3D Reconstruction of Lipid Droplets in the Seed of Brassica napus.
ABSTRACT: Rapeseed is one of the most important and widely cultured oilseed crops for food and nonfood purposes worldwide. Neutral lipids are stored in lipid droplets (LDs) as fuel for germination and subsequent seedling growth. Most of the LD detection in seeds was still in 2D levels, and some of the details might have been lost in previous studies. In the present work, the configuration of LDs in seeds was obtained by confocal imaging combined with 3D reconstruction technology in Brassica napus. The size and shape of LDs, LD numbers, cell interval spaces and cell size were observed and compared at 3D levels in the seeds of different materials with high and low oil content. It was also revealed that different cells located in the same tissue exhibited various oil contents according to the construction at the 3D level, which was not previously reported in B. napus. The present work provides a new way to understand the differential in cell populations and enhance the seed oil content at the single cell level within seeds.
Project description:BACKGROUND:Triacylglycerols (TAGs) are the main composition of plant seed oil. Long-chain acyl-coenzyme A synthetases (LACSs) catalyze the synthesis of long-chain acyl-coenzyme A, which is one of the primary substrates for TAG synthesis. In Arabidopsis, the LACS gene family contains nine members, among which LACS1 and LACS9 have overlapping functions in TAG biosynthesis. However, functional characterization of LACS proteins in rapeseed have been rarely reported. RESULTS:An orthologue of the Arabidopsis LACS2 gene (BnLACS2) that is highly expressed in developing seeds was identified in rapeseed (Brassica napus). The BnLACS2-GFP fusion protein was mainly localized to the endoplasmic reticulum, where TAG biosynthesis occurs. Interestingly, overexpression of the BnLACS2 gene resulted in significantly higher oil contents in transgenic rapeseed plants compared to wild type, while BnLACS2-RNAi transgenic rapeseed plants had decreased oil contents. Furthermore, quantitative real-time PCR expression data revealed that the expression of several genes involved in glycolysis, as well as fatty acid (FA) and lipid biosynthesis, was also affected in transgenic plants. CONCLUSIONS:A long chain acyl-CoA synthetase, BnLACS2, located in the endoplasmic reticulum was identified in B. napus. Overexpression of BnLACS2 in yeast and rapeseed could increase oil content, while BnLACS2-RNAi transgenic rapeseed plants exhibited decreased oil content. Furthermore, BnLACS2 transcription increased the expression of genes involved in glycolysis, and FA and lipid synthesis in developing seeds. These results suggested that BnLACS2 is an important factor for seed oil production in B. napus.
Project description:BACKGROUND:Rapeseed (Brassica napus, B. napus) is an important oil seed crop in the world. Previous studies showed that seed germination vigor might be correlated with seed oil content in B. napus, but the regulation mechanism for seed germination has not yet been explained clearly. Dissecting the regulation mechanism of seed germination and germination vigor is necessary. RESULTS:Here, proteomic and genomic approaches were used to analyze the germination process in B. napus seeds with different oil content. The identification of 165 differentially expressed proteins (DEPs) in the germinating seeds of B. napus with high and low oil content was accomplished by two-dimensional fluorescence difference in gel electrophoresis (2D-DIGE). The comparative proteomic results revealed that seeds with high oil content had higher metabolic activity, especially for sulfur amino acid metabolism. Thirty-one unique genes were shown to be significantly changed during germination between the seeds with high and low oil content, and thirteen of these genes were located within the confidence interval of germination-related quantitative trait locus (QTLs), which might play an important role in regulating seed germination vigor. CONCLUSIONS:The present results are of importance for the understanding of the regulation mechanism for seed germination vigor in B. napus.
