Brachypodium as an experimental system for the study of stem parenchyma biology in grasses

Jacob Krüger Jensen, Curtis Gene Wilkerson

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

Abstract

Stem parenchyma is a major cell type that serves key metabolic functions for the plant especially in large grasses, such as sugarcane and sweet sorghum, where it serves to store sucrose or other products of photosynthesis. It is therefore desirable to understand the metabolism of this cell type as well as the mechanisms by which it provides its function for the rest of the plant. Ultimately, this information can be used to selectively manipulate this cell type in a controlled manner to achieve crop improvement. In this study, we show that Brachypodium distachyon is a useful model system for stem pith parenchyma biology. Brachypodium can be grown under condition where it resembles the growth patterns of important crops in that it produces large amounts of stem material with the lower leaves senescing and with significant stores of photosynthate located in the stem parenchyma cell types. We further characterize stem plastid morphology as a function of tissue types, as this organelle is central for a number of metabolic pathways, and quantify gene expression for the four main classes of starch biosynthetic genes. Notably, we find several of these genes differentially regulated between stem and leaf. These studies show, consistent with other grasses, that the stem functions as a specialized storage compartment in Brachypodium.

LanguageEnglish (US)
Article numbere0173095
JournalPLoS ONE
Volume12
Issue number3
DOIs
StatePublished - Mar 1 2017

Profile

Brachypodium
Poaceae
grasses
Biological Sciences
Crops
stems
Genes
Saccharum
Plastids
Sorghum
Photosynthesis
Metabolic Networks and Pathways
Stem cells
Metabolism
Gene expression
Organelles
Starch
Sucrose
Stem Cells
Tissue

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Medicine(all)
  • Biochemistry, Genetics and Molecular Biology(all)
  • Agricultural and Biological Sciences(all)

Cite this

Brachypodium as an experimental system for the study of stem parenchyma biology in grasses. / Jensen, Jacob Krüger; Wilkerson, Curtis Gene.

In: PLoS ONE, Vol. 12, No. 3, e0173095, 01.03.2017.

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

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