Plant Science


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0 Q&A 549 Views Jul 20, 2023

The sesquiterpene lactone compound artemisinin is a natural medicinal product of commercial importance. This Artemisia annua–derived secondary metabolite is well known for its antimalarial activity and has been studied in several other biological assays. However, the major shortcoming in its production and commercialization is its low accumulation in the native plant. Moreover, the chemical synthesis of artemisinin is difficult and expensive due to its complex structure. Hence, an alternative and sustainable production system of artemisinin in a heterologous host is required. Previously, heterologous production of artemisinin was achieved by Agrobacterium-mediated transformation. However, this requires extensive bioengineering of modified Nicotiana plants. Recently, a technique involving direct in vivo assembly of multiple DNA fragments in the moss, P. patens, has been successfully established. We utilized this technique to engineer artemisinin biosynthetic pathway genes into the moss, and artemisinin was obtained without further modifications with high initial production. Here, we provide protocols for establishing moss culture accumulating artemisinin, including culture preparation, transformation method, and compound detection via HS-SPME, UPLC-MRM-MS, and LC-QTOF-MS. The bioengineering of moss opens up a more sustainable, cost effective, and scalable platform not only in artemisinin production but also other high-value specialized metabolites in the future.

0 Q&A 2316 Views Oct 20, 2020
Aphids are a serious pest of crops across the world. Aphids feed by inserting their flexible hypodermal needlelike mouthparts, or stylets, into their host plant tissues. They navigate their way to the phloem where they feed on its sap causing little mechanical damage to the plant. Additionally, while feeding, aphids secrete proteinaceous effectors in their saliva to alter plant metabolism and disrupt plant defenses to gain an advantage over the plant. Even with these arsenals to overcome plant responses, plants have evolved ways to detect and counter with defense responses to curtail aphid infestation. One of such response of cowpea to cowpea aphid infestation, is accumulation of the metabolite methylglyoxal. Methylglyoxal is an α,β-dicarbonyl ketoaldehyde that is toxic at high concentrations. Methylglyoxal levels increase modestly after exposure to a number of different abiotic and biotic stresses and has been shown to act as an emerging defense signaling molecule at low levels. Here we describe a protocol to measure methylglyoxal in cowpea leaves after cowpea aphid infestation, by utilizing a perchloric acid extraction process. The extracted supernatant was neutralized with potassium carbonate, and methylglyoxal was quantified through its reaction with N-acetyl-L-cysteine to form N-α-acetyl-S-(1-hydroxy-2-oxo-prop-1-yl)cysteine, a product that is quantified spectrophotometrically.
0 Q&A 6045 Views Feb 5, 2018
This protocol delivers a method to determine the biosynthetic capability of comfrey leaves for pyrrolizidine alkaloids independently from other organs like roots or flowers.

The protocol applies and combines radioactive tracer experiments with standard and modern techniques like thin layer chromatography (TLC), solid-phase extraction (SPE), high-performance liquid chromatography (HPLC) and gas chromatography-mass spectrometry (GC-MS).
4 Q&A 15440 Views May 20, 2017
1-MCP (1-methylcyclopropene) is a simple synthetic hydrocarbon molecule that interacts with the ethylene receptor and inhibits the response of fruit or plant to ethylene. 1-MCP has opened new opportunities in handling harvested crops and serves as a powerful tool to learn about plant response to ethylene (Watkins and Miller, 2006). 1-MCP is manufactured by Agrofresh and known by its commercial name SmartfreshSM.
0 Q&A 11332 Views Mar 20, 2017
A common method to investigate the function of genes putatively involved in carotenoid biosynthesis is the so called color complementation assay in Escherichia coli (see, e.g., Cunningham and Gantt, 2007). In this assay, the gene under investigation is expressed in E. coli strains genetically engineered to synthesize potential carotenoid substrates, followed by analysis of the pigment changes in the carotenogenic bacteria via high-performance liquid chromatography (HPLC). Two crucial steps in this method are (i) the quantitative extraction of the carotenoids out of E. coli and (ii) the reproducible and complete separation of the pigments by HPLC.

