Systems Biology

Protocols in Current Issue
Protocols in Past Issues
0 Q&A 4167 Views Mar 20, 2020
Acclimation of leaf traits to fluctuating environments is a key mechanism to maximize fitness. One of the most important strategies in acclimation to changing light is to maintain efficient utilization of nitrogen in the photosynthetic apparatus by continuous modifications of between-leaf distribution along the canopy depth and within-leaf partitioning between photosynthetic functions according to local light availability. Between-leaf nitrogen distribution has been intensively studied over the last three decades, where proportional coordination between nitrogen concentration and light gradient was considered optimal in terms of maximizing canopy photosynthesis, without taking other canopy structural and physiological factors into account. We proposed a mechanistic model of protein turnover dynamics in different photosynthetic functions, which can be parameterized using leaves grown under different levels of constant light. By integrating this dynamic model into a multi-layer canopy model, constructed using data collected from a greenhouse experiment, it allowed us to test in silico the degree of optimality in photosynthetic nitrogen use for maximizing canopy carbon assimilation under given light environments.
0 Q&A 12030 Views Nov 20, 2018
Short-Chain Fatty Acids (SCFAs) are a product of the fermentation of resistant starches and dietary fibers by the gut microbiota. The most important SCFA are acetate (C2), propionate (C3) and butyrate (C4). These metabolites are formed and absorbed in the colon and then transported through the hepatic vein to the liver. SCFAs are more concentrated in the intestinal lumen than in the serum. Butyrate is largely consumed in the gut epithelium, propionate in the liver and acetate in the periphery. SCFAs act on many cells including components of the immune system and epithelial cells by two main mechanisms: activation of G-protein coupled receptors (GPCRs) and inhibition of histone deacetylase. Considering the association between changes in SCFA concentrations and the development of diseases, methods to quantify these acids in different biological samples are important. In this study, we describe a protocol using gas chromatography to quantify SCFAs in the serum, feces and colonic luminal content. Separation of compounds was performed using a DB-23 column (60 m x 0.25 mm internal diameter [i.d.]) coated with a 0.15 µm thick layer of 80.2% 1-methylnaphatalene. This method has a good linear range (15-10,000 µg/ml). The precision (relative standard deviation [RSD]) is less than 15.0% and the accuracy (error relative [ER]) is within ± 15.0%. The extraction efficiency was higher than 97.0%. Therefore, this is cost effective and reproducible method for SCFA measurement in feces and serum.
0 Q&A 5637 Views Sep 20, 2018
Stable-isotope labeled metabolic analysis is an essential methodology to characterize metabolic regulation during biological processes. However, the method using stable-isotope-labeled tracer (e.g., 13C-glucose) in live animal is only beginning to be developed. Here, we contribute a qualitative metabolic labeling experiment protocol in Drosophila melanogaster using stable-isotope-labeled 13C-glucose tracer followed by liquid chromatography-mass spectrometry (LC-MS) analysis. Detailed experimental setup, data acquisition and analysis are provided to facilitate the application of in vivo metabolic labeling analysis that might be applied in a wide range of biological studies.
0 Q&A 10640 Views Jan 20, 2018
Increased antibiotic resistance of plants and human pathogens and continuous use of chemical fertilizers has pushed microbiologists to explore new microbial sources as potential antagonists. In this study, eight strains of Pseudomonas aurantiaca and Pseudomonas chlororaphis, have been isolated from different plant sources and screened for their antagonistic and plant growth promoting potential (Shahid et al., 2017). All strains were compared with reference strain PB-St2 and their secondary metabolites were isolated by the use of solvent partitioning and subjected to LC/ESI/MS for confirmation of compounds. The ESI-mass spectra obtained were used to characterize the surfactants ionization behavior and [M + H]+ and [M + Na]+ ions were monitored for phenazines, derivatives of lahorenoic acid and cyclic lipopeptide (WLIP). LC-MS and HPLC methods were developed to see the elution of dominant metabolites in a single run to avoid the labor and separate methods of detection for all compounds. The method was found suitable and distinctively separated the compounds at different retention times in gradient flow. This method can be helpful to explore the metabolome of Pseudomonas sp. overall and in identification and quantification of strain specific metabolites.
0 Q&A 8805 Views Sep 20, 2017
Metabolomic is an emerging field of system biology. Lipidomic, a branch of metabolomic, aims to characterize lipophilic metabolites in biological systems. Caenorhabditis elegans (C. elegans) is a genetically tractable and versatile animal model for novel discovery of lipid metabolism. In addition, C. elegans embryo is simple and homogeneous. Here, we demonstrate detailed procedures of C. elegans culture, embryo isolation, lipid extraction and metabolomic data analysis.
0 Q&A 7844 Views May 5, 2015
We made the method for Arabidopsis metabolome analysis based on direct-infusion Fourier transform ion cyclotron resonance mass spectrometry (FT-ICR/MS) (IonSpec). This method was sufficiently applied to metabolic phenotyping of Arabidopsis. This method is simple in that after homogenizing samples, powdered samples are dissolved in extraction solvents (acetone and methanol) to 20% fresh weight/volume. Extracted sample solutions are dried and dissolved in 50% (v/v) acetonitrile. Mass analysis using FT-ICR/MS (IonSpec) is performed in positive and negative ionization operation modes. Mass spectra are acquired over the 100-1,000 m/z range and accumulated to improve the S/N ratio.

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