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This essay is based on the study that was conducted by Michael Heinze, Wolfgang Brandt, and Werner Roos, titled ‘“Self” and “Non-Self” in the Control of Phytoalexin Biosynthesis: Plant Phospholipases A2 with Alkaloid-Specific Molecular Fingerprints’. It utilized the cultures of two plants; the Californian poppy and the rosy periwinkle. The Californian poppy is an Angiosperm from the order Ranunculales, family Papaveraceae, genus Eschscholzia and species California. Its binomial name is Eschscholzia California. The rosy periwinkle is classified in the Gentianales order, family of Apocynaceae, Catharanthus genus, and rose species. It goes by the binomial name of Catharanthus roseus.
The golden poppy is native to California, U.S.A, and Mexico. It prominently grows in the Antelope Valley in Los Angeles, Oregon, Nevada, and Sonora. The plant flowers in February and September, and is distinguished by its yellow or orange four-petaled solitary flowers on long stems. The rosy periwinkle is an evergreen, oval leaved, herbaceous plant with pale pink-red cultivar centered flowers. It is currently classified as an endangered species and is grown in temperate climes.
The article is based on a study of the control of Phytoalexin Biosynthesis on Plant Phospholipases. The cultures are subjected to biosynthetic enzymes so as to study their rate of metabolite production and plant defense genes(Heinze, Brandt, Marillonnet, and Roos 448).
The sampling was conducted via Benzophenanthridies RNA interference silencing so as to decrease the levels of PLA2 genes. Several transformed clones were used to characterize two cell strains which presented a strong PLA2 depression and high mRNA levels (Heinze, Brandt, Marillonnet, and Roos 459).
One of the experiments observed the inhibition of PLA2 by Benzophenanthridies and MIAs in the plasma membranes of the California poppy and the rosy periwinkle. Plasma membranes are isolated from both plants and a variety of alkaloids were added. After ten minutes, the substrate was added to increase the final concentration to 10 μM. The cell samples PLA2 activities were kept constant as in the absence of the alkaloid set at 100%. The results indicated a significant alkaloid activity. The experiment was then repeated with other batches of the plants’ cultures. The results that were yielded were similar. The experiment supported the overall thesis; the alkaloids reduced the levels of enzyme production in both plant cultures (Heinze, Brandt, Marillonnet, and Roos 456).
The results established that alkaloid phytoalexins drastically reduced the production of defensive genes of the plant cultures. Due to the unique property of the plants’ plasma PLA2 membrane, the cultures are sensitive to the self-made alkaloids. The cultures are therefore protected from cell intoxication due to the overproduction of the alkaloids. The PLA2 aspect is singled out as a key element between the transfer of the signals between the elicitor and biosynthetic enzyme conductor. This effectively blocks the transfer of signals prompted by the signal elicitors, in line with the low PLA2 phenotype mutants created by the gene silencing specified by the plant genes. The experiments that were done also uncovered the prominent similarities between the California poppy and rosy periwinkle. Both the plants, alkaloids prohibit the activation of PLA2 and alkaloid production triggered by the elicitors. Also, the LPC produced by the PLA2 acts as an elicitor, thus fulfilling the role of the enzymes; which is the control of the overproduction of alkaloids. The findings elaborated on in the article and shed light on the never-ending research on the ability of medicinal plants to distinguish between the production of foreign and self-made products.
Heinze, Michael, Wolfgang Brandt, Sylvester Marillonnet, and Werner Roos. ““Self” and “Non-Self” in the Control of Phytoalexin Biosynthesis: Plant Phospholipases A2 with Alkaloid-Specific Molecular Fingerprints.” Plant Cell, 27 (2015): 448-462. Web.