Comparative conventional- and quantum dot-labeling strategies for LPS binding site detection in Arabidopsis thaliana mesophyll protoplasts

Londiwe S. MgCina, Ian A. Dubery, Lizelle A. Piater

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

9 Citations (Scopus)


Lipopolysaccharide (LPS) from Gram-negative bacteria is recognized as a microbe-associated molecular pattern (MAMP) and not only induces an innate immune response in plants, but also stimulates the development of characteristic defense responses. However, identification and characterization of a cell surface LPS-receptor/binding site, as described in mammals, remains elusive in plants. As an amphiphilic, macromolecular lipoglycan, intact LPS potentially contains three MAMP-active regions, represented by the O-polysaccharide chain, the core and the lipid A. Binding site studies with intact labeled LPS were conducted in Arabidopsis thaliana protoplasts and quantified using flow cytometry fluorescence changes. Quantum dots (Qdots), which allow non-covalent, hydrophobic labeling were used as a novel strategy in this study and compared to covalent, hydrophilic labeling with Alexa 488. Affinity for LPS-binding sites was clearly demonstrated by concentration-, temperature-, and time-dependent increases in protoplast fluorescence following treatment with the labeled LPS. Moreover, this induced fluorescence increase was convincingly reduced following pre-treatment with excess unlabeled LPS, thereby indicating reversibility of LPS binding. Inhibition of the binding process is also reported using endo- and exocytosis inhibitors. Here, we present evidence for the anticipated presence of LPS-specific binding sites in Arabidopsis protoplasts, and furthermore propose Qdots as a more sensitive LPS-labeling strategy in comparison to the conventional Alexa 488 hydrazide label for binding studies.

Original languageEnglish
Article number335
Pages (from-to)1-11
Number of pages11
JournalFrontiers in Plant Science
Issue numberMAY
Publication statusPublished - 12 May 2015


  • Defense
  • Flow cytometry
  • Innate immunity
  • LPS-binding sites
  • LPS-labeling
  • Lipopolysaccharides (LPSs)
  • Microbe-associated molecular pattern (MAMP)
  • Protoplasts

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Plant Science


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