The literature is full of different techniques and approaches to the isolation, purification and quantitative analysis of plant hormones. From this body of literature it is possible to deduce that 1) a lot of investigators are interested in how much of these compounds are in plants and 2) that the techniques for phytohormone analysis are still largely “under development”. This talk will discuss different approaches to hormone analysis, suitability of each approach, and criteria for the evaluation of techniques and results. The goal will be to highlight points that are important to obtaining reliable analytical information and knowing what to do when problems occur. Nevertheless, having reliable numbers is frequently only the first step in understanding hormonal systems involved in plant development, It is often the case that the expected results are not what is found in experiments involving plant hormone quantitation. We will consider experimental design, tissue localization, developmental stages, sampling and extraction procedures, and the limits of what to expect when “dogma confronts reality”. Work reported was supported by grants from the National Science Foundation DCB-8917378, USDA-CRGO 89-3721-4734, US-Israel BARD US-1362-87, and by funds from the USDA Argicultural Research Service,
Knowledge of the genes underlying a given trait is highly useful for developing molecular markers for breeding and is the foundation for future genomic crop improvements. The cultivated strawberry, F. ×ananassa, is a valuable horticultural crop. Genome sequencing revealed that of the four diploid strawberry subgenomes contributing to the F. ×ananassa octoploid genome, the woodland strawberry, F. vesca, subgenome is dominant. Thus, F. vesca is an important system for determining gene function and should be used as a source of genetic diversity for F. ×ananassa breeding. Ethyl methanesulfonate mutagenesis of H4 F7-3, an inbred line of F. vesca, resulted in one M2 line that did not produce any strawberries over a 3-year period in the greenhouse. This line was named fruitless 1. The fruitless 1 phenotype results from a single gene recessive mutation. Microscopic characterization revealed that fruitless 1 failed to produce fruit because anthers fail to develop properly before meiosis, resulting in no pollen production. This report of fruitless 1 facilitates further studies of the line.
To gain a better understanding of changes in gene expression associated with cold stress in the woody perennial blueberry (Vaccinium spp.), a genomics approach based on the analysis of expressed sequence tags (ESTs) was undertaken. Two cDNA libraries were constructed using RNA from cold acclimated (mid winter conditions when the plants are cold stressed) and non-acclimated (before they received any chilling) floral buds of the blueberry cultivar Bluecrop. About 600 5'-end ESTs were generated from each of the libraries. Putative functions were assigned to 57% of the cDNAs that yielded high quality sequences based on homology to other genes/ESTs from Genbank, and these were classified into 14 functional categories. From a contig analysis, which clustered sequences derived from the same or very similar genes, 430 and 483 unique transcripts were identified from the cold acclimated and non-acclimated libraries, respectively. Of the total unique transcripts, only 4.3% were shared between the libraries, suggesting marked differences in the genes expressed under the two conditions. The most highly abundant cDNAs that were picked many more times from one library than from the other were identified as representing potentially differentially expressed transcripts. Northern analyses were performed to examine expression of eight selected transcripts and seven of these were confirmed to be preferentially expressed under either cold acclimating or non-acclimating conditions. Only one of the seven transcripts, encoding a dehydrin, had been found previously to be up-regulated during cold stress of blueberry. This study demonstrates that analysis of ESTs is an effective strategy to identify candidate cold-responsive transcripts in blueberry.