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Environmentally Induced Programmed Cell Death In Leaf Protoplasts Of Aponogeton Madagascariensis

Christina E. N. Lord, Arunika Hlan Gunawardena
Published 2011 · Biology, Medicine
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Within plant systems, two main forms of programmed cell death (PCD) exist: developmentally regulated and environmentally induced. The lace plant (Aponogeton madagascariensis) naturally undergoes developmentally regulated PCD to form perforations between longitudinal and transverse veins over its leaf surface. Developmental PCD in the lace plant has been well characterized; however, environmental PCD has never before been studied in this plant species. The results presented here portray heat shock (HS) treatment at 55°C for 20 min as a promising inducer of environmental PCD within lace plant protoplasts originally isolated from non-PCD areas of the plant. HS treatment produces cells displaying many characteristics of developmental PCD, including blebbing of the plasma membrane, increased number of hydrolytic vesicles and transvacuolar strands, nuclear condensation, terminal deoxynucleotidyl transferase-mediated dUTP nick-end labeling positive nuclei, as well as increased Brownian motion within the vacuole. Results presented here for the first time provide evidence of chloroplasts in the vacuole of living protoplasts undergoing environmentally induced PCD. Findings suggest that the mitochondria play a critical role in the cell death process. Changes in mitochondrial dynamics were visualized in HS-treated cells, including loss of mitochondrial mobility, reduction in ΔΨm, as well as the proximal association with chloroplasts. The role of the mitochondrial permeability transition pore (PTP) was examined by pre-treatment with the PTP agonist cyclosporine A. Overall, HS is depicted as a reliable method to induce PCD within lace plant protoplasts, and proves to be a reliable technique to enable comparisons between environmentally induced and developmentally regulated PCD within one species of plant.



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