Plant Science


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0 Q&A 581 Views Nov 5, 2022

Cytochrome P450 reductase (CPR) is a multi-domain protein that acts as a redox partner of cytochrome P450s. The CPR contains a flavin adenine dinucleotide (FAD)–binding domain, a flavin mononucleotide (FMN)-binding domain, and a connecting domain. To achieve catalytic events, the FMN-binding domain needs to move relative to the FAD-binding domain, and this high flexibility complicates structural determination in high-resolution by X-ray crystallography. Here, we demonstrate a seeding technique of sorghum CPR crystals for resolution improvement, which can be applied to other poorly diffracting protein crystals. Protein expression is completed using an E. coli cell line with a high protein yield and purified using chromatography techniques. Crystals are screened using an automated 96-well plating robot. Poorly diffracting crystals are originally grown using a hanging drop method from successful trials observed in sitting drops. A macro seeding technique is applied by transferring crystal clusters to fresh conditions without nucleation to increase crystal size. Prior to diffraction, a dehydration technique is applied by serial transfer to higher precipitant concentrations. Thus, an increase in resolution by 7 Å is achieved by limiting the inopportune effects of the flexibility inherent to the domains of CPR, and secondary structures of SbCPR2c are observed.


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1 Q&A 886 Views Oct 20, 2022

The ascorbate peroxidase (APX) is a widely distributed antioxidant enzyme. It differs from catalase and other peroxidases in that it scavenges/reduces reactive oxygen species (ROS) such as hydrogen peroxide (H2O2) to water using reduced ascorbate as the electron donor. It is advantageous over other similar antioxidant enzymes in scavenging ROS since ascorbate may react with superoxide, singlet oxygen, and hydroxyl radical, in addition to reacting with H2O2. The estimation of its activity is helpful to analyze the level of oxidative stress in living systems under stressful conditions. The present protocol was performed to analyze the impact of heavy metal chromium (Cr) toxicity on sorghum plants in the form of APX enzyme activity under the application of glycine betaine (GB) and arbuscular mycorrhizal fungi (AMF) as stress ameliorators. Plant defense strategies against heavy metals toxicity involve the utilization of APX and the instigation of AMF symbiotic system, as well as their possible collaboration with one another or with the plant antioxidant system; this has been examined and discussed in literature. In this protocol, an increased APX activity was observed on underlying functions and detoxification capabilities of GB and AMF that are typically used by plants to enhance tolerance to Cr toxicity.


Graphical abstract:



Flow chart of standardized or calibrated enzyme assay with leaf samples of sorghum


0 Q&A 1113 Views Oct 5, 2022

A number of molecules, such as secreted peptides, have been shown to mediate root-to-shoot signaling in response to various conditions. The xylem is a pathway for water and molecules that are translocated from roots to shoots. Therefore, collecting and analyzing xylem exudates is an efficient approach to study root-to-shoot long-distance signaling. Here, we describe a step-by-step protocol for the collection of xylem exudate from the model plant Arabidopsis and the crop plant soybean (Glycine max). In this protocol, we can collect xylem exudate from plants cultured under normal growth conditions without using special equipment.


Graphical abstract:



Xylem exudates on the cut surfaces of an Arabidopsis hypocotyl and a soybean internode.


0 Q&A 826 Views Oct 5, 2022
The quantification of plant hormones and related gene expression is essential to improve the understanding of the molecular regulation of plant growth and development. However, plant hormone quantification is still challenging due to extremely low endogenous levels and high chemical diversity. In this study, we present a convenient extraction protocol that enables the simultaneous extraction of both phytohormones and RNA from the same sample in a small quantity (approximately 10 mg). Using ultra-performance liquid chromatography coupled with tandem mass spectrometry (UPLC–MS/MS), this protocol provides a method to quantify 13 phytohormones and their derivatives from four classes (cytokinin, auxin, abscisic acid, and gibberellin) at the speed of 14 min per sample.

0 Q&A 1676 Views Jun 20, 2022

Nicotinamide adenine dinucleotide (NAD) is an essential cofactor of numerous enzymatic reactions found in all living cells. Pyridine nucleotides (NAD+ and NADH) are also key players in signaling through reactive oxygen species (ROS), being crucial in the regulation of both ROS-producing and ROS-consuming systems in plants. NAD content is a powerful modulator of metabolic integration, protein de-acetylation, and DNA repair. The balance between NAD oxidized and reduced forms, i.e., the NADH/NAD+ ratio, indicates the redox state of a cell, and it is a measurement that reflects the metabolic health of cells. Here we present an easy method to estimate the NAD+ and NADH content enzymatically, using alcohol dehydrogenase (ADH), an oxido-reductase enzyme, and with MTT (3-(4,5-Dimethyl-2-thiazolyl)-2,5-diphenyl-2H-tetrazolium bromide) as the substrate and 1-methoxy PMS (1-Methoxy-5-methylphenazinium methyl sulfate) as the electron carrier. MTT is reduced to a purple formazan, which is then detected. We used Arabidopsis leaf samples exposed to aluminum toxicity and under untreated control conditions. NADH/NAD+ connects many aspects of metabolism and plays vital roles in plant developmental processes and stress responses. Therefore, it is fundamental to determine the status of NADH/NAD+ under stress.

