Quantification of Fungal Colonization, Sporogenesis, and Production of Mycotoxins Using Kernel Bioassays
The devastation of cereal crops by seed-infecting fungi has prompted numerous research efforts to better understand plant-pathogen interactions. To study seed-fungal interactions in a laboratory setting, we developed a robust method for the quantification of fungal reproduction, biomass, and mycotoxin contamination using kernel bioassays.
We describe a qualitative assay to monitor bacterial competition mediated by the Pseudomonas aeruginosa type VI secretion system (T6SS). The assay relies on the survival/killing of Escherichia coli target cells carrying a lacZ-reporter. This technique is adjustable to assess the bactericidal/bacteriostasis activity of T6SS-proficient microorganisms.
To study the mutualism between Xenorhabdus bacteria and Steinernema nematodes, methods were developed to monitor bacterial presence and location within nematodes. The experimental approach, which can be applied to other systems, entails engineering bacteria to express the green fluorescent protein and visualizing, using fluorescence microscopy bacteria within the transparent nematode.
Jared Leadbetter explains why the termite-gut microbial community is an excellent system for studying the complex interactions between microbes. The symbiotic relationship existing between the host insect and lignocellulose-degrading gut microbes is explained, as well as the industrial uses of these microbes for degrading plant biomass and generating biofuels.
We have developed a simple and reproducible protocol to access stomatal response to live bacteria. This method minimizes wounding and manipulation of the leaf as compared to the use of epidermal peels reported previously.
A cell death-based assay for PTI in Nicotiana benthamiana plants is described.
Identification of Growth Inhibition Phenotypes Induced by Expression of Bacterial Type III Effectors in Yeast
In this video, we describe a procedure for the expression of bacterial type III effectors in yeast and the identification of effector-induced growth inhibition phenotypes. Such phenotypes can be subsequently exploited to elucidate effector functions and targets.
We present methods to evaluate how predation risk can alter the chemical quality of herbivore prey by inducing dietary changes to meet demands of heightened stress, and how the decomposition of carcasses from these stressed herbivores slows subsequent plant litter decomposition by soil microbes.
Donald Danforth Plant Science Center, St. Louis, Missouri
We demonstrate how hairy root composite plants can be used to study plant-rhizobium interactions and nodulation in the difficult-to-transform species Medicago truncatula.
The fabrication of microfluidic channels and their implementation in experiments for studying the chemotactic foraging behaviour of marine microbes within a patchy nutrient seascape and the swimming behaviour of bacteria within shear flow are described.
Macromolecular trafficking between plant cells can be assessed by transiently expressing a fluorescently-tagged protein of interest and analyzing its intra- and intercellular distribution by confocal microscopy.
Concentration of Metabolites from Low-density Planktonic Communities for Environmental Metabolomics using Nuclear Magnetic Resonance Spectroscopy
1Biosphere Oriented Biology Research Unit, RIKEN Advanced Science Institute, 2Graduate School of Nanobioscience, Yokohama City University, 3Advanced NMR Metabomics Research Team, RIKEN Plant Science Center, 4Graduate School of Bioagricultural Science, Nagoya University
A method for metabolite extraction from microbial planktonic communities is presented. Whole community sampling is achieved by filtration onto specially prepared filters. After lyophilization, aqueous-soluble metabolites are extracted. This approach allows for application of environmental metabolomics to trans-omics investigations of natural or experimental microbial communities.
Two distinct methods to screen plants with root-knot nematodes are described. The described approaches include high-throughput screens with nematodes in a nondestructive manner facilitating the use of these plants in breeding programs.
This protocol is a simple bacterial adhesion assay consisting in counting the numbers of bacterial colony forming units that are adhered onto cultured cells. The assay is robust, independent of the adhesin studied, and numerous variations are used in most laboratories working on bacterial pathogenesis.
1Plant Molecular and Cellular Biology Program, University of Florida, 2Department of Biology, University of Florida, 3Interdisciplinary Center for Biotechnology Research, University of Florida, 4Genetics Institute, University of Florida
Reactive oxygen species level is elevated when cells encounter stress conditions. Here we show the example of 3'-3' diaminobenzidine staining as well as cysTMT labeling and mass spectrometry to profile the redox proteome in Pseudomonas syringae treated tomato leaves.
