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Noninvasive determination of toxic stress biomarkers by high-throughput screening of photoautotrophic cell suspension cultures with multicolor fluorescence imaging

AuthorsSegečová, Anna; Pérez Bueno, María Luisa; Barón Ayala, Matilde; Červený, Jan; Roitsch, Thomas Georg
KeywordsAbiotic stress
Chlorophyll fluorescence
Multicolor fluorescence
Issue Date24-Aug-2019
PublisherBioMed Central
CitationPlant Methods 15(1): 100 (2019)
Abstract[Background] With increasing pollution, herbicide application and interest in plant phenotyping, sensors capturing early responses to toxic stress are demanded for screening susceptible or resistant plant varieties. Standard toxicity tests on plants are laborious, demanding in terms of space and material, and the measurement of growth-inhibition based endpoints takes relatively long time. The aim of this work was to explore the potential of photoautotrophic cell suspension cultures for high-throughput early toxicity screening based on imaging techniques. The investigation of the universal potential of fluorescence imaging methods involved testing of three toxicants with different modes of action (DCMU, glyphosate and chromium).
[Results] The increased pace of testing was achieved by using non-destructive imaging methods—multicolor fluorescence (MCF) and chlorophyll fluorescence (ChlF). These methods detected the negative effects of the toxicants earlier than it was reflected in plant growth inhibition (decrease in leaf area and final dry weight). Moreover, more subtle and transient effects not resulting in growth inhibition could be detected by fluorescence. The pace and sensitivity of stress detection was further enhanced by using photoautotrophic cell suspension cultures. These reacted sooner, more pronouncedly and to lower concentrations of the tested toxicants than the plants. Toxicant-specific stress signatures were observed as a combination of MCF and ChlF parameters and timing of the response. Principal component analysis was found to be useful for reduction of the collected multidimensional data sets to a few informative parameters allowing comparison of the toxicant signatures.
[Conclusions] Photoautotrophic cell suspension cultures have proved to be useful for rapid high-throughput screening of toxic stress and display a potential for employment as an alternative to tests on whole plants. The MCF and ChlF methods are capable of distinguishing early stress signatures of at least three different modes of action.
Publisher version (URL)https://doi.org/10.1186/s13007-019-0484-y
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