The cell reprogramming processes: epigenetic and proteomic analyses of the cell fate in common and Tartary buckwheat (OPUS project)
Representatives of the buckwheat (Fagopyrum) genus are dicotyledonous plants that belong to the Polygonaceae family. The genus includes 26 species, both annual and perennial, which grow mainly in the Eurasian highlands. The two most important cultivated species are common buckwheat (F. esculentum) and Tartary buckwheat (F. tataricum). Because of the recent vogue for a healthy lifestyle, one of the trends is an increasing interest in the consumption of so-called healthy foods. F. esculentum and F. tataricum can play an important role in a wide range of natural products that act beneficially on the human body. This is primarily due to its high content of various phenolic compounds in this plant, which includes rutin, and also quercetin and the C-glycosylflavones such as orientin, isoorientin and vitexin. The positive therapeutic and/or dietary action of these biologically active compounds is due to their strong antioxidant properties, which have a beneficial effect on blood vessel elasticity and help to prevent the cardiovascular diseases that are currently one of the most serious diseases of affluence. Compared to the buckwheat species that is widely grown in Poland, F. esculentum, F. tataricum contains more phenolic compounds in each part of the plant and at various stages of its life cycle. The protein content in buckwheat is higher and its quality is better than in the cereals that belong to the grass family such as wheat, rice, maize and sorghum. F. esculentum is an obligate cross-pollinating, heterostylous species and F. tataricum is a self-pollinating, homostylous species. The heterostylous self-incompatibility in F. esculentum is associated with distinct variations in its floral features such as the style length, stamen length, pollen size and intramorph incompatibility and is considered to be one of the causes of grain harvest instability and makes breeding this culture difficult. In contrast to F. esculentum, F. tataricum is a homostylous species with flowers that have anthers and stigmas that are the same height. There is no research that provides a detailed epigenetic and proteomic analysis for the vegetative-to-reproductive transition and homo- and heterostylous flower formation. A callus is a shapeless mass of undifferentiated and rapidly dividing cells. It can be derived from almost every plant tissue by treating it with a mixture of plant hormones (for example, auxins and cytokinins). Our rich experience working with tissue cultures has demonstrated that F. esculentum and F. tataricum are good systems. The main goal of this project is to perform a comprehensive analysis of the reprogramming of cells during the formation of the callus, somatic embryo and regenerants as well as during the vegetative-to-regenerative transition and flower formation.
Genetic Analysis of the Formation of Fagopyrum Somatic Hybrids (Sonata Bis project)
The biggest problem with cultivating F. esculentum is the short life of its single flower. In addition, buckwheat has a very short growing period (70-90 days). It is also sensitive to ground frost, high temperatures and drought all of which may cause strong flower and embryo abortions. A cross-pollination of the buckwheat F. homotropicum with F. tataricum or F. tataricum with F. esculentum was done in order to transfer the genes that have a greater resistance to frost and a higher seed yield. Because of the strong barriers that prevent cross-pollination between different species, these studies have been unsuccessful. The seed set is insufficient as it only amounts to 15-53% depending on the genotype and growth conditions. Among the most important reasons for the low yield are (1) self-incompatibility, (2) insufficient fertilisation, (3) embryo abortion, (4) sensitivity to heat and drought stress and (5) a deficiency of assimilates that occurs in aging plants. Protoplast fusion and subsequent in vitro plant regeneration, which lead to somatic hybridisation, offer opportunities for transferring entire genomes from one plant into another regardless of the interspecific crossing barriers. A callus is a shapeless mass of undifferentiated and rapidly dividing cells. It can be derived from almost every plant tissue by treating it with a mixture of plant hormones (for example, auxins and cytokinins). Our great experience working with tissue cultures has demonstrated that F. esculentum and F. tataricum are good models for analyses starting from gene regulation to the characterisation of the molecular players both inside and outside a cell. In this project, we aim to identify and analyse the key changes that occur during the development of buckwheat somatic hybrids.
Interaction of silver nanoparticles with cells of morphogenic callus Fagopyrum tataricum (L.) (Miniatura Project)
Plants are an essential component of the ecosystem and the most important food source, so understanding the effects of nanoparticles (NP) on plants is critical to assessing potential environmental threats, food safety, and human health. Despite the growing amount of research, there is still too little data to fully understand the interaction between NP and biological systems. In order to elucidate the mechanisms of NP interaction with plants, basic research at the cellular level is extremely important, which will show the reactions of cells to NP so that their potential toxicity can be assessed.
The aim of the project is to investigate the interaction of silver nanoparticles (AgNP) of different diameter with the morphogenic callus (MK) of tartary buckwheat. These results will allow to check the reaction of MK cells to the presence of AgNP and whether the diameter of AgNP is important in the interaction with MK, which could be an introduction to a broader analysis.
With regard to the use of AgNP in agriculture, the question of the impact of NP on Tartary buckwheat becomes extremely interesting, so that in the future, without fear of potential toxicity, AgNP can be used as e.g., nanofertilizers or nanopesticides, which will significantly increase the yield and spread this species.
NCN (OPUS, Sonata Bis, Miniatura)