Effect of different gravity environments on DNA fragmentation and cell death in Kalanchoe leaves. (1/28)

Different gravity environments have been shown to significantly affect leaf-plantlet formation and asexual reproduction in Kalanchoe daigremontiana Ham. and Perr. In the present work, we investigated the effect of gravity at tissue and cell levels. Leaves and leaf-plantlets were cultured for different periods of time (min to 15 d) in different levels of gravity stimulation: simulated hypogravity (1 rpm clinostats; 2 x 10(-4) g), 1 g (control) and hypergravity (centrifugation; 20 and 150 g). Both simulated hypogravity and hypergravity affected cell death (apoptosis) in this species, and variations in the number of cells showing DNA fragmentation directly correlated with nitric oxide (NO) formation. Apoptosis in leaves was more common as gravity increased. Apoptotic cells were localized in the epidermis, mainly guard cells, in leaf parenchyma, and in tracheary elements undergoing terminal differentiation. Exposures to acute hypergravity (up to 60 min) showed that chloroplast DNA fragmentation occurred prior to nuclear DNA fragmentation, marginalization of chromatin, nuclear condensation, and nuclear blebbing. Addition of sodium nitroprusside (NO donor) mimicked centrifugation. NO and DNA fragmentation decreased with N(G)-monomethyl-L-arginine (NO-synthase inhibitor). The variations in NO levels, nucleoid DNA fragmentation, and cell death show how chloroplasts, cells and leaves may respond (and adapt) to gravity changes.  (+info)

A comparative study on diurnal changes in metabolite levels in the leaves of three crassulacean acid metabolism (CAM) species, Ananas comosus, Kalanchoe daigremontiana and K. pinnata. (2/28)

A comparative study on diurnal changes in metabolite levels associated with crassulacean acid metabolism (CAM) in the leaves of three CAM species, Ananas comosus (pineapple), a hexose-utilizing species, and Kalanchoe daigremontiana and K. pinnata, two starch-utilizing species, were made. All three CAM species showed a typical feature of CAM with nocturnal malate increase. In the two Kalanchoe species, isocitrate levels were higher than citrate levels; the reverse was the case in pineapple. In the two Kalanchoe species, a small nocturnal citrate increase was found and K. daigremontiana showed a small nocturnal isocitrate increase. Glucose 6-phosphate (G-6-P), fructose 6-phosphate (F-6-P) and glucose 1-phosphate (G-1-P) levels in the three CAM species rose rapidly during the first part of the dark period and decreased during the latter part of the dark period. The levels of the metabolites also decreased during the first 3 h of the light period, then, remained little changed through the rest of the light period. Absolute levels of G-6-P, F-6-P and G-1-P were higher in pineapple than in the two Kalanchoe species. Fructose 1,6-bisphosphate (F-1,6-P(2)) levels in the three CAM species increased during the dark period, then dramatically decreased during the first 3 h of the light period and remained unchanged through the rest of the light period. The extent of nocturnal F-1,6-P(2) increase was far greater in the two Kalanchoe species than in pineapple. Absolute levels of F-1,6-P(2) were higher in the two Kalanchoe species than in pineapple, especially during dark period. Diurnal changes in oxaloacetate (OAA), pyruvate (Pyr) and phosphoenolpyruvate (PEP) levels in the three CAM species were similar.  (+info)

Three-dimensional map of a plant V-ATPase based on electron microscopy. (3/28)

V-ATPases pump protons into the interior of various subcellular compartments at the expense of ATP. Previous studies have shown that these pumps comprise a membrane-integrated, proton-translocating (V(0)), and a soluble catalytic (V(1)) subcomplex connected to one another by a thin stalk region. We present two three-dimensional maps derived from electron microscopic images of the complete V-ATPase complex from the plant Kalanchoe daigremontiana at a resolution of 2.2 nm. In the presence of a non-hydrolyzable ATP analogue, the details of the stalk region between V(0) and V(1) were revealed for the first time in their three-dimensional organization. A central stalk was surrounded by three peripheral stalks of different sizes and shapes. In the absence of the ATP analogue, the tilt of V(0) changed with respect to V(1), and the stalk region was less clearly defined, perhaps due to increased flexibility and partial detachment of some of the peripheral stalks. These structural changes corresponded to decreased stability of the complex and might be the initial step in a controlled disassembly.  (+info)

Crassulacean acid metabolism: plastic, fantastic. (4/28)

The occurrence, activity and plasticity of the CAM pathway is described from an introductory viewpoint, framed by the use of the four "Phases" of CAM as comparative indicators of the interplay between environmental constraints and internal molecular and biochemical regulation. Having described a number of "rules" which seem to govern the CAM cycle and apply uniformly to most species, a number of key regulatory points can then be identified. These include temporal separation of carboxylases, based on the circadian expression of key genes and their control by metabolites. The role of a circadian oscillator and interplay between tonoplast and nuclear control are central to maintaining the CAM cycle. Control of reserve carbohydrates is often neglected, but the importance of daily partitioning (for growth and the subsequent night-time CAM activity) and use at night is shown to drive the CAM cycle. Finally, it is shown that the genotypic and phenotypic plasticity in patterns of CAM expression is mediated partly by environmental conditions and molecular signalling, but also by diffusive constraints in succulent tissues. A transformation system is now required to allow these key areas of control to be elucidated.  (+info)

High light-induced switch from C(3)-photosynthesis to Crassulacean acid metabolism is mediated by UV-A/blue light. (5/28)

