Tools for high-spatial and temporal-resolution analysis of environmental responses in plants
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- Wee, C.W. & Dinneny, J.R. Biotechnol Lett (2010) 32: 1361. doi:10.1007/s10529-010-0307-8
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Understanding how plants cope with environmental change requires a spatiotemporal perspective. In this review, we highlight recent work which has led to the development and use of novel tools for the high spatial and temporal-resolution analysis of the plant–environment interaction. FACS-based transcriptome and immunoprecipitation-based translatome data sets have provided an important foundation for the analysis of the transcriptional and translational control of environmental responses in each tissue layer of the plant. Complementary approaches, based on a proteomic toolkit, have provided insight into the biological response of Arabidopsis to NaCl and the relationship between transcript and protein levels. The development and adaptation of biosensors and ion-specific dyes provides the capacity to visualize changes in the transport and accumulation of metabolites and small molecules such as sugars, Na+ and Ca2+ at the cellular level. Finally, live-imaging approaches coupled with automated image-analysis algorithms are revealing new levels of dynamism and plasticity in the response to light and gravity. Together, these tools will provide a more comprehensive understanding of environmental responses in plants, which will aide in the development of new crop varieties for sustainable agriculture.