the rapid analysis of DUB activity in vitro by activity-based labelling with the suicide probe, HA-ubiquitin vinyl sulfone (HA-UbVS), and ubiquitin chain disassembly assays. We have previously used these methods to analyse the activity of the Arabidopsis thaliana DUB, UBP6, but in principle, these protocols are applicable to any DUB of interest.

0 Q&A 2464 Views Jan 5, 2021
Isoprenoids represent the largest class of metabolites with amazing diversities in structure and function. They are involved in protecting plants against pathogens or herbivores or involved in attracting pollinators. Isoprenoids are derived from geranyl diphosphate (GPP; C10), farnesyl diphosphate (FPP; C15), geranylgeranyl diphosphate (GGPP; C20), and geranylfarnesyl diphosphate (GFPP; C25) that are in turn formed by sequential condensations of isopentenyl diphosphate (IPP; C5) with an allylic acceptor such as dimethylallyl diphosphate (DMAPP; C5), GPP, FPP, or GGPP in a reaction catalyzed by isoprenyl diphosphate synthases (IDSs). IDS enzyme assay for determination of prenyl diphosphate products is generally performed using radiolabelled substrates, and the products formed are identified by employing expensive instruments such as phosphor imager, radio-GC, or radioHPLC. Though a non-radioactive assay for measuring IDS activity in crude plant extract has been reported, it requires a complex methodology utilizing chromatography coupled with tandem mass spectrometry (LC/MS-MS). Here, we describe a non-radioactive and simple inexpensive assay for determining the IDS assay products using non-radiolabeled IPP and its co-allylic substrates DMAPP,GPP, and FPP. The detection of prenyl diphosphate products generated in the assay was highly efficient and spots corresponding to prenyl alcohols were visible at >40 µM concentrations of IPP and DMAPP/GPP/FPP substrates. The protocol described here is sensitive, reliable, and technically simple, which could be used for functional characterization of IDS candidates.
0 Q&A 3350 Views Aug 5, 2020
ATPases are the enzymes that breakdown ATP to ADP and release inorganic phosphate (Pi). Here we provide a detailed protocol to determine the ATPase activity of a recombinant AAA+-ATPase protein (GENERAL CONTROL NON-REPRESSIBLE-4 [GCN4]) by spectrophotometric absorption at 360 nm to measure the accumulated inorganic phosphate. In general, the substrate 2-amino-6-mercapto-7-methylpurine riboside (methylthioguanosine, a guanosine analog: MESG) is enzymatically converted in the presence of Pi by purine nucleoside phosphorylase (PNP) to ribose 1-phosphate and 2-amino-6-mercapto-7-methylpurine. The spectrophotometric shift in maximum absorbance at 330 nm for the MESG substrate and subsequent conversion product at 360 nm due to enzymatic conversion was measured. The GCN4-His-tagged recombinant protein was expressed in Escherichia coli BL21 cells and purified using Ni-NTA column. This purified protein was then used for the quantitation of Pi in solution or the continuous determination of Pi released due to the ATPase activity of GCN4, an AAA+-ATPase protein conserved in many eukaryotes, which in plants regulates stomatal aperture during biotic and abiotic stress in plants.
0 Q&A 6196 Views Sep 5, 2018
Enzymes play a key role in insect-plant relationships. For a better understanding of these interactions, we analyzed Tuta absoluta digestive enzymes. Here, we describe a detailed protocol for the detection of trypsin and papain-like enzymes in Tuta absoluta larvae by enzyme histochemistry. This assay uses frozen and unfixed samples to avoid the loss of enzymatic activity. We also describe a protocol for the quantification of trypsin and papain-like enzymes in the larvae of Tuta absoluta at different developmental instars.
0 Q&A 8871 Views Apr 5, 2018
Nitrate reductase (NR) reduces the major plant nitrogen source, NO3-, into NO2-. NR activity can be measured by its final product, nitrite through its absorbance under optimized condition. Here, we present a detailed protocol for measuring relative enzyme activity of NR from Arabidopsis crude extracts. This protocol offers simple procedure and data analysis to compare NR activity of multiple samples.
0 Q&A 9098 Views Jan 5, 2018
RNA-dependent RNA polymerases (RdRPs) in eukaryotes convert single-stranded RNAs into double-stranded RNAs, thereby amplifying small interfering RNAs that play crucial roles in the regulation of development, maintenance of genome integrity and antiviral immunity. Here, we describe a method of in vitro RdRP assay using recombinant Arabidopsis RDR6 prepared by an insect expression system. By using this classical biochemical assay, we revealed that RDR6 has a strong template preference for RNAs lacking a poly(A) tail. This simple method will be applicable to other RdRPs in Arabidopsis and different organisms.
0 Q&A 8155 Views Dec 20, 2017
The opening of stomata in plants in response to blue light is driven by the plasma membrane H+-ATPase in guard cells. To evaluate the activation of the H+-ATPase in vivo, we can use H+-pumping by guard cells in response to blue light and fusicoccin. To do this, it is required to prepare a large amount of guard cell protoplasts and measure H+-pumping in the protoplasts. It is also necessary to determine the protein amount of H+-ATPase. In this protocol, we describe the procedures required for these preparations and measurements.
0 Q&A 7377 Views Sep 20, 2017
Hydroxylation of chlorophyll catabolites at the so-called C32 position (Hauenstein et al., 2016) is commonly found in all plant species analyzed to date. Here we describe an in vitro hydroxylation assay using Capsicum annuum chromoplast membranes as a source of the hydroxylating activity, which converts the substrate epi-pFCC (epi-primary Fluorescent Chlorophyll Catabolite) (Mühlecker et al., 2000) to epi-pFCC-OH.



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