Featured Research

from universities, journals, and other organizations

New technique elucidates dynamics of plant cell metabolites

Date:
September 13, 2011
Source:
RIKEN
Summary:
A new technique developed by researchers in Japan has clarified the location and dynamics of specific metabolites in a single cell of the alga Chara australis. The findings reveal that these metabolites are regulated and fluctuate under stress conditions, providing insight into previously unknown functions of the vacuole in cellular processes.

Isolation of vacuolar and cytoplasmic fraction from an internodal cell of C. australis. The internodal cell (shown in the orange square in the upper-right photograph) is a large single cell growing to over 20 cm length. The vacuole solution of this cell is easily isolated by cutting the edge of the cell and emptying out its contents. The remaining cytoplasmic fraction and the vacuole solution are used for metabolomic analysis.
Credit: Image courtesy of RIKEN

A new technique developed by researchers at RIKEN has clarified the location and dynamics of specific metabolites in a single cell of the alga Chara australis. The findings reveal that these metabolites are regulated and fluctuate under stress conditions, providing insight into previously unknown functions of the vacuole in cellular processes.

Metabolites, the intermediates and products of chemical reactions that sustain all living organisms, play a central role in cellular processes including growth, differentiation and defense. Despite their importance, however, our understanding of the role of these metabolites in the cell is incomplete due to the lack of techniques for analyzing them at high spatial resolution.

In a paper to appear in the journal Plant Physiology, researchers at the RIKEN Plant Science Center (PSC) in Yokohama, Japan describe a novel technique which enables such high-resolution metabolite analysis. Their research focuses on Chara australis, an alga whose single, extremely large (up to 20 cm long) internodal cell provides a unique opportunity to study the detailed location and dynamics of metabolites inside the cell.

Their technique separates the cell into two parts, isolating its cytoplasm (containing plastids, mitochondria, nuclei, endomembrane system and cell wall) from its vacuole, a large water-filled compartment containing organic and inorganic molecules. Using this technique, the researchers demonstrate that the concentrations of 125 known metabolites in the vacuole and cytoplasm fluctuate asynchronously under stress conditions, suggesting that metabolites are spatially regulated in the cell.

By shedding light on the detailed distribution of metabolites in the cell, this finding marks a major advance in our understanding of plant cell metabolism. The technique used likewise charts new ground, providing unprecedented detail on organelle-specific metabolite concentration and highlighting the usefulness of C. autralis as a model organism for biological studies at the single-cell level.


Story Source:

The above story is based on materials provided by RIKEN. Note: Materials may be edited for content and length.


Journal Reference:

  1. A. Oikawa, F. Matsuda, M. Kikuyama, T. Mimura, K. Saito. Metabolomics of a single vacuole reveals metabolic dynamism in an alga Chara australis. Plant Physiology, 2011; DOI: 10.1104/pp.111.183772

Cite This Page:

RIKEN. "New technique elucidates dynamics of plant cell metabolites." ScienceDaily. ScienceDaily, 13 September 2011. <www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2011/09/110913090840.htm>.
RIKEN. (2011, September 13). New technique elucidates dynamics of plant cell metabolites. ScienceDaily. Retrieved September 19, 2014 from www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2011/09/110913090840.htm
RIKEN. "New technique elucidates dynamics of plant cell metabolites." ScienceDaily. www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2011/09/110913090840.htm (accessed September 19, 2014).

Share This



More Plants & Animals News

Friday, September 19, 2014

Featured Research

from universities, journals, and other organizations


Featured Videos

from AP, Reuters, AFP, and other news services

Raw: Elephant Undergoes Surgery in Tbilisi Zoo

Raw: Elephant Undergoes Surgery in Tbilisi Zoo

AP (Sep. 18, 2014) Grand the elephant has successfully undergone surgery to remove a portion of infected tusk at Tbilisi Zoo in Georgia. British veterinary surgeons used an electric drill to extract the infected piece. (Sept. 18) Video provided by AP
Powered by NewsLook.com
Chimp Violence Study Renews Debate On Why They Kill

Chimp Violence Study Renews Debate On Why They Kill

Newsy (Sep. 17, 2014) The study weighs in on a debate over whether chimps are naturally violent or become that way due to human interference in the environment. Video provided by Newsy
Powered by NewsLook.com
Some Tobacco Farmers Thrive Amid Challenges

Some Tobacco Farmers Thrive Amid Challenges

AP (Sep. 16, 2014) The South's tobacco country is surviving, and even thriving in some cases, as demand overseas keeps growers in the fields of one of America's oldest cash crops. (Sept. 16) Video provided by AP
Powered by NewsLook.com
Scientists Given Rare Glimpse of 350-Kilo Colossal Squid

Scientists Given Rare Glimpse of 350-Kilo Colossal Squid

AFP (Sep. 16, 2014) Scientists say a female colossal squid weighing an estimated 350 kilograms (770 lbs) and thought to be only the second intact specimen ever found was carrying eggs when discovered in the Antarctic. Duration: 00:47 Video provided by AFP
Powered by NewsLook.com

Search ScienceDaily

Number of stories in archives: 140,361

Find with keyword(s):
Enter a keyword or phrase to search ScienceDaily for related topics and research stories.

Save/Print:
Share:

Breaking News:
from the past week

In Other News

... from NewsDaily.com

Science News

Health News

Environment News

Technology News



Save/Print:
Share:

Free Subscriptions


Get the latest science news with ScienceDaily's free email newsletters, updated daily and weekly. Or view hourly updated newsfeeds in your RSS reader:

Get Social & Mobile


Keep up to date with the latest news from ScienceDaily via social networks and mobile apps:

Have Feedback?


Tell us what you think of ScienceDaily -- we welcome both positive and negative comments. Have any problems using the site? Questions?
Mobile: iPhone Android Web
Follow: Facebook Twitter Google+
Subscribe: RSS Feeds Email Newsletters
Latest Headlines Health & Medicine Mind & Brain Space & Time Matter & Energy Computers & Math Plants & Animals Earth & Climate Fossils & Ruins