Bimolecular Fluorescence Complementation (BiFC) Assay for Protein-Protein Interaction in Onion Cells Using the Helios Gene Gun
This article illustrates how to properly use the BioRad Helios Gene Gun to introduce plasmid DNA into onion epidermal cells and how to test for protein-protein interactions in onion cells based on the principle of Bimolecular Fluorescence Complementation (BiFC)
Detection of Protein Interactions in Plant using a Gateway Compatible Bimolecular Fluorescence Complementation (BiFC) System
We have developed a technique to test protein-protein interactions in plant. A yellow fluorescent protein (YFP) is split into two non-overlapping fragments. Each fragment is cloned in-frame to a gene of interest via Gateway system, enabling expression of fusion proteins. Reconstitution of YFP signal only occurs when the inquest proteins interact.
The assay describes a rapid means to measure early biofilm formation in bacteria and fungi. This method uses a microtiter plate as the substratum for microbial biofilm formation, and the biofilm is visualized using crystal violet strain. The assay provides either a qualitative or quantitative assay for early biofilm formation.
Protein Membrane Overlay Assay: A Protocol to Test Interaction Between Soluble and Insoluble Proteins in vitro
Testing protein-protein interaction is indispensable for dissection of protein functionality. Here, we introduce an in vitro protein-protein binding assay to probe a membrane-immobilized protein with a soluble protein. This assay provides a reliable method to test interaction between an insoluble protein and a protein in solution.
Transgenic worms are commonly used in C. elegans research. Described is a simple, yet effective, protocol to introduce transgenes into worms using biolistic bombardment with DNA-coated gold particles. The effort involved and results of bombardment compare favorably with microinjection for the generation of transgenic animals.
Mapping Bacterial Functional Networks and Pathways in Escherichia Coli using Synthetic Genetic Arrays
1Department of Molecular Genetics, University of Toronto, 2Banting and Best Department of Medical Research, Donnelly Centre, University of Toronto, 3Department of Biochemistry, Research and Innovation Centre, University of Regina
Systematic, large-scale synthetic genetic (gene-gene or epistasis) interaction screens can be used to explore genetic redundancy and pathway cross-talk. Here, we describe a high-throughput quantitative synthetic genetic array screening technology, termed eSGA that we developed for elucidating epistatic relationships and exploring genetic interaction networks in Escherichia coli.
Non-radioactive in situ Hybridization Protocol Applicable for Norway Spruce and a Range of Plant Species
1Department of Evolutionary Functional Genomics, Evolutionary Biology Center, Uppsala University, 2Department of Plant Biology and Forest Genetics, Uppsala BioCenter, Swedish University of Agricultural Sciences
We describe a modified DIG in situ hybridization protocol, which is fast and applicable on a wide range of plant species including Norway spruce. With just a few adjustments, including altered RNase treatment and proteinase K concentration, the protocol may be used in studies of different tissues and species.
Imprinting is a phenomenon in plant and mammal reproduction. DNA methylation plays an important role in mechanisms of imprinting. Isolating endosperm and determining methylation status of imprinted genes in Arabidopsis can be difficult. In this protocol, we describe how to isolate endosperm and determine methylation by bisulfite sequencing.
Using High Resolution Computed Tomography to Visualize the Three Dimensional Structure and Function of Plant Vasculature
1U.S. Department of Agriculture, 2Department of Viticulture and Enology, University of California - Davis, 3Hawkesbury Institute for the Environment, University of Western Sydney, 4Advanced Light Source, Lawrence Berkeley National Lab, 5Citrus Research & Education Center, University of Florida
High resolution x-ray computed tomography (HRCT) is a non-destructive diagnostic imaging technique that can be used to study the structure and function of plant vasculature in 3D. We demonstrate how HRCT facilitates exploration of xylem networks across a wide range of plant tissues and species.
Description of a virus-induced gene silencing (VIGS) method for knock-down of gene expression in Nicotiana benthamiana and tomato.
Unfixed frozen tissue samples embedded in Optimal Cutting Temperature medium (OCT) can be used to study natural distribution and glycosylation of secreted mucus. In this approach tissue processing is minimal and the natural presentation of glycolipids, mucins and glycan-epitopes is preserved. Tissue sections can be analyzed by immunohistochemistry using fluorescence or chromogenic detection.