Project description:We developed an easily accessible boron-dipyrromethene (BODIPY)-based fluorogenic probe, which we named LD-TB. This probe emits bright fluorescence in oil; when compared with aqueous solution, a significant enhancement of fluorescence brightness is observed. Cellular experiments confirmed that the probe stains the lipid droplets (LDs) specifically in both live and fixed cells, providing background-free images. Compared with Nile Red dye, a commonly used LD marker, LD-TB showed superior photostability. The sharp absorption and emission bands enable its multicolor imaging with blue and green probes. Importantly, the probe has proved to have low toxicity and is compatible with cell fixation. Our research provides a promising new fluorogenic probe for specific imaging of LDs.
Project description:Contamination of aquatic environments with dioxins, the most toxic group of persistent organic pollutants (POPs), is a major ecological issue. Dioxins are highly lipophilic and bioaccumulate in fatty tissues of marine organisms used for seafood where they constitute a potential risk for human health. Lipid droplets (LDs) purified from date palm, Phoenix dactylifera, seeds were characterized and their capacity to extract dioxins from aquatic systems was assessed. The bioaffinity of date palm LDs toward 2,3,7,8-tetrachlorodibenzo-p-dioxin (TCDD), the most toxic congener of dioxins was determined. Fractioned LDs were spheroidal with mean diameters of 2.5 µm, enclosing an oil-rich core of 392.5 mg mL(-1). Isolated LDs did not aggregate and/or coalesce unless placed in acidic media and were strongly associated with three major groups of polypeptides of relative mass 32-37, 20-24, and 16-18 kDa. These masses correspond to the LD-associated proteins, oleosins, caleosins, and steroleosins, respectively. Efficient partitioning of TCDD into LDs occurred with a coefficient of log K LB/w,TCDD = 7.528 ± 0.024; it was optimal at neutral pH and was dependent on the presence of the oil-rich core, but was independent of the presence of LD-associated proteins. Bioinformatic analysis of the date palm genome revealed nine oleosin-like, five caleosin-like, and five steroleosin-like sequences, with predicted structures having putative lipid-binding domains that match their LD stabilizing roles and use as bio-based encapsulation systems. Transcriptomic analysis of date palm seedlings exposed to TCDD showed strong up-regulation of several caleosin and steroleosin genes, consistent with increased LD formation. The results suggest that the plant LDs could be used in ecological remediation strategies to remove POPs from aquatic environments. Recent reports suggest that several fungal and algal species also use LDs to sequester both external and internally derived hydrophobic toxins, which indicates that our approach could be used as a broader biomimetic strategy for toxin removal.
Project description:Lipid droplets (LDs) are cell compartments specialized for oil storage. Although their role and biogenesis are relatively well documented in seeds, little is known about their composition, structure and function in senescing leaves where they also accumulate. Here, we used a label free quantitative mass spectrometry approach to define the LD proteome of aging Arabidopsis leaves. We found that its composition is highly different from that of seed/cotyledon and identified 28 proteins including 9 enzymes of the secondary metabolism pathways involved in plant defense response. With the exception of the TRIGALACTOSYLDIACYLGLYCEROL2 protein, we did not identify enzymes implicated in lipid metabolism, suggesting that growth of leaf LDs does not occur by local lipid synthesis but rather through contact sites with the endoplasmic reticulum (ER) or other membranes. The two most abundant proteins of the leaf LDs are the CALEOSIN3 and the SMALL RUBBER PARTICLE1 (AtSRP1); both proteins have structural functions and participate in plant response to stress. CALEOSIN3 and AtSRP1 are part of larger protein families, yet no other members were enriched in the LD proteome suggesting a specific role of both proteins in aging leaves. We thus examined the function of AtSRP1 at this developmental stage and found that AtSRP1 modulates the expression of CALEOSIN3 in aging leaves. Furthermore, AtSRP1 overexpression induces the accumulation of triacylglycerol with an unusual composition compared to wild-type. We demonstrate that, although AtSRP1 expression is naturally increased in wild type senescing leaves, its overexpression in senescent transgenic lines induces an over-accumulation of LDs organized in clusters at restricted sites of the ER. Conversely, atsrp1 knock-down mutants displayed fewer but larger LDs. Together our results reveal that the abundancy of AtSRP1 regulates the neo-formation of LDs during senescence. Using electron tomography, we further provide evidence that LDs in leaves share tenuous physical continuity as well as numerous contact sites with the ER membrane. Thus, our data suggest that leaf LDs are functionally distinct from seed LDs and that their biogenesis is strictly controlled by AtSRP1 at restricted sites of the ER.
