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Qualitative and quantitative immunofluorescence studies of chloroplast ferredoxin

Application to investigations of ferredoxin inheritance in Nicotiana hybrids

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Antibodies were raised in rabbits against 2Fe−2S ferredoxin from N. tabacum L. The antibodies showed partial cross-reactivity in the double diffusion test with ferredoxins from Spinacia oleracea L., Petunia inflata Fries., P. axillaris Lam., Phaseolus vulgaris L., Chlamydomonas remhardii Dang. A complete cross-reaction was observed with ferredoxins from five other Nicotiana species, thus with this test it was impossible to discriminate between these ferredoxins. Therefore the following test was performed. Heterologous ferredoxin (i.e., ferredoxin other than from N. tabacum) was coupled covalently to Sepharose beads. Rabbit anti-N. tabacum-serum was then pre-incubated with this ferredoxin which resulted in complete abolition of cross-reactivity with free heterologous ferredoxin. However, the serum retained antibody activity against specific antigenic determinants of N. tabacum ferredoxin. When this serum was tested against ferredoxin purified from the hybrid: N. tabacum (♀)xN. glutinosa (♂) it gave a positive reaction. The relative content of maternal N. tabacum ferredoxin in the hybrid was estimated by using a fluorescent derivative of this specific antibody and estimating the cross-reactivity compared with that of artificial mixtures of pure N. tabacum and N. glutinosa ferredoxins. The hybrid contained 50% of maternal ferredoxin. This technique was also applied to ferredoxins of other species of Nicotiana and to the ferredoxin from the hybrid N. clevelandii (♀)xN. glutinosa (♂). We conclude that it provides a good test system for the study of the expression of chloroplast ferredoxin in Nicotiana hybrids in general.

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phosphate buffered saline


fluorescein isothiocyanate


standard error of means


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Huisman, J.G., Bernards, A., Liebregts, P. et al. Qualitative and quantitative immunofluorescence studies of chloroplast ferredoxin. Planta 137, 279–286 (1977). https://doi.org/10.1007/BF00388163

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Key words

  • Chloroplast
  • Ferredoxin
  • Immunofluorescence
  • Nicotiana