0 Q&A 1137 Views Jun 5, 2022

Plant genomes are pronouncedly enriched in repeat elements such as transposons. These repeats are epigenetically regulated by DNA methylation. Whole genome high-depth sequencing after bisulfite treatment remains an expensive and laborious method to reliably profile the DNA methylome, especially when considering large genomes such as in crops. Here, we present a simple reproducible Southern hybridisation–based assay to obtain incontrovertible methylation patterns from targeted regions in the rice genome. By employing minor but key modifications, we reliably detected transposon copy number variations over multiple generations. This method can be regarded as a gold standard for validation of epigenetic variations at target loci, and the consequent proliferation of transposons, or segregation in several plant replicates and genotypes.


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0 Q&A 1393 Views May 20, 2022

Protein–lipid interactions play important roles in many biological processes, including metabolism, signaling, and transport; however, computational and structural analyses often fail to predict such interactions, and determining which lipids participate in these interactions remains challenging. In vitro assays to assess the physical interaction between a protein of interest and a panel of phospholipids provide crucial information for predicting the functionality of these interactions in vivo. In this protocol, which we developed in the context of evaluating protein–lipid binding of the Arabidopsis thaliana florigen FLOWERING LOCUS T, we describe four independent in vitro experiments to determine the interaction of a protein with phospholipids: lipid–protein overlay assays, liposome binding assays, biotin-phospholipid pull-down assays, and fluorescence polarization assays. These complementary assays allow the researcher to test whether the protein of interest interacts with lipids in the test panel, identify the relevant lipids, and assess the strength of the interaction.

0 Q&A 1644 Views Apr 20, 2022

The protein expression and purification process is an essential initial step for biochemical analysis of a protein of interest. Traditionally, heterologous protein expression systems (such as E. coli, yeast, insect cells, and cell-free) are employed for plant protein expression, although a plant expression system is often desirable for plant proteins, to ensure proper post-translational modifications. Here, we describe a method to express and purify the ectodomain of one of the leucine-rich repeat receptor-like kinase called CARD1/HPCA1, from Nicotiana benthamiana apoplastic fluid. First, we express His-tagged CARD1 ectodomain in the apoplastic space of N. benthamiana by the Agroinfiltration method. Then, we collect apoplastic fluids from the leaves and purify the His-tagged protein by Ni2+-affinity chromatography. In addition to plant-specific post-translational modifications, protein accumulated in the plant apoplastic space, rather than in the cytosolic space, should be kept under an oxidizing environment. Such an environment will help to maintain the property of intrinsic disulfide bonds in the protein of interest. Further, purification from the apoplastic fluids, rather than the total protein extract, will significantly reduce contaminants (for instance RuBisCO) during protein extraction, and simplify downstream processes. We envisage that our system will be useful for expressing various plant proteins, particularly the apoplastic or extracellular regions of membrane proteins.

1 Q&A 1298 Views Apr 5, 2022

The precise regulation of the homeostasis of the cellular proteome is critical for the appropriate growth and development of plants. It also allows the plants to respond to various environmental stresses, by modulating their biochemical and physiological aspects in a timely manner. Ubiquitination of cellular proteins is one of the major protein degradation routes for maintaining cellular protein homeostasis, and ubiquitin E3 ligases, components of ubiquitin ligase complexes, play an important role in the selective degradation of target proteins via substrate-specific interactions. Thus, understanding the role of E3 ligases and their substrate regulation uncovers their specific cellular and physiological functions. Here, we provide protocols for auto- and substrate-ubiquitination analyses that utilize the combination of in vitro purified E3 ubiquitin ligase proteins and immunoprecipitation.

0 Q&A 1159 Views Mar 20, 2022

Activity-based protein profiling (ABPP) is a chemoproteomics platform to assess the functional state of enzymes in complex biological systems. Over the two decades, ABPP has emerged from a gel-based to gel-free platform, for in-depth proteome analysis with enhanced resolution, sensitivity for target detection, and discovery of small molecule inhibitors. The gel-free format of ABPP coupled with advanced mass spectrometry is highly sensitive and provides more comprehensive knowledge for the targeted enzyme family than the gel-based method. ABPP strategy is applied across microbe, plant, and animal models. It can be performed both in vitro and in vivo studies, and there is no limitation on sample origin. Here, we report an ultrasensitive, gel-free format of ABPP called active site peptide profiling. This protocol describes the identification of authentic functional proteins, by tagging their active sites in a native biological system. It is high throughput in nature and helps enrich even low abundance functional proteins. Since protein identification is virtually based on a single peptide, the identified peptide should be a unique peptide to identify its parent protein. It can be performed in a facile manner and offers to consolidate identification of protein targets as well as the site of probe modification. We have validated this approach using a fluorophosphonate (FP) serine hydrolase probe in the native proteome of the cereal crop Oryza sativa.


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Serine hydrolase active site peptide profiling





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