A new FISH protocol with increased sensitivity for physical mapping with short probes in plants.
Fluorescence in situ hybridization (FISH) is a well-established technique used for the detection of specific DNA regions, that has been applied to interphase nuclei, pachytene and metaphase chromosomes as well as to extended DNA fibres. This technique allows the physical mapping of specific DNA sequences both on individual chromosomes and extended fibres. A new FISH protocol is described here that enhances the sensitivity of the method. Probes for small unique DNA sequences of less than 2 kb give high signal-to-noise ratio with this method, and can be visualized easily by means of conventional fluorescence microscopy. (+info)
Two novel oligosaccharides formed by 1F-fructosyltransferase purified from roots of asparagus (Asparagus officinalis L.).
Two novel oligosaccharides, tetra-and penta-saccharides were synthesized by fructosyl transfer from 1-kestose to 4G-beta-D-galactopyranosylsucrose with a purified 1F-fructosyltransferase of asparagus roots and identified as 1F-beta-D-fructofuranosyl-4G-beta-D-galactopyranosylsucrose, O-beta-D-fructofuranosyl-(2-->1)-beta-D-fructofuranosyl-O-[beta-D-galactopyranosy l-(1-->4)]-alpha-D-glucopyranoside and 1F(1-beta-D-fructofuranosyl)2-4G-beta-D-galactopyranosylsucrose, [O-beta-D-fructofuranosyl-(2-->1)]2-beta-D-fructofuranosyl-O-[beta-D-galactopyran osyl-(1-->4)]-alpha-D-glucopyranoside, respectively. Both oligosaccharides were scarcely hydrolyzed by carbohydrase from rat small intestine. Human intestinal bacterial growth by 1F-beta-D-fructofuranosyl-4G-beta-D-galactopyranosylsucrose was compared with that by the tetrasaccharides, stachyose and nystose. Bifidobacteria utilized 1F-beta-D-fructofuranosyl-4G-beta-D-galactopyranosylsucrose to the same extent as stachyose or nystose. On the other hand, the unfavorable bacteria, Clostridium perfringens, Escherichia coli and Enterococcusfaecalis, that produce mutagenic substances did not use the synthetic oligosaccharide. (+info)
Expression and function of cell wall-bound cationic peroxidase in asparagus somatic embryogenesis.
Cultured asparagus (Asparagus officinalis L. cv Y6) cells induced to regenerate into whole plants through somatic embryogenesis secreted a 38-kD protein into cell walls. The full-length cDNA sequence of this protein (Asparagus officinalis peroxidase 1 [AoPOX1]) determined by reverse transcriptase-polymerase chain reaction showed similarity with plant peroxidases. AoPOX1 transcripts were particularly abundant during early somatic embryogenesis. To evaluate the in vivo function of AoPOX1 protein, purified recombinant AoPOX1 protein was reacted with a series of phenolic substrates. The AoPOX1 protein was effective in the metabolism of feruloyl (o-methoxyphenol)-substituted substrates, including coniferyl alcohol. The reaction product of coniferyl alcohol was fractionated and subjected to gas chromatography-mass spectrometry analysis and (1)H-nuclear magnetic resonance analysis, indicating that the oxidation product of coniferyl alcohol in the presence of AoPOX1 was dehydrodiconiferyl alcohol. The concentration of dehydrodiconiferyl alcohol in the cultured medium of the somatic embryos was in the range of 10(-8) M. Functions of the AoPOX1 protein in the cell differentiation are discussed. (+info)
Three differentially expressed basic peroxidases from wound-lignifying Asparagus officinalis.
