Plant Science

Protocols in Current Issue
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0 Q&A 774 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 1638 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 5534 Views Oct 20, 2018
Embolism, the formation of air bubbles in the plant water transport system, has a major impact on plant water relations. Embolism formation in the water transport system of plants disrupts plant water transport capacity, impairing plant functioning and triggering plant mortality. Measuring embolism with traditional hydraulic methods is both time-consuming and requires large amounts of plant material. While the stem hydraulic methods measure loss of xylem hydraulic conductance due to embolism formation, the pneumatic method directly quantifies the amount of emboli inside the xylem as changes in xylem air content. The pneumatic method is an easy and fast (8+ embolism curves per day) method to measure plant embolism requiring minimal plant material. Here, we provide detailed descriptions and recent technical improvements on the pneumatic method.
0 Q&A 4240 Views Jun 20, 2018
Cell membrane prevents the entrance of extra molecules (e.g., transcription and translation inhibitors) into the cell. For studying the physiological effects of transcription and translation inhibitors on Hymenophyllum caudiculatum fronds, we incubate fronds with 0.1% DMSO to test if this increases cell membrane permeability relative to incubation with ultrapure water. The study showed that DMSO could significantly improve the cell membrane permeability of filmy fronds.
0 Q&A 4422 Views Jun 5, 2018
Filmy ferns can desiccate and recover after rehydration to resume photosynthesis. Slow and fast desiccation rates were compared in filmy fern fronds to determine whether structural or physiological differences may occur between desiccation rates. Slow desiccation is considered to be more similar to natural conditions experienced by plants that grow under the forest canopy. A fast desiccation rate will help to understand whether slow desiccation is important for recovery and viability.
0 Q&A 8712 Views Feb 20, 2018
High-throughput phenotyping of plant traits is a powerful tool to further our understanding of plant growth and its underlying physiological, molecular, and genetic determinisms. This protocol describes the methodology of a standard phenotyping experiment in PHENOPSIS automated platform, which was engineered in INRA-LEPSE ( and custom-made by Optimalog company. The seminal method was published by Granier et al. (2006). The platform is used to explore and test various ecophysiological hypotheses (Tisné et al., 2010; Baerenfaller et al., 2012; Vile et al., 2012; Bac-Molenaar et al., 2015; Rymaszewski et al., 2017). Here, the focus concerns the preparation and management of experiments, as well as measurements of growth-related traits (e.g., projected rosette area, total leaf area and growth rate), water status-related traits (e.g., leaf dry matter content and relative water content), and plant architecture-related traits (e.g., stomatal density and index and lamina/petiole ratio). Briefly, a completely randomized (block) design is set up in the growth chamber. Next, the substrate is prepared, its initial water content is measured and pots are filled. Seeds are sown onto the soil surface and germinated prior to the experiment. After germination, soil watering and image (visible, infra-red, fluorescence) acquisition are planned by the user and performed by the automaton. Destructive measurements may be performed during the experiment. Data extraction from images and estimation of growth-related trait values involves semi-automated procedures and statistical processing.
0 Q&A 8587 Views Oct 20, 2017
Xylem sap circulates under either positive or negative hydraulic pressure in plants. Negative hydraulic pressure (i.e., tension) is the most common situation when transpiration is high, and several devices have been developed to quantify it accurately (e.g., Scholander pressure chamber, psychrometers). However, a proper measurement of positive xylem sap pressures may be critical when pressure is generated by the root system, allowing vessels to be refilled. Here, we describe two different methods to monitor positive xylem bulk pressure: the pressure gauge which can only be set onto a rootstock or a side branch and the point pressure sensor, which can allow measurements from a functioning plant without detopping or cutting.
1 Q&A 10938 Views Jul 20, 2017
It is well-established that plants are able to acclimate to temperatures above or below the optimal temperature for their growth. Here, we provide protocols for assays that can be used quantitatively or qualitatively to assess the relative ability of plants to acquire tolerance to high temperature stress. The hypocotyl elongation assay described was developed to screen for mutants defective in the acquisition of tolerance to extreme temperature stress, and other assays were developed to further characterize mutant and transgenic plants for heat tolerance of other processes or at other growth stages. Although the protocols provide details for application to Arabidopsis thaliana, the same basic methods can be adopted to assay heat tolerance in other plant species.
0 Q&A 7976 Views Apr 20, 2017
This is a protocol to evaluate gross primary productivity (GPP) of a forest stand based on the measurements of tree’s sap flow (SF), 13C derived water use efficiency (WUE), and meteorological (met) data. GPP was calculated from WUE and stomatal conductance (gs), the later obtained from SF up-scaled from sampled trees to stand level on a daily time-scale and met data. WUE is obtained from 13C measurements in dated tree-ring wood and/or foliage samples. This protocol is based on the recently published study of Klein et al., 2016.
0 Q&A 8323 Views Feb 20, 2017
A new split-root system was used to simulate non-uniform salt, drought or nutrient deficiency stress in the root zone, in which the root system was divided into two or more equal portions. Here, we established a split-root system by grafting of cotton seedlings. In contrast to the conventional split-root, the main roots of the new system remained intact, which provided a better system for studying cotton response to unequal treatment in the root zone. The new system was suitable for plant growth in nutrient solution and the two root systems can fully be immerged in the nutrient solution.

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