A research team around Andreas Houben from the Leibniz Institute of Plant Genetics and Crop Plant Research (IPK) in Gatersleben and Holger Puchta from the Botanical Institute of the Karlsruhe Institute of Technology developed a method to visualize defined genomic sequences in living plant cells and demonstrated its ability to reveal dynamic movements of chromosome ends. This method allows the analysis of the spatio-temporal organization of the genome. It holds the potential to improve our understanding of how genome structure and function are intertwined.
The spatial and temporal organization of genomes is important for maintaining and regulating cell functions such as gene expression, DNA replication and repair, and proper segregation of genetic material during cell division. Therefore, elucidating how the genome is spatio-temporally organized inside the nucleus is imperative to understand how genes and non-coding DNA sequences are regulated during development.
Mapping the functional organization of the genome can be achieved by visualizing interactions between different genomic elements in living cells. “While fluorescence-tagged nuclear proteins can be readily imaged in living plant cells, in vivo visualization of defined DNA sequences turned out to be technically difficult”, explains Andreas Houben, head of the research group Chromosome Structure and Function of the IPK.
The discovery of the bacterial originated CRISPR-Cas9 system (type II clustered regularly interspaced short palindromic repeats CRISPR-associated caspase) revolutionized the field of the targeted genome editing in the last five years and has become a routine technology. “By harnessing this system for live cell imaging in plants, our team shows the potential of this technology reaches far beyond the controlled induction of mutations”, explains Steven Dreissig, IPK scientist and first author of the study.
“We demonstrate reliable imaging of telomere repeats located at the ends of the chromosome arms in living cells of Nicotiana benthamiana, a close Australian relative of tobacco, and pave the way for potential visualization of multiple genomic loci.”
“Furthermore, we show that CRISPR-Cas9 can be combined with fluorescence-labelled proteins to investigate DNA-protein interactions in living cells”, adds Holger Puchta, Director of the Botanical Institute in Karlsruhe.
This recent development may potentially enable plant scientists to visualize single genomic loci in living cells. Now the researchers report the outcome of their joint work in The Plant Journal.
Publication: Steven Dreissig, Simon Schiml, Patrick Schindele, Oda Weiss, Twan Rutten, Veit Schubert, Evgeny Gladilin, Michael Florian Mette, Holger Puchta & Andreas Houben (2017): Live cell CRISPR-imaging in plants reveals dynamic telomere movement. The Plant Journal
Regina Devrient | idw - Informationsdienst Wissenschaft
How molecules teeter in a laser field
18.01.2019 | Forschungsverbund Berlin
Discovery of enhanced bone growth could lead to new treatments for osteoporosis
18.01.2019 | University of California - Los Angeles
The scientific and political community alike stress the importance of German Antarctic research
Joint Press Release from the BMBF and AWI
The Antarctic is a frigid continent south of the Antarctic Circle, where researchers are the only inhabitants. Despite the hostile conditions, here the Alfred...
World first experiments on sensor that may revolutionise everything from medical devices to unmanned vehicles
The new sensor - capable of detecting vibrations of living cells - may revolutionise everything from medical devices to unmanned vehicles.
Dead and alive at the same time? Researchers at the Max Planck Institute of Quantum Optics have implemented Erwin Schrödinger’s paradoxical gedanken experiment employing an entangled atom-light state.
In 1935 Erwin Schrödinger formulated a thought experiment designed to capture the paradoxical nature of quantum physics. The crucial element of this gedanken...
Cellulose obtained from wood has amazing material properties. Empa researchers are now equipping the biodegradable material with additional functionalities to produce implants for cartilage diseases using 3D printing.
It all starts with an ear. Empa researcher Michael Hausmann removes the object shaped like a human ear from the 3D printer and explains:
The phenomenon of so-called superlubricity is known, but so far the explanation at the atomic level has been missing: for example, how does extremely low friction occur in bearings? Researchers from the Fraunhofer Institutes IWM and IWS jointly deciphered a universal mechanism of superlubricity for certain diamond-like carbon layers in combination with organic lubricants. Based on this knowledge, it is now possible to formulate design rules for supra lubricating layer-lubricant combinations. The results are presented in an article in Nature Communications, volume 10.
One of the most important prerequisites for sustainable and environmentally friendly mobility is minimizing friction. Research and industry have been dedicated...
16.01.2019 | Event News
14.01.2019 | Event News
12.12.2018 | Event News
18.01.2019 | Materials Sciences
18.01.2019 | Life Sciences
18.01.2019 | Health and Medicine