Metabolite profiling of defence-related secondary metabolites in tobacco cells, in response to ergosterol, a steroid from fungal membranes

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dc.contributor.advisor Prof. Ian A. Dubery, Dr. Lizelle A. Piater; Prof. Paul A. Steenkamp en_US
dc.contributor.author Tugizimana, Fidele
dc.date.accessioned 2012-11-05T14:14:59Z
dc.date.available 2012-11-05T14:14:59Z
dc.date.issued 2012-11-05
dc.date.submitted 2012-05
dc.identifier.uri http://hdl.handle.net/10210/8088
dc.description M.Sc. en_US
dc.description.abstract Plants have the ability to continuously respond to various stimuli which alter their physiology, morphology and development. These stimuli may be abiotic or biotic and range from essential to toxic in their effects. One of these stimuli is a steroid from fungal membranes, ergosterol (C28H44O), which does not occur in plants. Ergosterol acts as a pathogen-associated molecular pattern molecule and triggers defence mechanisms in plants, characterised by highly regulated and interrelated events that include the elicitation of the oxidative burst and expression of a number of defencerelated genes. However, the ergosterol-induced global cellular reprogramming of the host has not been fully investigated in all aspects. No metabolomic study has previously been conducted to elucidate, for instance, the effect of ergosterol on plant metabolism. A clear and broader understanding of the molecular mechanisms involved in plant : ergosterol interactions is of paramount importance, for it would open up possibilities of developing novel, more effective and sustainable strategies to control or eradicate fungal diseases in plants. In plants, the metabolome is a compilation of all primary and secondary metabolites. The latter are the final recipients of genetic information, and their levels can influence gene expression and protein stability. Metabolite patterns reveal the actual cellular dynamic environment. Hence, qualitative and quantitative measurements of extra- and intracellular metabolites yield insights into the cellular processes that control the biochemical phenotype of the cell, tissue or whole organism. Metabolomics, the most recent of the ‘omics’ approaches, is the holistic analysis of metabolites present within a biological system under specific physiological conditions. In the present study a metabolomic approach was used to elucidate and analyse changes in the metabolism of tobacco (Nicotiana tabacum) cells following ergosterol treatment. Special attention is given to sesquiterpenoids since the antimicrobial compounds (phytoalexins) isolated from plants within the Solanaceae are mostly bicyclic sesquiterpenoids. Suspension of tobacco cells were treated with different concentrations (0 - 1000 nM) of ergosterol and incubated for different time periods (0 - 24 h). A viability assay, based on the ability of viable cells to reduce 2,3,5- triphenyltetrazolium chloride (TTC), was used to determine whether cell death occurred due to ergosterol treatment. No loss of cell viability was observed over the concentration range and time periods used in this study, indicating that the observed responses were due to the treatment alone and possible secondary responses due to cell death could be excluded. Intracellular metabolites were extracted with two methods: a selective dispersive liquid-liquid micro extraction and a general methanol extraction. Chromatographic techniques (TLC/HPTLC, GC-FID, GC-MS, GC×GC-TOF-MS, UPLC-MS) and 1H NMR spectroscopy were used for quantitative and qualitative analyses. Multivariate data analyses (PCA and OPLS-DA models) were used to extract interpretable information from the multidimensional data generated from the aforementioned techniques. en_US
dc.language.iso en en_US
dc.subject Metabolites en_US
dc.subject Fungal metabolites en_US
dc.subject Plant defenses en_US
dc.subject Metabolitic profile tests en_US
dc.subject Tobacco plants en_US
dc.title Metabolite profiling of defence-related secondary metabolites in tobacco cells, in response to ergosterol, a steroid from fungal membranes en_US
dc.type Thesis en_US

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