Auto-radiography Micro Imager at plant biology congress

22 June 2006

A a real-time digital auto-radiography Micro Imager from LabLogic Systems will figure in a presentation to be given by The University of Sheffield's Department of Animal and Plant Sciences at the 15th Congress of the Federation of European Societies of Plant Biology (Lyon, 17-21 July 2006).

The Department is investigating the uptake and intercellular transport of radio-labelled amino acids fed via the transpiration stream to Arabidopsis thaliana leaves and whole plants.

Plant xylem sap carries the supply of nitrogen from root to shoot in the form of nitrate and a range of amino acids. This movement is driven by transpiration, resulting in the arrival of the sap to mature leaves despite the far higher requirement for nitrogen in ‘sink’ tissues such as developing leaves and fruits.

In order to study uptake and translocation of amino acids from the transpiration stream, the Department has employed the Micro Imager to image their distribution after short duration pulse-chase feeding experiments.

The radiolabel is introduced to the petiole of individual excised leaves, or to whole plants via cut roots to allow direct uptake into the root xylem.

Sixteen different amino acids have been imaged to date, revealing characteristic patterns of uptake and distribution. These results will be discussed at the meeting in relation to the in vivo function of amino acid transporters and xylem to phloem transfer of amino acids.

Figure showing the localization of four different 3H-labeled amino acids in leaves (top row). The bottom row of images show 14C sucrose fed in simultaneously with the amino acid.

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