Time-lapse Fluorescence Imaging of Arabidopsis Root Growth with Rapid Manipulation of The Root Environment Using The RootChip
1Department of Plant Biology, Carnegie Institution for Science, 2Howard Hughes Medical Institute, 3Departments of Applied Physics and Bioengineering, Stanford University, 4Department of Microsystems Engineering (IMTEK) and Center for Biological Signaling Studies (BIOSS), University of Freiburg
This article provides a protocol for cultivation of Arabidopsis seedlings in the RootChip, a microfluidic imaging platform that combines automated control of growth conditions with microscopic root monitoring and FRET-based measurement of intracellular metabolite levels.
1Australian Centre of Excellence in Plant Cell Walls, School of Botany, University of Melbourne, 2Plant Cell Biology Research Centre, School of Botany, University of Melbourne, 3CSIRO Plant Industry, Black Mountain Laboratories, 4Department of Plant Biology and Biotechnology, University of Copenhagen
A technique called Comprehensive Microarray Polymer Profiling (CoMPP) for the characterisation of plant cell wall glycans is described. This method combines the specificity of monoclonal antibodies directed to defined glycan-epitopes with a miniature microarray analytical platform allowing screening of glycan occurrence in a broad range of biological contexts.
Identification of Olfactory Volatiles using Gas Chromatography-Multi-unit Recordings (GCMR) in the Insect Antennal Lobe
Olfactory cues mediate many different behaviors in insects, and are often complex mixtures comprised of tens to hundreds of volatile compounds. Using gas chromatography with multi-channel recording in the insect antennal lobe, we describe a method for the identification of bioactive compounds.
1Department of Chemistry, City College of New York, City University of New York Graduate Center and Institute for Macromolecular Assemblies, 2Department of Chemical Engineering, City College of New York
Aerial plant organs are protected by the cuticle, a supramolecular biopolyester-wax assembly. We present protocols to monitor selective removal of epi- and intracuticular waxes from tomato fruit cuticles on molecular and micro scales by solid-state NMR and atomic force microscopy, respectively, and to assess the cross-linking capacity of engineered cuticular biopolyesters.
We developed and validated a small-footprint array of miniature chemostats built from readily available parts for low cost. Physiological and experimental evolution results were similar to larger volume chemostats. The ministat array provides a compact, inexpensive, and accessible platform for traditional chemostat experiments, functional genomics, and chemical screening applications.
A method to rapidly screen host plant volatiles by measurement of the electrophysiological response of adult navel orangeworm (Amyelois transitella) antennae to single components and blends via electroantennographic analysis is demonstrated.
Sampling Human Indigenous Saliva Peptidome Using a Lollipop-Like Ultrafiltration Probe: Simplify and Enhance Peptide Detection for Clinical Mass Spectrometry
Considering saliva sampling for future clinical application, a lollipop-like ultrafiltration (LLUF) probe was fabricated to fit in the human oral cavity. Direct analysis of undigested saliva by NanoLC-LTQ mass spectrometry demonstrated the ability of LLUF probes to remove large proteins and high abundance proteins, and make low-abundant peptides more detectable.
1Entomology, International Center for Tropical Agriculture (CIAT), Cali, Colombia, 2Sustainable Perennial Crops Laboratory, Agricultural Research Service, United States Department of Agriculture, Beltsville, Maryland, USA
This protocol demonstrates two inoculation methods to introduce the fungal entomopathogen Beauveria bassiana as an endophyte in the common bean (Phaseolus vulgaris), in preparation for subsequent evaluations of endophytic biological control.
The Importance of Correct Protein Concentration for Kinetics and Affinity Determination in Structure-function Analysis
We apply label-free protein interaction analysis using Biacore X100 for structure-function analysis of the binding of several cystatin B mutants to papain through kinetic characterization. Calibration-free concentration analysis (CFCA) measures the concentration of protein with retained binding activity without the need for a standard curve. We show that confirmation of concentrations using CFCA increases the reliability of the kinetic analysis and that kinetic constants can reliably be determined even if the activity of a recombinant protein is reduced.
The method outlines the procedure by which the Hawaiian bobtail squid, Euprymna scolopes and its bacterial symbiont, Vibrio fischeri, are raised separately and then introduced to allow for specific colonization of the squid light organ by the bacteria. Colonization detection by bacterially-derived luminescence and by direct colony counting are described.
