The development of an in situ hybridisation technique to determine the gene expression patterns of UDP-Glucose dehydrogenase, pyrophosphate-dependent phosphofructokinase and UDP-Glucose pyrophosphorylase in sugarcane internodal tissues

Ramoutar, Rakeshnie (2003-12)

Thesis (MSc)--University of Stellenbosch, 2003.

Thesis

ENGLISH ABSTRACT: The cellular expression of the enzymes implicated in regulating sucrose metabolism and accumulation in sugarcane is poorly understood. The present study was therefore aimed at the development of an in situ hybridisation (ISH) technique to study differential gene expression among the various cell types of the sugarcane culm. This technique in conjunction with northern and western blotting was then used to determine the sites of cellular and tissue specific expression of the cytosolic enzymes, UDP-Glc dehydrogenase, pyrophosphate dependent phosphofructokinase and UDP-Glc pyrophosphorylase, involved in sucrose metabolism. This study revealed that the determination of the influencing parameters associated with the development of an ISH protocol was essential for the successful detection of the endogenous RNA sequences in sugarcane internodal tissues. The parameters that were investigated included the type of embedding medium, duration of fixation period, pre-treatment procedures and hybridisation temperature. It further revealed that fresh internodal tissue sections, fixed for a period of 24 h and thereafter exposed to pre-treatment and hybridisation, facilitated the analysis of cytological gene expression at all stages of sugarcane development. The second part of this study revealed very localised transcript expression for UDP-Glc DH, PFP and UGPase in the different internodal tissue and cell types. The UDP-Glc DH and UGPase transcripts were localised to the phloem elements, whilst xylem tissue only expressed the UDP-Glc DH transcript. Transcripts of UDP-Glc DH, PFP and UGPase were all expressed in the parenchyma cells that were associated with the vascular bundles and the stem storage compartment, suggesting that the parenchyma cells distributed throughout the stem in the different tissue types complement each other in function for the purposes of phloem loading, unloading and assimilate transport processes. Complimentary northern and western hybridisations demonstrated that internode 7 represents a shift in the sink from utilisation to storage. This is evident by the observed decline in both the relative transcript and protein abundances of UDP-Glc DH, PFP and UGPase at this stage of development. The relative mRNA and protein abundances for the three enzymes showed a similar trend. Higher levels of the gene transcripts and translated products were observed in the younger sucrose importing tissues, than in the older sucrose accumulating internodes. At a cellular level, it was found that the sites of cellular UDP-Glc DH, PFP and UGPase expression differed marginally. Whilst UDP-Glc DH was expressed in the phloem, xylem and parenchyma cells of the vascular complex and in storage parenchyma cells, PFP was expressed exclusively in parenchyma cells that were associated with the vascular bundles and those serving a storage function in the stem pith and UGPase was found to be localised in the phloem and parenchyma of the vascular bundles and the storage parenchyma cells. Such findings have demonstrated an increase in resolution with which gene expression can be examined at a cellular level. Hence, the results from this study have demonstrated that the knowledge of metabolic compartmentation between different tissue and cell types is a requisite to understanding the function(s) of individual enzymes within complex structures such as the sugarcane culm.

AFRIKAANSE OPSOMMING: Die sellulêre lokalisering van die ensieme wat geïmpliseer word in die regulering van sukrose metabolisme is onbekend. Met dit in gedagte, was hierdie studie gefokus op die ontwikkeling van 'n in situ hibridisasie (ISH) tegniek om differensiële geenuitdrukking in die verskillende seltipes van die suikerrietstingel te ondersoek. Hierdie tegniek, tesame met RNA-en proteïen gel blots, is volgens aangewend om die areas van sellulêre-en weefselspesifieke uitdrukking van die sitosoliese ensieme UDP-glukose dehydrogenase, pirofosfaat-afhanklike fosfofruktokinase en UDP-glukose pirofosforilase, wat almal betrokke is by sukrosemetabolisme, te bepaal. Dit het duidelik geword gedurende die studie dat die bepaling van die optimale parameters van die ISH protokol vir suikerriet van deurslaggewende belang sou wees vir die opsporing van endogene RNA volgordes. Die parameters wat ondersoek is het ingesluit die tipe inbeddingsmedium, die tydsduur van fiksering, vooratbehandelings- en hibridisasiemetodes. Dit het duidelik geword dat vars internodale weefselsnitte wat vir 24 h gefikseer is en daarna voorafbehandeling en hibridisasie ondergaan het, die bepaling van geenuitdrukking tydens alle fases van suikkerrietontwikkeling moontlik gemaak het. Die tweede fase van hierdie studie het aangetoon dat al drie ensieme spesifiek gelokaliseerde uitdrukkingspatrone gehad het in verskillende internodale weefsels en seltipes. Al drie gene is konstitutief uitgedruk in internodes. Die UDP-glukose dehydrogenase en UDP-glukose pirofosforilase transkripte is gelokaliseer na die floeëm elemente, terwyl xileem slegs die UDP-glukose dehydrogenase transkripte bevat het. Al die gene is in die parenchiemselle uitgedruk wat geassosieer is met die vaatbondels en die stingel stoorkompartement, wat moontlik beteken dat die parenchiem selle wat deur die stingel versprei is 'n sentrale netwerk vorm wat direk of indirek koolstofassimileringsprosesse beïnvloed. RNA-en proteïen gel blots op dieselfde internodes het gewys dat internode sewe 'n verskuiwing, van koolstofverbruik na berging, verteenwoordig. Dit word gerllustreer deur die afname in beide transkrip en proteïen vlakke van die drie ensiem in hierdie stadium van ontwikkeling. Alhoewel beide mRNA en proteïen vlakke vir al die ensieme 'n soortgelyke tendens getoon het, het die sellulêre uitdrukking van die ensieme volgens ISH verskil, wat die krag van die tegniek illustreer. Die resultate van hierdie studie het gedemonstreer dat begrip van die kompartementalisasie van metabolisme tussen verskillende weefsel-en seltipes 'n voorvereiste is om die funksie/s van individuele ensieme in komplekse strukture soos die suikerrietstingel te bepaal.

Please refer to this item in SUNScholar by using the following persistent URL: http://hdl.handle.net/10019.1/49795
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