Kim, M, Pernice, M, Watson-Lazowski, A, Guagliardo, P, Kilburn, MR, Larkum, AWD, Raven, JA & Ralph, PJ 2019, 'Effect of reduced irradiance on 13C uptake, gene expression and protein activity of the seagrass Zostera muelleri.', Marine environmental research, vol. 149, pp. 80-89.View/Download from: Publisher's site
Photosynthesis in the seagrass Zostera muelleri remains poorly understood. We investigated the effect of reduced irradiance on the incorporation of 13C, gene expression of photosynthetic, photorespiratory and intermediates recycling genes as well as the enzymatic content and activity of Rubisco and PEPC within Z. muelleri. Following 48 h of reduced irradiance, we found that i) there was a ∼7 fold reduction in 13C incorporation in above ground tissue, ii) a significant down regulation of photosynthetic, photorespiratory and intermediates recycling genes and iii) no significant difference in enzyme activity and content. We propose that Z. muelleri is able to alter its physiology in order to reduce the amount of C lost through photorespiration to compensate for the reduced carbon assimilation as a result of reduced irradiance. In addition, the first estimated rate constant (Kcat) and maximum rates of carboxylation (Vcmax) of Rubisco is reported for the first time for Z. muelleri.
Kim, M, Brodersen, KE, Szabó, M, Larkum, AWD, Raven, JA, Ralph, PJ & Pernice, M 2018, 'Low oxygen affects photophysiology and the level of expression of two-carbon metabolism genes in the seagrass Zostera muelleri.', Photosynthesis Research, vol. 136, no. 2, pp. 147-160.View/Download from: Publisher's site
Seagrasses are a diverse group of angiosperms that evolved to live in shallow coastal waters, an environment regularly subjected to changes in oxygen, carbon dioxide and irradiance. Zostera muelleri is the dominant species in south-eastern Australia, and is critical for healthy coastal ecosystems. Despite its ecological importance, little is known about the pathways of carbon fixation in Z. muelleri and their regulation in response to environmental changes. In this study, the response of Z. muelleri exposed to control and very low oxygen conditions was investigated by using (i) oxygen microsensors combined with a custom-made flow chamber to measure changes in photosynthesis and respiration, and (ii) reverse transcription quantitative real-time PCR to measure changes in expression levels of key genes involved in C4 metabolism. We found that very low levels of oxygen (i) altered the photophysiology of Z. muelleri, a characteristic of C3 mechanism of carbon assimilation, and (ii) decreased the expression levels of phosphoenolpyruvate carboxylase and carbonic anhydrase. These molecular-physiological results suggest that regulation of the photophysiology of Z. muelleri might involve a close integration between the C3 and C4, or other CO2 concentrating mechanisms metabolic pathways. Overall, this study highlights that the photophysiological response of Z. muelleri to changing oxygen in water is capable of rapid acclimation and the dynamic modulation of pathways should be considered when assessing seagrass primary production.
Jiang, Z, Kumar, M, Padula, MP, Pernice, M, Kahlke, T, Kim, M & Ralph, PJ 2017, 'Development of an Efficient Protein Extraction Method Compatible with LC-MS/MS for Proteome Mapping in Two Australian Seagrasses Zostera muelleri and Posidonia australis.', Frontiers in Plant Science, vol. 8, pp. 1-14.View/Download from: Publisher's site
The availability of the first complete genome sequence of the marine flowering plant Zostera marina (commonly known as seagrass) in early 2016, is expected to significantly raise the impact of seagrass proteomics. Seagrasses are marine ecosystem engineers that are currently declining worldwide at an alarming rate due to both natural and anthropogenic disturbances. Seagrasses (especially species of the genus Zostera) are compromised for proteomic studies primarily due to the lack of efficient protein extraction methods because of their recalcitrant cell wall which is rich in complex polysaccharides and a high abundance of secondary metabolites in their cells. In the present study, three protein extraction methods that are commonly used in plant proteomics i.e., phenol (P); trichloroacetic acid/acetone/SDS/phenol (TASP); and borax/polyvinyl-polypyrrolidone/phenol (BPP) extraction, were evaluated quantitatively and qualitatively based on two dimensional isoelectric focusing (2D-IEF) maps and LC-MS/MS analysis using the two most abundant Australian seagrass species, namely Zostera muelleri and Posidonia australis. All three tested methods produced high quality protein extracts with excellent 2D-IEF maps in P. australis. However, the BPP method produces better results in Z. muelleri compared to TASP and P. Therefore, we further modified the BPP method (M-BPP) by homogenizing the tissue in a modified protein extraction buffer containing both ionic and non-ionic detergents (0.5% SDS; 1.5% Triton X-100), 2% PVPP and protease inhibitors. Further, the extracted proteins were solubilized in 0.5% of zwitterionic detergent (C7BzO) instead of 4% CHAPS. This slight modification to the BPP method resulted in a higher protein yield, and good quality 2-DE maps with a higher number of protein spots in both the tested seagrasses. Further, the M-BPP method was successfully utilized in western-blot analysis of phosphoenolpyruvate carboxylase (PEPC-a key enzyme for carbon metabolism). ...