Publisher: Oxford University Press (Total: 369 journals)
Bioscience Horizons : The National Undergraduate Research Journal
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Open Access journal
ISSN (Online) 1754-7431
Published by Oxford University Press [369 journals]
- Changing Plastid Dynamics within Early Root and Shoot Apical
Meristem-Derived Tissue of A. thaliana †
Authors: Bramham L.
Abstract: AbstractWhilst plastids are fundamental to many aspects of plant biology and the production of enhanced crop cultivars, research into the dynamics of non-green plastids has remained somewhat disregarded by the scientific community compared to chloroplasts. They are equally pivotal to normal plant development however, and are now increasingly becoming the focus of research made possible by genetic manipulation and reporter gene constructs.The total plastid content of all plant cells originates from small, undifferentiated plastids termed proplastids found within the meristematic regions of both root and shoot tissue. The cellular regulatory mechanisms controlling the development of plastids in young tissues are poorly understood, especially in the case of non-green plastids in roots. This investigation consequently aimed to elucidate the differences in plastid content, morphology and subcellular localization within epidermal cells derived from the root and shoot apical meristems (RAM and SAM respectively) of Arabidopsis thaliana.Quantification of non-green plastids was facilitated via the use of confocal laser scanning microscopy in conjunction with the expression of plastid-targeted green fluorescent protein driven by a constitutive promoter. Characterization of early seedling development and tissue diversification was also achieved by assessing epidermal cell size relative to developmental progression, ultimately facilitating comparative analyses of plastid dynamics on both a temporal and tissue-varietal basis.The number of plastids in epidermal cells within RAM-derived tissue was shown to increase across regions of cell division before being regulated throughout subsequent zones of elongation and maturing root tissue. In contrast, epidermal cells of the hypocotyl exhibit a more generalized increase in plastid number and less strict maintenance of cell plan area coverage during tissue expansion.The findings presented here suggest the functioning of distinct mechanisms regulating plastid division and growth in relation to cell size within shoot and root apical meristem-derived tissues.
- Evolution of salivary secretions in haematophagous animals
Authors: Ware FL; Luck MR.
Abstract: AbstractHaemostasis is the prevention of blood fluidity in vertebrates and is the first stage of wound healing. Haematophagous animals use the blood of vertebrates as their sole source of nutrition and have evolved many salivary constituents to counteract the haemostatic response of their prey. These animals and their saliva have been studied for many years, with some applications in medicine. The purpose of this study is to compare the salivary constituents of leeches (Hirudinae), ticks (Argasidae and Ixodidae) and vampire bats (Desmodontinae) and to consider their evolutionary origin. Salivary constituents include plasminogen activators (PAs), anticoagulants (activated factor X, FXa; inhibitors), vasodilators, platelet aggregation inhibitors (PAgI) and thrombin inhibitors. The animals studied all tend to possess an anticoagulant and a form of apyrase (PAgI) to assist with blood feeding. Ticks and vampire bats have a form of PA but the leech does not. The vampire bat has a PAgI but no vasodilator. The animals studied are from taxonomically unrelated groups but exploit similar mechanisms of action to facilitate their haematophagy. Given that the haematophagous lifestyle of these animals developed much later than their common ancestors, we conclude that their mechanisms for haematophagy have arisen by convergent evolution. Some molecules, e.g. serine proteases found in invertebrate saliva, are probably derived from a common ancestral gene. The possible paths that have led to evolution of vampire bat salivary components are considered. Further research into the homology of these salivary constituents is required to give insight into how these animals adapted to haematophagy and their further therapeutic potential.