2014_06 Illuminated Grapes

actin grape
Using a fluorescent protein from jelly fish we can now watch, how grapevine contracts when it is attacked by microbes.

What is the topic?

Even plants have muscles. This sounds strange, since they do not move? However, they use their muscles rather as sensory organs. By the help of a fluorescent jellyfish protein we succeeded to render the muscles of grapevine visible. By this Approach we could follow by so called Spinning-Disc Scanning Confocal Microscopy, how the muscles of a grapevine leaf respond to attacking pathogenic microbes. We discovered that in the guard cells actin is rapidly and sensitively remodelled. In some cases the guard cells send a signal to their neighbourhood, such that those cells that did not have any direct contact with the intruder, already prepare to a future attack by stretching their muscles.



107. Xin G, Buchholz G, Nick P (2014) Actin marker lines in grapevine reveal a gatekeeper function of guard cells. J Plant Physiol  171, 1164–1173 - pdf