Plant Science


Protocols in Current Issue
Protocols in Past Issues
0 Q&A 5409 Views Oct 5, 2018
Microcracks in materials reflect their mechanical properties. The quantification of the number or orientation of such cracks is thus essential in many fields, including engineering and geology. In biology, cracks in soft tissues can reflect adhesion defects, and the analysis of their pattern can help to deduce the magnitude and orientation of tensions in organs and tissues. Here, we describe a semi-automatic method amenable to analyze cell separations occurring in the epidermis of Arabidopsis thaliana seedlings. Our protocol is applicable to any image exhibiting small cracks, and thus also adapted to the analysis of emerging cracks in animal tissues and materials.
0 Q&A 9256 Views Aug 20, 2017
The number of stomata on leaves can be affected by intrinsic development programming and various environmental factors, in addition the control of stomatal apertures is extremely important for the plant stress response. In response to elevated temperatures, transpiration occurs through the stomatal apertures, allowing the leaf to cool through water evaporation. As such, monitoring of stomata behavior to elevated temperatures remains as an important area of research. The protocol allows analysis of stomatal aperture, morphology, and density through a non-destructive imprint of Arabidopsis thaliana leaf surface. Stomatal counts were performed and observed under a scanning electron microscope.
1 Q&A 9506 Views Jun 20, 2017
Here we describe both non-extraction and solvent-extraction methods for root aliphatic suberin analysis. The non-extraction method is fast as roots are directly depolymerized using acidic transmethylation. However, suberin aliphatic components are isolated together with all the other acyl chains making up the lipids (e.g., membranes) present in roots. For the solvent-extraction method, roots are first delipidated before transmethylation. This method is longer but allows separation of soluble and polymerized root lipids. This protocol is optimized for tissue culture- or soil-grown Arabidopsis thaliana plants, but can be used with roots of other plants.
0 Q&A 7962 Views Jun 5, 2017
Seedless vascular plants, including ferns and lycophytes, produce spores to initiate the gametophyte stage and to complete sexual reproduction. Approximately 10% of them are apomictic through the production of genomic unreduced spores. Being able to measure the spore nuclear DNA content is therefore important to infer their reproduction mode. Here we present a protocol of spore flow cytometry that allows an efficient determination of the reproductive modes of seedless vascular plants.
0 Q&A 9399 Views Nov 20, 2016
A clear, step by step description of the treatment of orchid flowers, subtribe Pleurothallidinae, with Critical Point Drying for SEM is presented. It shows that a simple, short fixation and dehydration method prior to Critical Point Drying is sufficient to obtain good results.
0 Q&A 7287 Views Oct 5, 2016
Hydroxycinnamic acids, such as p-coumaric acid and ferulic acid, are a major class of compounds derived from the phenylpropanoid pathway. These compounds are widely conserved in plants and primarily accumulate in the secondary cell wall. They serve as important structural components that contribute to the overall strength and rigidity of plant cell walls and are also potent antioxidants valued for nutritional consumption. This protocol describes a method for analyzing hydroxycinnamic acids that are released after incubation under alkaline conditions.
0 Q&A 9488 Views Mar 20, 2016
Variation in the tissue structure of short rotation coppice (SRC) willow is a principle factor driving differences in lignocellulosic sugar yield yet much of the physiology and development of this tissue is unknown. Traditional sectioning can be both difficult and destructive in woody tissue; however, technology such as three dimensional X-ray micro-computational tomography (μCT) scanning can be used to move biological researchers beyond traditional two dimensional assessment of tissue variation without having to destructively cut cells. This technology does not replace classical microscopic techniques but rather can be carefully integrated with traditional methods to improve exploration of the world of plant biology in three dimensions. The procedures below outline preparation of willow for 3D X-ray μCT and associated xylem staining and visualisation techniques, in particular secondary xylem programmed-cell-death (PCD) delay during gelatinous fibre (g-fibre) development. Many of the staining techniques here are transferable to other woody species such as poplar and Eucalyptus.
0 Q&A 8880 Views Dec 5, 2015
Plant proteins can be targeted to intracellular (i.e., cytosol, vacuole, organelles etc.) or extracellular (i.e., cell walls, apoplast) compartments. Dual targeting is a key mechanism with important implications for plant metabolism, growth, development and defense etc. Harsh Hakea (Hakea prostrata R.Br.) is a perennial species and member of the Proteaceae family that thrives on extremely phosphate impoverished soils of southwestern Australia. Harsh Hakea is not a common model organism, but has been widely developed for physiological and molecular/biochemical studies of the endogenous adaptations of an ‘extremophile’ plant species to abiotic stress, including low phosphorus tolerance. Tissues of Harsh Hakea contain large amounts of compounds (e.g., phenolics) that interfere with the extraction of soluble proteins. We previously optimised extraction of intracellular proteins from Harsh Hakea proteoid roots to improve soluble protein yield by at least 10-fold (Shane et al., 2013). Here, we describe the protocol for extraction and separation of intracellular from ‘loosely bound’ cell-wall proteins in Harsh Hakea.
0 Q&A 9332 Views Sep 20, 2015
This protocol describes an effective method of in situ RT-PCR that was developed to localize specific gene expression directly in thin cross-sections of nematode feeding sites induced by the cyst nematode Heterodera schachtii (H. schachtii) or the root-knot nematode Meloidogyne incognita (M. incognita) in Arabidopsis roots using DIG (Digoxigenin-11dUTP) labeling coupled with AP (alkaline phosphatase) and nitro-blue tetrazolium/5-bromo-4-chloro-3'-indolylphosphate-based detection. This method is applicable to any other Arabidopsis root tissue.
0 Q&A 13037 Views Sep 20, 2015
The leaf is the major functional part of the shoot performing the bulk of photosynthetic activity. Its development is relatively plastic allowing the plant to adapt to environmental changes by modifying leaf size and anatomy. Moreover, a leaf is made up of various distinct cell layers, each having specialized functions. To understand functional adaptation and the development of the leaf it is essential to obtain cross sections throughout leaf development and at maturity (Kalve et al., 2014). Here, we describe a protocol for transverse sectioning of Arabidopsis thaliana leaves using resin embedding. This protocol provides a reliable platform to yield high quality images of cross sections allowing study of development of various tissue layers across the transversal axis of the leaf. As this method is an adaptation of the protocol developed for the Arabidopsis root tip by Beeckman and Viane (1999) and De Smet et al. (2004), it can easily be modified to accommodate other organs and species.

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