Plant Science


Protocols in Current Issue
Protocols in Past Issues
0 Q&A 1157 Views Oct 5, 2022

A number of molecules, such as secreted peptides, have been shown to mediate root-to-shoot signaling in response to various conditions. The xylem is a pathway for water and molecules that are translocated from roots to shoots. Therefore, collecting and analyzing xylem exudates is an efficient approach to study root-to-shoot long-distance signaling. Here, we describe a step-by-step protocol for the collection of xylem exudate from the model plant Arabidopsis and the crop plant soybean (Glycine max). In this protocol, we can collect xylem exudate from plants cultured under normal growth conditions without using special equipment.

Graphical abstract:

Xylem exudates on the cut surfaces of an Arabidopsis hypocotyl and a soybean internode.

0 Q&A 1707 Views Apr 20, 2022

The protein expression and purification process is an essential initial step for biochemical analysis of a protein of interest. Traditionally, heterologous protein expression systems (such as E. coli, yeast, insect cells, and cell-free) are employed for plant protein expression, although a plant expression system is often desirable for plant proteins, to ensure proper post-translational modifications. Here, we describe a method to express and purify the ectodomain of one of the leucine-rich repeat receptor-like kinase called CARD1/HPCA1, from Nicotiana benthamiana apoplastic fluid. First, we express His-tagged CARD1 ectodomain in the apoplastic space of N. benthamiana by the Agroinfiltration method. Then, we collect apoplastic fluids from the leaves and purify the His-tagged protein by Ni2+-affinity chromatography. In addition to plant-specific post-translational modifications, protein accumulated in the plant apoplastic space, rather than in the cytosolic space, should be kept under an oxidizing environment. Such an environment will help to maintain the property of intrinsic disulfide bonds in the protein of interest. Further, purification from the apoplastic fluids, rather than the total protein extract, will significantly reduce contaminants (for instance RuBisCO) during protein extraction, and simplify downstream processes. We envisage that our system will be useful for expressing various plant proteins, particularly the apoplastic or extracellular regions of membrane proteins.

0 Q&A 1503 Views Oct 20, 2021

Lipids in biomembranes can control the structure and, therefore, the functionality of membrane-embedded protein complexes. Unraveling how the lipid composition determines the mode of operation of membrane proteins provides mechanistic insights into their functionality. We applied a proteoliposome technique for studying how proteins function in biomembranes. The incorporation of isolated membrane proteins in preformed liposomes made from a well-defined lipid composition (proteoliposomes) is a powerful tool for studying lipid-protein interactions. Over several decades, the proteoliposome technique was employed for many different membrane proteins. Recently, it was recognized that different lipid compositions control the light-harvesting functionality of the major photosynthetic light-harvesting complex II (LHCII) isolated from plant thylakoid membranes in vitro. This technique allows systematic examination of the role of so-called non-bilayer lipids on light-harvesting characteristics of LHCII. This protocol describes the isolation of LHCII from leaves and details a four-step procedure to incorporate the detergent-solubilized membrane protein in large unilamellar vesicles (LUV). The protocol was optimized to ensure a very high lipid/protein ratio, designed to specifically examine lipid-protein interactions by minimizing LHCII aggregation. The procedure provides structurally and functionally highly intact LHCII in a detergent-free lipid bilayer with a defined composition.

0 Q&A 2035 Views Sep 5, 2021

Photosynthesis is the main process by which sunlight is harvested and converted into chemical energy and has been a focal point of fundamental research in plant biology for decades. In higher plants, the process takes place in the thylakoid membranes where the two photosystems (PSI and PSII) are located. In the past few decades, the evolution of biophysical and biochemical techniques allowed detailed studies of the thylakoid organization and the interaction between protein complexes and cofactors. These studies have mainly focused on model plants, such as Arabidopsis, pea, spinach, and tobacco, which are grown in climate chambers even though significant differences between indoor and outdoor growth conditions are present. In this manuscript, we present a new mild-solubilization procedure for use with “fragile” samples such as thylakoids from conifers growing outdoors. Here, the solubilization protocol is optimized with two detergents in two species, namely Norway spruce (Picea abies) and Scots pine (Pinus sylvestris). We have optimized the isolation and characterization of PSI and PSII multimeric mega- and super-complexes in a close-to-native condition by Blue-Native gel electrophoresis. Eventually, our protocol will not only help in the characterization of photosynthetic complexes from conifers but also in understanding winter adaptation.

