Plant Science


Protocols in Current Issue
Protocols in Past Issues
0 Q&A 295 Views May 5, 2023

Visualization of cell structure with fluorescent dye for characterizing cell size, shape, and arrangement is a common method to study tissue morphology and morphogenesis. In order to observe shoot apical meristem (SAM) in Arabidopsis thaliana by laser scanning confocal microscopy, we modified the pseudo-Schiff propidium iodide staining method by adding a series solution treatment to stain the deep cells. The advantage of this method is mainly reflected by the direct observation of the clearly bounded cell arrangement and the typical three-layer cells in SAM without the traditional tissue slicing.

0 Q&A 1775 Views Jun 20, 2022

In this study, we present a detailed protocol for live imaging and quantitative analysis of floral meristem development in Aquilegia coerulea, a member of the buttercup family (Ranunculaceae). Using confocal microscopy and the image analysis software MorphoGraphX, we were able to examine the cellular growth dynamics during floral organ primordia initiation, and the transition from floral meristem proliferation to termination. This protocol provides a powerful tool to study the development of the meristem and floral organ primordia, and should be easily adaptable to many plant lineages, including other emerging model systems. It will allow researchers to explore questions outside the scope of common model systems.

0 Q&A 1762 Views May 5, 2022

Soil-surface roots (SORs) in rice are primary roots that elongate over or near the soil surface. SORs help avoid excessive reduction of stress that occurs in paddy, such as in saline conditions. SORs may also be beneficial for rice growth in phosphorus-deficient paddy fields. Thus, SOR is a useful trait for crop adaptation to certain environmental stresses. To identify a promising genetic material showing SOR, we established methods for evaluating SOR under different growth conditions. We introduced procedures to evaluate the genetic diversity of SOR in various growth stages and conditions: the Cup method allowed us to quantify SOR at the seedling stage, and the Basket method, using a basket buried in a pot or field, is useful in quantifying SOR at the adult stage. These protocols are expected to contribute not only to the evaluation of the genetic diversity of SOR, but also the isolation of related genes in rice.

0 Q&A 2083 Views Jul 20, 2021

Ion-specific probes and fluorescent indicators have been key in establishing the role of ion signaling, namely calcium, protons, and anions, in plant development, providing a robust approach for monitoring spatiotemporal changes in intracellular ion dynamics. The integration of protons/pH in signaling mechanisms is especially important as reports of their biological functions continue to expand; however, attaining quantitative estimates with high spatiotemporal resolution in single cells poses a major research challenge. Here, we detail the use of the genetically encoded pH-sensitive pHluorin reporter expressed in Arabidopsis thaliana pollen tubes to assess cytosolic measurements with calibration to provide actual pH values. This technique enabled us to identify critical phenotypes and establish the importance of tip-focused pH gradient for pollen tube growth, although it can be adapted to other experimental systems.

0 Q&A 3456 Views Jun 5, 2021

Cryo-scanning electron microscopy (cryo-SEM) was first introduced for scientific use in the 1980s. Since then, cryo-SEM has become a routine technique for studying the surfaces and internal structures of biological samples with a high water content. In contrast to traditional SEM, cryo-SEM requires no sample pretreatment processes; thus, we can obtain the most authentic images of the sample shape and structure. Cryo-SEM has two main steps: cryoprocessing of samples and scanning electron microscopy (SEM) observation. The cryoprocessing step includes preparation of the cooled slushing station, cooling of the preparation chamber, sample preparation, and sputtering. The sample is then transferred to an SEM cold stage for observation. We used cryo-SEM to study rice root hair tissues, but the methods and protocols can be applied to other root systems. This protocol optimizes the two key operation steps of reducing the humidity in the growth chamber and previewing the samples before sputtering and can more quickly obtain high-quality images.