Here, we present a protocol for the extraction and analysis of carotenoids with a broad range of polarities from carotenogenic E. coli. The solvent mixture used for extraction keeps both the lipophilic carotenes and the more polar xanthophylls in solution and is compatible with the eluent gradient of the subsequent HPLC analysis. The C30-column used is particularly suitable for the separation of various cis-isomers of carotenoids, but also for separation of stereoisomers such as α- and β-carotene or lutein and zeaxanthin.
0 Q&A 15603 Views Mar 5, 2017
Lignin is the second most abundant biopolymer on Earth, providing plants with mechanical support in secondary cell walls and defense against abiotic and biotic stresses. However, lignin also acts as a barrier to biomass saccharification for biofuel generation (Carroll and Somerville, 2009; Zhao and Dixon, 2011; Wang et al., 2013). For these reasons, studying the properties of lignin is of great interest to researchers in agriculture and bioenergy fields. This protocol describes the acetyl bromide method of total lignin extraction and quantification, which is favored among other methods for its high recovery, consistency, and insensitivity to different tissue types (Johnson et al., 1961; Chang et al., 2008; Moreira-Vilar et al., 2014; Kapp et al., 2015). In brief, acetyl bromide digestion causes the formation of acetyl derivatives on free hydroxyl groups and bromide substitution of α-carbon hydroxyl groups on the lignin backbone to cause a complete solubilization of lignin, which can be quantified using known extinction coefficients and absorbance at 280 nm (Moreira-Vilar et al., 2014).
0 Q&A 8190 Views Feb 20, 2017
Organic acids secreted from plant roots play important roles in various biological processes including nutrient acquisition, metal detoxification, and pathogen attraction. The secretion of organic acids may be affected by various conditions such as plant growth stage, nutrient deficiency, and abiotic stress. For example, when white lupin (Lupinus albus L.) is exposed to phosphorus (P)-deficient conditions, the secretion of citrate acid from its proteoid roots significantly increases (Neumann et al., 1999). This protocol describes a method for the collection and measurement of the efflux of organic acids (oxalate, malate, and citrate) from the roots of rice cultivar Nipponbare (‘Nip’) under different nitrogen forms (NH4+ and NO3-), together with different P supply (+P and -P) conditions.
0 Q&A 14608 Views Nov 5, 2016
This protocol describes the measurement of hydrogen peroxide (H2O2) content in Arabidopsis root tissue by using the Amplex® Red Hydrogen Peroxide/Peroxidase Assay Kit. When root tissue is disrupted and resuspended in phosphate buffer, H2O2 is released from the cells. The obtained root extracts containing H2O2 can be mixed with a solution containing Amplex® Red reagent (10-acetyl-3,7-dihydrophenoxazine). In the presence of horseradish peroxidase, the Amplex® Red reagent reacts with H2O2 in a 1:1 stoichiometry. The resulting product is the red-fluorescent compound resorufin which can be detected fluorometrically or spectrophotometrically. Our protocol is based on the manual of the Amplex® Red Hydrogen Peroxide/Peroxidase Assay Kit and describes a step-by-step procedure with a detailed description of the necessary controls and data analysis. We have also included modifications of the protocol, notes and examples that intend to aid the user in easily reproducing the assay with their own samples.
0 Q&A 17702 Views Jul 20, 2016
The genus Piper (Piperaceae) is widely distributed in the tropical and subtropical regions of the world, and species belonging to this genus are included in the Ayurvedic system of medicine and in folklore medicine of Latin America. Phytochemical investigations of Piper species have led to the isolation of several classes of physiologically active compounds such as alkaloids, amides, pyrones, dihydrochalcones, flavonoids, phenylpropanoids, lignans and neolignans. In an ongoing investigation of bioactive secondary metabolites from Piper species, herein, we describe the isolation procedure of nine flavonoids, including two chalcones and two flavanones from the leaves of Piper delineatum Trel. (Piperaceae), a shrub native to tropical regions of the Americas. All compounds were elucidated by spectroscopic and spectrometric methods, and comparison with data reported in the literature.
0 Q&A 11912 Views Feb 5, 2015
Intermediates of tetrapyrrole biosynthetic pathway are low-abundant compounds, and their quantification is usually difficult, time consuming and requires large amounts of input material. Here, we describe a method allowing fast and accurate quantification of almost all intermediates of the heme and chlorophyll biosynthesis, including mono-vinyl and di-vinyl forms of (proto) chlorophyllide, using just a few millilitres of the cyanobacterial culture. Extracted precursors are separated by High Performance Liquid Chromatography system (HPLC) and detected by two ultra-sensitive fluorescence detectors set to different wavelengths.

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