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Original Research ARTICLE Provisionally accepted The full-text will be published soon. Notify me

Front. Plant Sci. | doi: 10.3389/fpls.2019.01350

Efficient in vivo screening method for the identification of C4 photosynthesis inhibitors based on cell suspensions of the single-cell C4 plant Bienertia sinuspersici

  • 1Institute of Biochemical Plant Physiology, Heinrich Heine University, Germany
  • 2Institute of Botany, Leibniz University Hannover, Germany

The identification of novel herbicides is of crucial importance to modern agriculture. We
developed an efficient in vivo assay based on oxygen evolution measurements using suspensions
of chlorenchyma cells isolated from the single-cell C4 plant Bienertia sinuspersici to identify
and characterize inhibitors of C4 photosynthesis. This novel approach fills the gap between
conventional in vitro assays for inhibitors targeting C4 key enzymes and in vivo experiments on
whole plants. The assay addresses inhibition of the target enzymes in a plant context thereby
taking care of any reduced target inhibition due to metabolization or inadequate uptake of small
molecule inhibitors across plant cell walls and membranes. Known small molecule inhibitors
targeting C4 photosynthesis were used to validate the approach. To this end, we tested pyruvate
phosphat dikinase (PPDK) inhibitor bisindolymaleimide IV (BIM4) and phosphoenolpyruvat
carboxylase (PEPC) inhibitor okanin. Both inhibitors show inhibition of plant photosynthesis at
half-maximal inhibitory concentrations (IC50) in the sub-mM range and confirm their potential to
act as a new class of C4 selective inhibitors

Keywords: C4 Photosynthesis, inhibitor, PPDK (pyruvate orthophosphate dikinase), PEPC (phosphoenol pyruvate carboxylase), Bienertia sinuspersici, single cell C4 photosynthesis, Cell suspension, screening

Received: 15 Apr 2019; Accepted: 01 Oct 2019.

Copyright: © 2019 Minges, Janssen, Offermann and Groth. This is an open-access article distributed under the terms of the Creative Commons Attribution License (CC BY). The use, distribution or reproduction in other forums is permitted, provided the original author(s) and the copyright owner(s) are credited and that the original publication in this journal is cited, in accordance with accepted academic practice. No use, distribution or reproduction is permitted which does not comply with these terms.

* Correspondence: Prof. Georg Groth, Institute of Biochemical Plant Physiology, Heinrich Heine University, Dusseldorf, 40225, Germany,