Project description:Lipid droplets (LDs) in all eukaryotic cells are coated with at least one of the perilipin (Plin) family of proteins. They all regulate key intracellular lipases but do so to significantly different extents. Where more than one Plin is expressed in a cell, they associate with LDs in a hierarchical manner. In vivo, this means that lipid flux control in a particular cell or tissue type is heavily influenced by the specific Plins present on its LDs. Despite their early discovery, exactly how Plins target LDs and why they displace each other in a "hierarchical" manner remains unclear. They all share an amino-terminal 11-mer repeat (11mr) amphipathic region suggested to be involved in LD targeting. Here, we show that, in vivo, this domain functions as a primary highly reversible LD targeting motif in Plin1-3, and, in vitro, we document reversible and competitive binding between a wild-type purified Plin1 11mr peptide and a mutant with reduced binding affinity to both "naked" and phospholipid-coated oil-water interfaces. We also present data suggesting that a second carboxy-terminal 4-helix bundle domain stabilizes LD binding in Plin1 more effectively than in Plin2, whereas it weakens binding in Plin3. These findings suggest that dual amphipathic helical regions mediate LD targeting and underpin the hierarchical binding of Plin1-3 to LDs.
Project description:Molecular gene transfer techniques have been used to engineer the fatty acid composition of Brassica rapa and Brassica napus (canola) oil. Stearoyl-acyl carrier protein (stearoyl-ACP) desaturase (EC 188.8.131.52) catalyzes the first desaturation step in seed oil biosynthesis, converting stearoyl-ACP to oleoyl-ACP. Seed-specific antisense gene constructs of B. rapa stearoyl-ACP desaturase were used to reduce the protein concentration and enzyme activity of stearoyl-ACP desaturase in developing rapeseed embryos during storage lipid biosynthesis. The resulting transgenic plants showed dramatically increased stearate levels in the seeds. A continuous distribution of stearate levels from 2% to 40% was observed in seeds of a transgenic B. napus plant, illustrating the potential to engineer specialized seed oil compositions.
Project description:BACKGROUND:Brassica napus is of substantial economic value for vegetable oil, biofuel, and animal fodder production. The breeding of yellow-seeded B. napus to improve seed quality with higher oil content, improved oil and meal quality with fewer antinutrients merits attention. Screening the genes related to this phenotype is valuable for future rapeseed breeding. RESULTS:A total of 85,407 genes, including 4317 novel genes, were identified in the developing seeds of yellow- and black-seeded B. napus, and yellow rapeseed was shown to be an introgression line between black-seeded B. napus and yellow-seeded Sinapis alba. A total of 15,251 differentially expressed genes (DEGs) were identified among all the libraries, and 563 and 397 common DEGs were identified throughout black and yellow seed development, including 80 upregulated and 151 downregulated genes related to seed development and fatty acid accumulation. In addition, 11 up-DEGs and 31 down-DEGs were identified in all developmental stages of yellow rapeseed compared with black seed. Enrichment analysis revealed that many DEGs were involved in biosynthetic processes, pigment metabolism, and oxidation-reduction processes, such as flavonoid and phenylpropanoid biosynthesis, phenylalanine metabolism, flavone and flavonol biosynthesis, and fatty acid biosynthesis and metabolism. We found that more than 77 DEGs were related to flavonoid and lignin biosynthesis, including 4CL, C4H, and PAL, which participated in phenylalanine metabolism, and BAN, CHI/TT5, DFR, F3H, FLS, LDOX, PAP, CHS/TT4, TT5, bHLH/TT8, WD40, MYB, TCP, and CYP, which were involved in flavonoid biosynthesis. Most of these DEGs were downregulated in yellow rapeseed and were consistent with the decreased flavonoid and lignin contents. Both up- and down-DEGs related to fatty acid biosynthesis and metabolism were also analyzed, which could help to explain the improved oil content of yellow rapeseed. CONCLUSION:This research provided comprehensive transcriptome data for yellow-seeded B. napus with a unique genetic background, and all the DEGs in comparison with the black-seeded counterpart could help to explain seed quality differences, such as lower pigmentation and lignin contents, and higher oil content.