0 Q&A 4388 Views Apr 5, 2021

The majority of cellular proteins are degraded by the 26S proteasome in eukaryotes. However, intrinsically disordered proteins (IDPs), which contain large portions of unstructured regions and are inherently unstable, are degraded via the ubiquitin-independent 20S proteasome. Emerging evidence indicates that plant IDP homeostasis may also be controlled by the 20S proteasome. Relatively little is known about the specific functions of the 20S proteasome and the regulatory mechanisms of IDP degradation in plants compared to other species because there is a lack of systematic protocols for in vitro assembly of this complex to perform in vitro degradation assays. Here, we present a detailed protocol of in vitro reconstitution assay of the 20S proteasome in Arabidopsis by modifying previously reported methods. The main strategy to obtain the 20S core proteasome here is to strip away the 19S regulatory subunits from the 26S proteasome. The protocol has two major parts: 1) Affinity purification of 20S proteasomes from stable transgenic lines expressing epitope-tagged PAG1, an essential component of the 20S proteasome (Procedures A-D) and 2) an in vitro 20S proteasome degradation assay (Procedure E). We anticipate that these protocols will provide simple and effective approaches to study in vitro degradation by the 20S proteasome and advance the study of protein metabolism in plants.

0 Q&A 3822 Views May 20, 2020
Exploring the structure and function of protein complexes requires their isolation in the native state–a task that is made challenging when studying labile and/or low abundant complexes. The difficulties in preparing membrane-protein complexes are especially notorious. The cyanobacterium Synechocystis sp. PCC 6803 is a widely used model organism for the physiology of oxygenic phototrophs, and the biogenesis of membrane-bound photosynthetic complexes has traditionally been studied using this cyanobacterium. In a typical approach, the protein complexes are purified with a combination of His-affinity chromatography and a size-based fractionation method such as gradient ultracentrifugation and/or native electrophoresis. However, His-affinity purification harbors prominent contaminants and the levels of many proteins are too low for a feasible multi-step purification. Here, we have developed a purification method for the isolation of 3x FLAG-tagged proteins from the membrane and soluble fractions of Synechocystis. Soluble proteins or solubilized thylakoids are subjected to a single affinity purification step that utilizes the highly specific binding of FLAG-affinity resin. After an intensive wash, the captured proteins are released from the resin under native conditions using an excess of synthetic 3x FLAG peptide. The protocol allows fast isolation of low abundant protein complexes with a superb purity.
0 Q&A 5126 Views Apr 5, 2019
Laccases are found in cell walls of plants in very low amounts. This protocol provides an efficient method to purify laccases from rice stems. The method involves three steps: 1) Isolation of total protein from rice stems using buffers with high salt concentration to extract protein from cell walls; 2) Purification of laccases using concanavalin-A beads; and, 3) In-gel staining of laccases with 4-hydroxyindole. Concanavalin-A specifically binds to internal or non-reducing terminal α-D-mannosyl and α-D-glucosyl groups found in glycoproteins and glycolipids. Laccases being glycoproteins binds to concanavalin-A during purification process and eluted with mannose.
0 Q&A 6245 Views Jan 5, 2019
Cyanobacteria represent a frequently used model organism for the study of oxygenic photosynthesis. They belong to prokaryotic microorganisms but their photosynthetic apparatus is quite similar to that found in algal and plant chloroplasts. The key players in light reactions of photosynthesis are Photosystem I and Photosystem II complexes (PSI and PSII, resp.), large membrane complexes of proteins, pigments and other cofactors embedded in specialized photosynthetic membranes named thylakoids. For the study of these complexes a mild method for the isolation of the thylakoids, their subsequent solubilization and analysis is essential. The presented protocol describes such a method which utilizes breaking the cyanobacterial cells using glass beads in an optimized buffer. This is followed by their solubilization using dodecyl-maltoside and analysis using optimized clear-native gel electrophoresis which preserves the native oligomerization state of both complexes and allows the estimation of their content.
0 Q&A 8543 Views Jul 5, 2018
The hierarchical composition and interactions of the labile thylakoid protein complexes can be assessed by sequential 2D-native gel-electrophoresis system. Mild non-ionic detergent digitonin is used to solubilize labile protein super-and megacomplexes, which are then separated with first-dimension blue native polyacrylamide gel electrophoresis (1D-BN-PAGE). The digitonin derived protein complexes are further solubilized with stronger detergent, β-DM, and subsequently separated on an orthogonal 2D-BN-PAGE to release smaller protein subcomplexes from the higher-order supercomplexes. Here we describe a detailed method for 2D-BN-PAGE analysis of thylakoid protein complexes from Arabidopsis thaliana.
0 Q&A 8528 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.

We use cookies on this site to enhance your user experience. By using our website, you are agreeing to allow the storage of cookies on your computer.