1Department of Experimental Oncology, European Institute of Oncology, 2Department of Pathology and Laboratory Medicine, European Institute of Oncology, 3U.O. Gastroenterologia 2, IRCCS Ca' Granda, Ospedale Policlinico di Milano
We introduce a novel method for the maintenance of human intestinal mucosa in culture and monitoring of the response to various types of stimuli over at least 24 hrs. With our method, the polarity of the tissue is maintained, allowing for a physiological stimulation via the apical route.
A simple method is provided that allows for the rapid extraction and analysis of multiple plant hormones from small tissue samples. The procedure uses vapor phase extraction as the solemn purification step. Samples are analyzed by GC/MS with chemical ionization that produces mainly (M+1)+ ions.
Floral-dip Transformation of Arabidopsis thaliana to Examine pTSO2::β-glucuronidase Reporter Gene Expression
This article illustrates the floral-dip method of Agrobacterium tumefaciens -mediated transformation of Arabidopsis thaliana. By introducing a cell-cycle regulated promoter-reporter, pTSO2::β-glucuronidase (GUS), into Arabidopsis, we illustrates how one detects GUS reporter expression in transgenic seedlings.
A rapid way is described to gain insights into the structure of polysaccharides in an extracellular matrix. The method takes advantage of the specificity of glycosylhydrolases and the sensitivity of mass spectrometry allowing minute amounts of materials to be analyzed. This technique is adaptable to be used directly on tissue itself.
A Modified EPA Method 1623 that Uses Tangential Flow Hollow-fiber Ultrafiltration and Heat Dissociation Steps to Detect Waterborne Cryptosporidium and Giardia spp.
1National Exposure Research Laboratory, Office of Research and Development, US Environmental Protection Agency, 2Shaw Environmental & Infrastructure, 3Office of Ground Water and Drinking Water, US Environmental Protection Agency
This protocol describes the use of a tangential flow hollow-fiber ultrafiltration sample concentration system and a heat dissociation as alternative steps for the detection of waterborne Cryptosporidium and Giardia species using EPA Method 1623.
The plant cuticle is a waxy outer covering on plants that has a primary role in water conservation but is also an important barrier against the entry of pathogenic microorganisms. In this video, we demonstrate the analysis of plant cuticle mutants identified by forward and reverse genetics approaches.
Ice-Cap: A Method for Growing Arabidopsis and Tomato Plants in 96-well Plates for High-Throughput Genotyping
The Ice-Cap method allows one to grow plants in 96-well plates and non-destructively harvest root tissue from each seedling. DNA extracted from this root tissue can be used for genotyping reactions. We have found that Ice-Cap works well for Arabidopsis thaliana, tomato, and rice seedlings.
The method described here utilizes direct injection of entomopathogenic bacteria into the hemocoel of Manduca sexta insect larvae. M. sexta is a commercially available and well-studied insect. Thus, this method represents a simple approach to analyzing host-bacterial interactions from the perspective of one or both partners.
Programmed cell death assays commonly used in mammalian systems such as DNA laddering or TUNEL assays, are often difficult to reproduce in plants. In combination with a GUS reporter system, we propose a rapid, plant based transient assay to analyze the potential death properties of specific genes.
1Department of Biochemistry and Biophysics, Institute of Plant Genomics and Biotechnology, Texas A&M University, 2Department of Plant Pathology and Microbiology, Institute of Plant Genomics and Biotechnology, Texas A&M University
We present the detailed protocol for Agrobacterium-mediated virus-induced gene silencing (VIGS) assay in cotton. The tobacco rattle virus (TRV)-derived VIGS vectors were deployed to induce RNA silencing of cotton GrCLA1, Cloroplastos alterados 1 gene. The albino phenotype caused by silencing GrCLA1 was observed at the seedling stage within 2 weeks after inoculation.
This video explains mechanisms of host plant resistance to herbivory and demonstrates a no-choice test that estimates the relative contributions of antibiosis and tolerance to spittlebug resistance in Brachiaria spp.
We demonstrate the use of a constant-force extensometer to measure long-term extension (creep) of plant cell wall specimens induced by acidic buffers and expansin protein.
Comprehensive Compositional Analysis of Plant Cell Walls (Lignocellulosic biomass) Part II: Carbohydrates
Plant biomass is a major carbon-neutral renewable resource that could be used for the production of biofuels. Plant biomass consists mainly of cell walls, a structurally complex composite material termed lignocellulosics. Here we describe a protocol for a comprehensive analysis of the content and composition of wall derived carbohydrates.