The activity of ionically bound peroxidases from an asparagus spear increased from 5-24 h post-harvest. Isoelectric focusing showed that the post-harvest increase of the total peroxidase activity was due to the increase of several distinct isoperoxidases. Concomitantly, a decrease in the activity of two anionic peroxidases was observed. Peroxidases with pI 5.9, 6.4 and 9.2 were detected only at 24 h post-harvest, whereas four peroxidases, with pI 8.7, 8.1, 7.4, and 6.7, detected throughout the time-course, increased in their activity. Histochemical staining demonstrated that lignin and peroxidase activity were located in the vascular bundles throughout the period of measurement. Lignin was detected in the cell walls of the protoxylem in the vascular bundles of the asparagus stem. A cDNA library of mRNA isolated from asparagus spears 24 h post-harvest was screened for peroxidases using homologous and heterologous probes. Three clones were isolated and the corresponding mature asparagus peroxidases displayed 70%, 76% and 81% amino acid sequence identity to each other. These new asparagus peroxidases are typical class III plant peroxidases in terms of conserved regions with a calculated pI >9.2, which is consistent with most basic peroxidases. One of the genes was shown to be a constitutively expressed single-copy gene, whereas the others showed an increased expression at post-harvest. The highest similarity in the amino acid sequence (71-77%) was found in peroxidases from roots of winter grown turnip TP7, to Arabidopsis AtP49, to an EST sequence from cotton fibres and to TMV-infected tobacco. (+info)
Asparagus racemosus--an update.
Asparagus racemosus (Shatavari) is recommended in Ayurvedic texts for prevention and treatment of gastric ulcers, dyspepsia and as a galactogogue. A. racemosus has also been used successfully by some Ayurvedic practitioners for nervous disorders, inflammation, liver diseases and certain infectious diseases. However, no scientific proof justifying aforementioned uses of root extract of A. racemosus is available so far. Recently few reports are available demonstrating beneficial effects of alcoholic and water extracts of the root of A. racemosus in some clinical conditions and experimentally induced diseases, e.g. galactogogue effect, antihepatotoxic and immunomodulatory activities. The present article includes the detailed exploration of pharmacological properties of the root extract of A. racemosus reported so far. (+info)
Estimates of heritability in a blanched asparagus population.
To estimate the heritability values of characters frequently used as selective criteria, 32 half-sib families obtained from selected plants of three populations of the asparagus variety Argenteuil were evaluated in a randomized complete block design. The following characters were measured: days to emergence of the first spear, number and diameter of spears, number of stalks, plant height and average weight. The values of realized heritability were estimated and were compared with those obtained by the parent-offspring regression method. Phenotypic correlation coefficients between the different variables were significant. The values of realized heritability for most of the variables were moderate to high (between 0.18 and 0.68), except for days to emergence; lower values were obtained by the regression method. As there was a high degree of heritability, additive genetic factors contributed significantly to the genetic variance, which would allow the selection of phenotypically superior plants for asparagus improvement projects. (+info)
ISSR markers show differentiation among Italian populations of Asparagus acutifolius L.
BACKGROUND: Asparagus acutifolius L. is a dioecious and native plant species, widely distributed in the Mediterranean Basin. It is known for its fine flavour and could represent an important resource for cultivation programs in desert areas. Few molecular studies have been performed on this species. In the present paper, the ISSR technique was employed to study genetic diversity in Italian A. acutifolius. RESULTS: Twenty-three primers produced a total of 228 polymorphic fragments used to evaluate genetic variation. FST (0.4561) and Theta B (0.4776) values indicate a wide genetic variation among the samples examined. The distance UPGMA tree grouped together the genotypes strictly according to their geographical origin, showing that each sample is genetically structured and can be considered a distinct population. AMOVA analysis further confirmed genetic structuring of the populations. Population-specific fragments were also detected. CONCLUSION: The results suggest that ISSR markers are useful in distinguishing the populations of A. acutifolius according to geographical origin, and confirm the importance of genetic studies for designing germplasm conservation strategies. (+info)
Heritability and expected selection response for yield traits in blanched asparagus.
Despite the continuous breeding that has been conducted with asparagus (Asparagus officinalis L.) since the beginning of the last century, there is little information on parameters for predicting direct and indirect selection response. Yield traits for blanched asparagus production were studied along a two-year period in a half-sib family population planted in Zavalla, Argentina. Half-sib family mean heritability values were low for total yield and marketable spear number (0.31 and 0.35), intermediate for marketable yield and total spear number (0.55 and 0.64), and relatively high for spear diameter and spear weight (0.75 and 0.74). An average increase in marketable yield of 15.9% is expected after each cycle of selection of the top 5% of the families. Total yield failed to express significant genetic correlations with any of the yield components; meanwhile marketable yield showed highly significant relations with market spear number (0.96) and spear weight (0.89). Indirect selection response over yield components (CRx) failed to be advantageous over direct selection (Rx), since the ratio CRx/Rx was always equal or below unity. (+info)