Plant Science


Protocols in Current Issue
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0 Q&A 504 Views Mar 5, 2023

The vacuole is one of the most conspicuous organelles in plant cells, participating in a series of physiological processes, such as storage of ions and compartmentalization of heavy metals. Isolation of intact vacuoles and elemental analysis provides a powerful method to investigate the functions and regulatory mechanisms of tonoplast transporters. Here, we present a protocol to isolate intact vacuoles from Arabidopsis root protoplasts and analyze their elemental content by inductively coupled plasma mass spectrometry (ICP-MS). In this protocol, we summarize how to prepare the protoplast, extract the vacuole, and analyze element concentration. This protocol has been applied to explore the function and regulatory mechanisms of tonoplast manganese (Mn) transporter MTP8, which is antagonistically regulated by CPK4/5/6/11 and CBL2/3-CIPK3/9/26. This protocol is not only suitable for exploring the functions and regulatory mechanisms of tonoplast transporters, but also for researching other tonoplast proteins.

Graphical abstract

0 Q&A 3812 Views Jan 20, 2022

The plant nucleus is an important subcellular organelle that contains the genome, ribosomal RNA, and regulatory proteins, and performs a central role in the functioning and metabolism of the cell. Fractionation of intact nuclei is a crucial process to elucidate the function of nuclear proteins. Here, we present a simple method for the fractionation of crude nuclei and extraction of nuclear proteins, based on previously established methods. This protocol provides an easy and quick method to isolate crude nuclei and extract nuclear proteins from Arabidopsis seedlings, which is useful for the research on the nuclear proteins, without requirement for high-purity nuclei.

Graphic abstract:

Schematic procedure for the isolation of crude nuclei and extraction of nuclear proteins from Arabidopsis seedlings.

0 Q&A 2906 Views Nov 20, 2021

Mesophyll protoplasts freshly isolated from leaves are a useful research system in plants. However, cell walls in woody plants contain more pectin, making mesophyll protoplasts isolation difficult in Populus. This has limited their application in biochemical, molecular, cellular, genetic, genomic, transcriptomic, and proteomic assays. In this protocol, a simple and efficient method to prepare and transfect mesophyll protoplasts of Populus tomentosa is presented in detail. Leaves of P. tomentosa plants grown in tissue culture media were pre-treated in D-mannitol solution and then digested with an enzyme solution. After washing with W5 and MMg buffers, the protoplasts were incubated in PEG/Ca2+ solution with plasmid for transfection. The mesophyll protoplasts isolated were used to express the histone variant H2B fused with green fluorescent protein (GFP) for confocal microscopy imaging. This “P. tomentosa mesophyll protoplasts preparation and transfection” system provides a useful tool for studying woody plants using a variety of applications, including gene expression, subcellular localization, protein-protein interaction, chromatin immunoprecipitation, western blot, single-cell sequencing, and genome editing.

0 Q&A 2125 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 3050 Views Dec 20, 2020

Lipid droplets (LDs) are neutral lipid aggregates surrounded by a phospholipid monolayer and specific proteins. In plants, they play a key role as energy source after seed germination, but are also formed in vegetative tissues in response to developmental or environmental conditions, where their functions are poorly understood. To elucidate these, it is essential to isolate LDs with good yields, while retaining their protein components. LD isolation protocols are based on their capacity to float after centrifugation in sucrose gradients. Early strategies using stringent conditions and LD-abundant plant tissues produced pure LDs where core proteins were identified. To identify more weakly bound LD proteins, recent protocols have used low stringency buffers, but carryover contaminants and low yields were often a problem. We have developed a sucrose gradient-based protocol to isolate LDs from Arabidopsis leaves, using Tween-20 and fresh tissue to increase yield. In both healthy and bacterially-infected Arabidopsis leaves, this protocol allowed to identify LD proteins that were later confirmed by microscopy analysis.

0 Q&A 8712 Views Feb 5, 2018
In this protocol, we describe a method to design chimeric proteins for specific targeting to the inner envelope membrane (IEM) of Arabidopsis chloroplasts and the confirmation of their localization by biochemical analysis. Specific targeting to the chloroplast IEM can be achieved by fusing the protein of interest with a transit peptide and an IEM targeting signal. This protocol makes it possible to investigate the localization of chimeric proteins in chloroplasts using a small number of transgenic plants by using a modified method of chloroplast isolation and fractionation. IEM localization of chimeric proteins can be further assessed by trypsin digestion and alkaline extraction. Here, the localization of the chimeric bicarbonate transporter, designated as SbtAII, is detected by Western blotting using antibodies against Staphylococcal protein A. This protocol is adapted from Uehara et al., 2016.
5 Q&A 19737 Views Sep 5, 2017
Extracellular vesicles (EVs) play an important role in intercellular communication by transporting proteins and RNA. While plant cells secrete EVs, they have only recently been isolated and questions regarding their biogenesis, release, uptake and function remain unanswered. Here, we present a detailed protocol for isolating EVs from the apoplastic wash of Arabidopsis thaliana leaves. The isolated EVs can be quantified using a fluorometric dye to assess total membrane content.
0 Q&A 11359 Views Aug 5, 2017
The plant endomembrane system plays vital roles for synthesis, modification and secretion of proteins and lipids. From the classic view, only mRNAs encoding secreted proteins could be targeted to the endoplasmic reticulum (ER) for translation via a co-translational translocation manner, however, recently this model has been challenged by accumulative evidence that lots of cytosolic mRNAs could also associate with ER, and that some categories of small RNAs are enriched on ER. These results suggested unrevealed functions of ER beyond our current knowledge. The large scale identification of RNAs and proteins on microsome is crucial to demonstrating the ER function and the studies will be boosted by next generation sequencing technology. This protocol provides a technical workflow to isolate the cytosol, microsome, free polysome (FP) and membrane bound polysome (MBP) from plant tissue. The isolated fractions are suitable for genome wide profiling of mRNAs, small RNAs and proteins.
0 Q&A 7875 Views May 20, 2017
Pollen germination is an excellent process to study cell polarity establishment. During this process, the tip-growing pollen tube will start elongating. The plasma membrane as the selectively permeable barrier that separates the inner and outer cell environment plays crucial roles in this process. This protocol described an efficient aqueous polymer two-phase system followed by alkaline solution washing to prepare Lilium davidii or Oryza sativa plasma membrane with high purity.
0 Q&A 7962 Views Jan 5, 2017
Determination of the relative distribution of Ca2+ and Mn2+ is an important tool for analyzing mutants showing altered levels of calcium and/or manganese transporters in the chloroplast envelope or thylakoid membrane. The method described in this protocol allows quantitative analyses of the relative distribution of calcium and manganese ions between chloroplast stroma and thylakoids using the isotopes [45Ca] and [54Mn] as radioactive tracers. To avoid contaminations with non chloroplastidic membrane systems, the method is designed for isolating pure and intact chloroplasts of Arabidopsis thaliana. Intact chloroplasts are isolated via Percoll gradient centrifugation. Chloroplasts are then allowed to take up [45Ca] or [54Mn] during a light incubation step. After incubation, chloroplasts are either kept intact or osmotically/mechanically treated to release thylakoids. The amount of incorporated [45Ca] or [54Mn] can be determined by liquid scintillation counting and the relative distribution calculated.

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