Characterization of Phytoplasmal Effector Protein Interaction with Proteinaceous Plant Host Targets Using Bimolecular Fluorescence Complementation (BiFC)
Elucidating the molecular mechanisms underlying plant disease development has become an important aspect of phytoplasma research in the last years. Especially unraveling the function of phytoplasma effector proteins has gained interesting insights into phytoplasma-host interaction at the molecular level. Here, we describe how to analyze and visualize the interaction of a phytoplasma effector with its proteinaceous host partner using bimolecular fluorescence complementation (BiFC) in Nicotiana benthamiana mesophyll protoplasts. The protocol comprises a description of how to isolate protoplasts from leaves and how to transform these protoplasts with BiFC expression vectors containing the phytoplasma effector and the host interaction partner, respectively. If an interaction occurs, a fluorescent YFP-complex is reconstituted in the protoplast, which can be visualized using fluorescence microscopy.
Key wordsBimolecular fluorescence complementation (BiFC) Effector protein Fluorescence microscopy Phytoplasma Protoplast isolation Protoplast transfection Protoplast transformation
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