Plant Science


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0 Q&A 402 Views Sep 20, 2023

Here, we present an approach combining fluorescence in situ hybridization (FISH) and immunolabeling for localization of pri-miRNAs in isolated nuclei of A. thaliana. The presented method utilizes specific DNA oligonucleotide probes, modified by addition of digoxigenin-labeled deoxynucleotides to its 3′ hydroxyl terminus by terminal deoxynucleotidyl transferase (TdT). The probes are then detected by immunolabeling of digoxigenin (DIG) using specific fluorescent-labeled antibodies to visualize hybridized probes. Recently, we have applied this method to localize pri-miRNA156a, pri-miRNA163, pri-miRNA393a, and pri-miRNA414 in the nuclei isolated from leaves of 4-week-old A. thaliana. The present approach can be easily implemented to analyze nuclear distribution of diverse RNA classes, including mRNAs and pri-miRNAs in isolated fixed cells or nuclei from plant.

0 Q&A 584 Views Dec 20, 2022

MicroRNAs (miRNA) are small (21–24 nt) non-coding RNAs involved in many biological processes in both plants and animals. The biogenesis of plant miRNAs starts with the transcription of MIRNA (MIR) genes by RNA polymerase II; then, the primary miRNA transcripts are cleaved by Dicer-like proteins into mature miRNAs, which are then loaded into Argonaute (AGO) proteins to form the effector complex, the miRNA-induced silencing complex (miRISC). In Arabidopsis , some MIR genes are expressed in a tissue-specific manner; however, the spatial patterns of MIR gene expression may not be the same as the spatial distribution of miRISCs due to the non-cell autonomous nature of some miRNAs, making it challenging to characterize the spatial profiles of miRNAs. A previous study utilized protoplasting of green fluorescent protein (GFP) marker transgenic lines followed by fluorescence-activated cell sorting (FACS) to isolate cell-type-specific small RNAs. However, the invasiveness of this approach during the protoplasting and cell sorting may stimulate the expression of stress-related miRNAs. To non-invasively profile cell-type-specific miRNAs, we generated transgenic lines in which root cell layer-specific promoters drive the expression of AGO1 and performed immunoprecipitation to non-invasively isolate cell-layer-specific miRISCs. In this protocol, we provide a detailed description of immunoprecipitation of root cell layer-specific GFP-AGO1 using EN7::GFP-AGO1 and ACL5::GFP-AGO1 transgenic plants, followed by small RNA sequencing to profile single-cell-type-specific miRNAs. This protocol is also suitable to profile cell-type-specific miRISCs in other tissues or organs in plants, such as flowers or leaves.

Graphical abstract

0 Q&A 2074 Views Nov 5, 2021

RNA granules (RGs) are membraneless intracellular compartments that play important roles in the post-transcriptional control of gene expression. Stress granules (SGs) are a type of RGs that form under environmental challenges and/or internal cellular stresses. Stress treatments lead to strong mRNAs translational inhibition and storage in SGs until the normal growth conditions are restored. Intriguingly, we recently showed that plant stress granules are associated with siRNA bodies, where the RDR6-mediated and transposon-derived siRNA biogenesis occurs (Kim et al., 2021). This protocol provides a technical workflow for the enrichment of cytoplasmic RGs from Arabidopsis seedlings. We used the DNA methylation-deficient ddm1 mutant in our study, but the method can be applied to any other plant samples with strong RG formation. The resulting RG fractions can be further tested for either RNAs or proteins using RNA-seq and mass spectrometry-based proteomics.

0 Q&A 1834 Views Sep 20, 2021

Cytidine-to-uridine (C-to-U) RNA editing is one of the most important post-transcriptional RNA processing in plant mitochondria and chloroplasts. Several techniques have been developed to detect the RNA editing efficiency in plant mitochondria and chloroplasts, such as poisoned primer extension (PPE) assays, high-resolution melting (HRM) analysis, and DNA sequencing. Here, we describe a method for the quantitative detection of RNA editing at specific sites by sequencing cDNA from plant leaves to further evaluate the effect of different treatments or plant mutants on the C to U RNA editing in mitochondria and chloroplasts.

0 Q&A 1374 Views Sep 5, 2021

Small nuclear RNAs (snRNAs) are vital for eukaryotic cell activities and play important roles in pre-mRNA splicing. The molecular mechanism underlying the transcription of snRNA, regulated via upstream/downstream cis-elements and relevant trans-elements, has been investigated in detail using cell-free extracts. However, the processing of precursor snRNA (pre-snRNA), which is required by 3’ end maturation of pre-snRNA, remains unclear as a proper processing assay is difficult to develop in vitro. Here, we present an in vitro method using synthetic labeled RNA as substrates to study the 3’ cleavage of pre-snRNA.