0 Q&A 3803 Views May 5, 2021

Recurring damage to the aerial organs of plants necessitates their prompt repair, particularly their vasculature. While vascular regeneration assays for aerial plant parts such as the stem and inflorescence stalk are well established, those for leaf vasculature remain unexplored. Recently, we established a new vascular regeneration assay in growing leaves and discovered the underlying molecular mechanism. Here, we describe the detailed stepwise method for the incision and regeneration assay used to study leaf vascular regeneration. By using a combination of micro-surgical perturbations, brightfield microscopy, and other experimental approaches, we further show that the age of the leaf as well as the position and size of the injury determine the overall success rate of regeneration. This easy-to-master vascular regeneration assay is an efficient and rapid method to study the mechanism of vascular regeneration in growing leaves. The assay can be readily combined with cellular and molecular biology techniques.

1 Q&A 5028 Views Feb 5, 2021

Histological stains are useful tools for characterizing cell shape, arrangement and the material they are made from. Stains can be used individually or simultaneously to mark different cell structures or polymers within the same cells, and to visualize them in different colors. Histological stains can be combined with genetically-encoded fluorescent proteins, which are useful for understanding of plant development. To visualize suberin lamellae by fluorescent microscopy, we improved a histological staining procedure with the dyes Fluorol Yellow 088 and aniline blue. In the complex plant organs such as roots, suberin lamellae are deposited deep within the root on the endodermal cell wall. Our procedure yields reliable and detailed images that can be used to determine the suberin pattern in root cells. The main advantage of this protocol is its efficiency, the detailed visualization of suberin localization it generates in the root, and the possibility of returning to the confocal images to analyze and re-evaluate data if necessary.

0 Q&A 3090 Views Feb 5, 2021

The ion-selective vibrating probe has been used to detect and quantify the magnitude and direction of transmembrane fluxes of several ions in a wide range of biological systems. Inherently non-invasive, vibrating probes have been essential to access relevant electrophysiological parameters related to apical growth and morphogenesis in pollen tubes, a highly specialized cell where spatiotemporal tuning of ion dynamics is fundamental. Of relevance, crucial processes to the cell physiology of pollen tubes associated with protons and anions have been elucidated using vibrating probes, allowing the identification of diverse molecular players underlying and regulating their extracellular fluxes. The use of Arabidopsis thaliana as a genetic model system posed new challenges given their relatively small dimensions and difficult manipulation in vitro. Here, we describe protocol optimizations that made the use of the ion-selective vibrating probe in Arabidopsis pollen tubes feasible, ensuring consistent and reproducible data. Quantitative methods like this enabled characterizing phenotypes of ion transporter mutants, which are not directly detectable by evident morphological and reproductive defects, providing valuable insights into molecular and cellular mechanisms. The protocol for quantifying extracellular proton and anionic fluxes detailed here can be adjusted to other systems and species, while the sample preparation can be applied to correlated techniques, facilitating the research of pollen tube growth and development.

1 Q&A 3994 Views Jan 5, 2021

Cannabis seed germination is an important process for growers and researchers alike. Many biotechnological applications require a reliable sterile method for seed germination. This protocol outlines a seed germination procedure for Cannabis sativa using a hydrogen peroxide (H2O2) solution as liquid germination media. In this protocol, all three steps including seed sterilization, germination, and seedlings development were carried out in an H2O2 solution of different concentrations; 1% H2O2 solution showed the fastest and the most efficient germination. This protocol also exhibited high germination efficiency for very old cannabis seeds with lower viability. Overall, this protocol demonstrates superior germination compared to water control and reduces the risk of contamination, making it suitable for tissue culture and other sensitive applications.

0 Q&A 2727 Views Jan 5, 2021
In plants, the morphological diversity of leaves is largely determined by cell division, especially cell division orientation. Whereas cell division itself is easily monitored, the detection and quantification of cell division orientation are difficult. The few existing methods for detection and quantification of cell division orientation are either inefficient or laborious. Here, we describe a pulse-chase strategy using a 5-ethynyl-2’-deoxyuridine (EdU) labeling assay. Plant tissues are first incubated with EdU for a short period (pulse), followed by a long incubation without EdU (chase). Using this method, the positions of daughter cells are easily detected and can be used to quantify cell division orientation. Our protocol is rapid and very efficient for quantitative analysis of cell division orientation, and can be applied to both model and non-model plant species.

Graphic abstract

Plant cell division pairs clearly visualized by a pulse-chase EdU method

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