Project description:Background:In addition to their use as an edible oil and condiment crop, mustard and rapeseed (Brassica napus L., B. juncea (L.) Czern., B. nigra (L.) W.D.J.Koch, B. rapa L. and Sinapis alba L.) have been commonly used in traditional medicine for relieving pain, coughs and treating infections. The seeds contain high amounts of oil, while the remaining by-product meal after oil extraction, about 40% of seed dry weight, has a low value despite its high protein-content (~85%). The seed storage proteins (SSP) 2S albumin-type napin and 12S globulin-type cruciferin are the two predominant proteins in the seeds and show potential for value adding to the waste stream; however, information on their biological activities is scarce. In this study, purified napin and cruciferin were tested using in silico, molecular docking, and in vitro approaches for their bioactivity as antimicrobial peptides. Materials and Methods:The 3D-structure of 2S albumin and 12S globulin storage proteins from B. napus were investigated to predict antimicrobial activity employing an antimicrobial peptide database survey. To gain deeper insights into the potential antimicrobial activity of these SSP, in silico molecular docking was performed. The purified B. napus cruciferin and napin were then tested against both Gram-positive and Gram-negative bacteria for in vitro antimicrobial activity by disc diffusion and microdilution antimicrobial susceptibility testing. Results:In silico analysis demonstrated both SSP share similar 3D-structure with other well studied antimicrobial proteins. Molecular docking revealed that the proteins exhibited high binding energy to bacterial enzymes. Cruciferin and napin proteins appeared as a double triplet and a single doublet, respectively, following SDS-PAGE. SDS-PAGE and Western blotting also confirmed the purity of the protein samples used for assessment of antimicrobial activity. Antimicrobial susceptibility testing provided strong evidence for antimicrobial activity for the purified napin protein; however, cruciferin showed no antimicrobial activity, even at the highest dose applied. Discussion:In silico and molecular docking results presented evidence for the potential antimicrobial activity of rapeseed cruciferin and napin SSP. However, only the in vitro antimicrobial activity of napin was confirmed. These findings warrant further investigation of this SSP protein as a potential new agent against infectious disease.
Project description:BACKGROUND:Rapeseed is the third largest oil seed crop in the world. The seeds of this plant store lipids in oil bodies, and oleosin is the most important structural protein in oil bodies. However, the function of oleosin in oil crops has received little attention. RESULTS:In the present study, 48 oleosin sequences from the Brassica napus genome were identified and divided into four lineages (T, U, SH, SL). Synteny analysis revealed that most of the oleosin genes were conserved, and all of these genes experienced purifying selection during evolution. Three and four important oleosin genes from Arabidopsis and B. napus, respectively, were cloned and analyzed for function in Arabidopsis. Overexpression of these oleosin genes in Arabidopsis increased the seed oil content slightly, except for BnaOLE3. Further analysis revealed that the average oil body size of the transgenic seeds was slightly larger than that of the wild type (WT), except for BnaOLE1. The fatty acid profiles showed that the linoleic acid content (13.3% at most) increased and the peanut acid content (11% at most) decreased in the transgenic lines. In addition, the seed size and thousand-seed weight (TSW) also increased in the transgenic lines, which could lead to increased total lipid production. CONCLUSION:We identified oleosin genes in the B. napus genome, and overexpression of oleosin in Arabidopsis seeds increased the seed weight and linoleic acid content (13.3% at most).