0 Q&A 2744 Views Aug 20, 2021

Analyzing cellular structures and the relative location of molecules is essential for addressing biological questions. Super-resolution microscopy techniques that bypass the light diffraction limit have become increasingly popular to study cellular molecule dynamics in situ. However, the application of super-resolution imaging techniques to detect small RNAs (sRNAs) is limited by the choice of proper fluorophores, autofluorescence of samples, and failure to multiplex. Here, we describe an sRNA-PAINT protocol for the detection of sRNAs at nanometer resolution. The method combines the specificity of locked nucleic acid probes and the low background, precise quantitation, and multiplexable characteristics of DNA Point Accumulation for Imaging in Nanoscale Topography (DNA-PAINT). Using this method, we successfully located sRNA targets that are important for development in maize anthers at sub-20 nm resolution and quantitated their exact copy numbers.

Graphic abstract:

Multiplexed sRNA-PAINT. Multiple Vetting and Analysis of RNA for In Situ Hybridization (VARNISH) probes with different docking strands (i.e., a, b, …) will be hybridized to samples. The first probe will be imaged with the a* imager. The a* imager will be washed off with buffer C, and then the sample will be imaged with b* imager. The wash and image steps can be repeated sequentially for multiplexing.

1 Q&A 4976 Views Jun 20, 2021

The micrografting technique in the model plant Arabidopsis has been widely used in the field of plant science. Grafting experiments have demonstrated that signal transductions are systematically regulated in many plant characteristics, including defense mechanisms and responses to surrounding environments such as soil and light conditions. Hypocotyl micrografting is a powerful tool for the analysis of signal transduction between shoots and roots; however, the requirement for a high level of skill for micrografting, during which small seedlings are microdissected and micromanipulated, has limited its use. Here, we developed a silicone-made microdevice, called a micrografting chip, to perform Arabidopsis micrografting easily and uniformly. The micrografting chip has tandemly arrayed units, each of which consists of a seed pocket for seed germination and a micro-path to hold hypocotyl. All micrografting procedures are performed on the chip. This method using a micrografting chip will avoid the need for training and promote studies of systemic signaling in plants.

Graphic abstract:

A silicone chip for easy grafting

0 Q&A 3870 Views Mar 20, 2021

RNA secondary structures are highly dynamic and subject to prompt changes in response to the environment. Temperature in particular has a strong impact on RNA structural conformation, and temperature-sensitive RNA hairpin structures have been exploited by multiple organisms to modify the rate of translation in response to temperature changes. Observing RNA structural changes in real-time over a range of temperatures is therefore highly desirable. A variety of approaches exists that probe RNA secondary structures, but many of these either require large amount and/or extensive processing of the RNA or cannot be applied under physiological conditions, rendering the observation of structural dynamics over a range of temperatures difficult. Here, we describe the use of a dually fluorescently labelled RNA oligonucleotide (containing the predicted hairpin structure) that can be used to monitor subtle RNA-structural dynamics by Förster Resonance Energy Transfer (FRET) at different temperatures with RNA concentration as low as 200 nM. FRET efficiency varies as a function of the fluorophores’ distance; high efficiency can thus be correlated to a stable hairpin structure, whilst a reduction in FRET efficiency reflects a partial opening of the hairpin or a destabilisation of this structure. The same RNA sequence can also be used for Circular Dichroism spectroscopy to observe global changes of RNA secondary structure at a given temperature. The combination of these approaches allowed us to monitor RNA structural dynamics over a range of temperatures in real-time and correlate structural changes to plant biology phenotypes.

Graphic abstract:

Monitoring temperature-dependent RNA structural dynamics using Förster Resonance Energy Transfer (FRET)

0 Q&A 4342 Views Feb 5, 2021

Over the last decade, it has been noticed that microbial pathogens and pests deliver small RNA (sRNA) effectors into their host plants to manipulate plant physiology and immunity for infection, known as cross kingdom RNA interference. In this process, fungal and oomycete parasite sRNAs hijack the plant ARGONAUTE (AGO)/RNA-induced silencing complex to post-transcriptionally silence host target genes. We hereby describe the methodological details of how we recovered cross kingdom sRNA effectors of the oomycete pathogen Hyaloperonospora arabidopsidis during infection of its host plant Arabidopsis thaliana. This Bio-protocol contains two parts: first, a detailed description on the procedure of plant AGO/sRNA co-immunopurification and sRNA recovery for Illumina high throughput sequencing analysis. Second, we explain how to perform bioinformatics analysis of sRNA sequence reads using a Galaxy server. In principle, this protocol is suitable to investigate AGO-bound sRNAs from diverse host plants and plant-interacting (micro)organisms.

0 Q&A 4557 Views Jul 20, 2020
Steady-state mRNA levels are determined by both the rates of transcription and degradation. Regulation of mRNA stability and/or degradation are key factors that can significantly affect mRNA levels and its biological functions. mRNA stability can be measured indirectly after transcription inhibition. This protocol described a rapid and sensitive method of mRNA stability measurement through quantitative reverse transcription PCR (RT-qPCR) after inhibition of RNA transcription by cordycepin in Arabidopsis seedlings.

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