The high light-induced switch in Clusia minor from C(3)-photosynthesis to Crassulacean acid metabolism (CAM) is fast (within a few days) and reversible. Although this C(3)/CAM transition has been studied intensively, the nature of the photoreceptor at the beginning of the CAM-induction signal chain is still unknown. Using optical filters that only transmit selected wavelengths, the CAM light induction of single leaves was tested. As controls the opposite leaf of the same leaf pair was studied in which CAM was induced by high unfiltered radiation (c. 2100 micromol m(-2) s(-1)). To evaluate the C(3)-photosynthesis/CAM transition, nocturnal CO(2) uptake, daytime stomatal closure and organic acid levels were monitored. Light at wavelengths longer than 530 nm was not effective for the induction of the C(3)/CAM switch in C. minor. In this case CAM was present in the control leaf while the opposite leaf continued performing C(3)-photosynthesis, indicating that CAM induction triggered by high light conditions is wavelength-dependent and a leaf internal process. Leaves subjected to wavelengths in the range of 345-530 nm performed nocturnal CO(2) uptake, (partial) stomatal closure during the day (CAM-phase III), and decarboxylation of citric acid within the first 2 d after the switch to high light conditions. Based on these experiments and evidence from the literature, it is suggested that a UV-A/blue light receptor mediates the light-induced C(3)-photosynthesis/CAM switch in C. minor.  (+info)

CO(2)-concentrating: consequences in crassulacean acid metabolism. (6/28)

The consequences of CO(2)-concentrating in leaf air-spaces of CAM plants during daytime organic acid decarboxylation in Phase III of CAM (crassulacean acid metabolism) are explored. There are mechanistic consequences of internal CO(2) partial pressures, p(i)(CO(2)). These are (i) effects on stomata, i.e. high p(i)(CO(2)) eliciting stomatal closure in Phase III, (ii) regulation of malic acid remobilization from the vacuole, malate decarboxylation and refixation of CO(2) via Rubisco (ribulose bisphosphate carboxylase/oxygenase), and (iii) internal signalling functions during the transitions between Phases II and III and III and IV, respectively, in the natural day/night cycle and in synchronizing the circadian clocks of individual leaf cells or leaf patches in the free-running endogenous rhythmicity of CAM. There are ecophysiological consequences. Obvious beneficial ecophysiological consequences are (i) CO(2)-acquisition, (ii) increased water-use- efficiency, (iii) suppressed photorespiration, and (iv) reduced oxidative stress by over-energization of the photosynthetic apparatus. However, the general potency of these beneficial effects may be questioned. There are also adverse ecophysiological consequences. These are (i) energetics, (ii) pH effects and (iii) Phase III oxidative stress. A major consequence of CO(2)-concentrating in Phase III is O(2)-concentrating, increased p(i)(CO(2)) is accompanied by increased p(i)(O(2)). Do reversible shifts of C(3)/CAM-intermediate plants between the C(3)-CAM-C(3) modes of photosynthesis indicate that C(3)-photosynthesis provides better protection from irradiance stress? There are many open questions and CAM remains a curiosity.  (+info)

Movement of water from old to young leaves in three species of succulents. (7/28)

A hypothetical adaptive response of succulent plants to drought-stress is the redistribution of water from old to young leaves. We examined the effects of possible movement of water from old to young leaves in three succulent species, Carpobrotus edulis (weak CAM-inducible), Kalanchoe tubiflora (CAM) and Sedum spectabile (possibly a CAM-cycler or CAM-inducible). Old leaves were removed from plants, and photosynthesis, transpiration, f. wt : d. wt ratios, diurnal acid fluctuations, stomatal conductance and internal CO2 concentrations of the remaining young leaves were measured during drought-stress. Comparison was made with plants retaining old leaves. There was no evidence that water moved from old to young leaves during drought-stress as previously hypothesized. Only in drought-stressed plants of K. tubiflora, were photosynthetic and transpiration rates of young leaves greater on shoots with old leaves removed compared with attached. There was a trend in all species for greater fluctuations in acidity in young leaves on shoots that lacked older leaves. For two of the three species studied, the f. wt : d. wt ratios of young leaves were greater under drought-stress, on shoots with old leaves removed than with them attached. Absence of old leaves may reduce competition for water with young leaves, which consequently have higher water content and greater photosynthetic rates.  (+info)

Metabolic alterations of toxic and nonessential elements by the treatment of Sempervivum tectorum extract in a hyperlipidemic rat model. (8/28)

A hyperlipidemic rat model was used to examine the therapeutic effect of Sempervivum tectorum plant extract on the metabolic alterations of Al, As, B, Ba, Cd, Hg, Ni, Pb, and Ti in the liver and bile. Hyperlipidemia was produced by lipogenic diet and alcohol and verified by morphological investigation of the liver with the aid of light and an electron microscope. Element concentration in the liver and bile were determined by inductively coupled plasma optical emission spectrometry (ICP-OES). The concentration values in the liver higher than the detection limit (Al, Ba, Ni, Ti) were unambiguous. Significant differences were found for the four groups at p < 0.05 level (ANOVA). A significant difference was observed between Al and B concentration in the bile fluids of the 4 groups (p < 0.05). The excretion of Al and Ti into the bile fluid increased significantly (p < 0.05). Following the administration of S. tectorum extract to rats with hyperlipidemia, the excretion of Al, B and Ba increased, whereas the excretion of Ti decreased significantly (p < 0.05). The favorable action of the extract (protecting the liver in hyperlipidemic rats) was verified by morphological studies, and its detoxicating property was shown by the elimination of Al, Ba, Ni, and Ti from the liver.  (+info)