Plant Science


Protocols in Current Issue
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0 Q&A 334 Views Sep 5, 2023

The flux in photosynthesis can be studied by performing 13CO2 pulse labelling and analysing the temporal labelling kinetics of metabolic intermediates using gas or liquid chromatography linked to mass spectrometry. Metabolic flux analysis (MFA) is the primary approach for analysing metabolic network function and quantifying intracellular metabolic fluxes. Different MFA approaches differ based on the metabolic state (steady vs. non-steady state) and the use of stable isotope tracers. The main methodology used to investigate metabolic systems is metabolite steady state associated with stable isotope labelling experiments. Specifically, in biological systems like photoautotrophic organisms, isotopic non-stationary 13C metabolic flux analysis at metabolic steady state with transient isotopic labelling (13C-INST-MFA) is required. The common requirement for metabolic steady state, alongside its very short half-timed reactions, complicates robust MFA of photosynthetic metabolism. While custom gas chambers design has addressed these challenges in various model plants, no similar tools were developed for liquid photosynthetic cultures (e.g., algae, cyanobacteria), where diffusion and equilibration of inorganic carbon species in the medium entails a new dimension of complexity. Recently, a novel tailor-made microfluidics labelling system has been introduced, supplying short 13CO2 pulses at steady state, and resolving fluxes across most photosynthetic metabolic pathways in algae. The system involves injecting algal cultures and medium containing pre-equilibrated inorganic 13C into a microfluidic mixer, followed by rapid metabolic quenching, enabling precise seconds-level label pulses. This was complemented by a 13CO2-bubbling-based open labelling system (photobioreactor), allowing long pulses (minutes–hours) required for investigating fluxes into central C metabolism and major products. This combined labelling procedure provides a comprehensive fluxome cover for most algal photosynthetic and central C metabolism pathways, thus allowing comparative flux analyses across algae and plants.

0 Q&A 9116 Views Jul 5, 2018
In this protocol, we describe how to quantify starch in guard cells of Arabidopsis thaliana using the fluorophore propidium iodide and confocal laser scanning microscopy. This simple method enables monitoring, with unprecedented resolution, the dynamics of starch in guard cells.
0 Q&A 8065 Views Jul 20, 2015
The pathogenic fungus Ophiostoma novo-ulmi spreads within the secondary xylem vessels of infected elm trees, causing the formation of vessel plugs due to tyloses and gels, which ultimately result in Dutch elm disease. Foliage discoloration, wilting and falling from the tree are typical external leaf symptoms of the disease followed by the subsequent death of sensitive trees. Cellulolytic enzymes produced by the fungus are responsible for the degradation of medium molecular weight macromolecules of cellulose, resulting in the occurrence of secondary cell wall ruptures and cracks in the vessels but rarely in the fibers (Ďurkovič et al., 2014). The goal of this procedure is to evaluate the extent of cellulose degradation by a highly aggressive strain of O. novo-ulmi ssp. americana × novo-ulmi. Size-exclusion chromatography (SEC) compares molecular weight distributions of cellulose between the infected and the non-infected elm trees, and reveals changes in the macromolecular traits of cellulose, including molecular weights, degree of polymerization, and polydispersity index. 13C magic angle spinning nuclear magnetic resonance (13C MAS NMR) spectra help to identify and also to quantify the loss of both crystalline and non-crystalline cellulose regions due to degradation. The procedure described herein can also be easily used for other woody plants infected with various cellulose-degrading fungi.
0 Q&A 9119 Views Dec 5, 2014
Starch constitutes the most important carbon reserve in plants and is composed of branched amylopectin and linear amylose. The latter is synthesized exclusively by the Granule-Bound Starch Synthase (GBSS, EC Here we report a readily reproducible, specific and highly sensitive protocol, which includes the isolation of intact starch granules from Arabidopsis thaliana leaves and the subsequent determination of GBSS activity. We have applied this method to study GBSS activity in diurnal cycles in vegetative growth and during the photoperiodic transition to flowering in Arabidopsis (Tenorio et al., 2003; Ortiz-Marchena et al., 2014).
1 Q&A 14111 Views Dec 5, 2014
Determination of soluble sugars is basic for the study of carbon metabolism in plants. Soluble sugar quantitation can be achieved by enzymatic methods implying different coupled reactions. Here we describe a simple method that allows rapid determination of the most abundant soluble sugars (glucose, fructose and sucrose) in Arabidopsis leaves by anion exchange chromatography. We have applied this method to study the levels of soluble sugars during the photoperiodic transition to flowering (Ortiz-Marchena et al., 2014).

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