Submitted to: Meeting Abstract
Publication Type: Abstract Only
Publication Acceptance Date: 2/1/2005
Publication Date: 6/5/2005
Citation: Nakata, P.A., Mcconn, M.M. 2005. Investigations into calcium oxalate crystal formation in medicago truncatula[abstract]. 2005 Model Legume Congress. p. 20.
Technical Abstract: Calcium oxalate crystal formation is common in nature. Plants accumulate crystals in a variety of shapes, sizes, amounts, and spatial locations. To gain insight into the mechanisms regulating crystal formation, we have conducted a mutant screen of a chemically mutagenized Medicago truncatula population. Several classes of calcium oxalate mutants were identified that exhibit alterations in crystal nucleation, morphology, distribution, and amount. Medicago truncatula leaves accumulates two types of crystals (prismatic and druse) in two different cell types at different stages of development. In developing leaves prismatic crystals are observed accumulating along the vascular strand while druse crystals accumulate sparsely through out the mesophyll later in development. Genetic characterization of these mutants suggested that there may be at least two independent routes of calcium oxalate formation that occurs for each crystal type. Ascorbic acid, chlorophyll, and starch measurements showed an inverse relationship with oxalate content indicating that increases in oxalate deposition may be linked to a number of other processes and pathways. A discussion of our findings will be presented which are starting to provide a glimpse into this complex process of calcium oxalate crystal formation. The isolation of mutants with differing oxalate content indicates that genetic manipulation of calcium oxalate formation may be feasible. The ability to manipulate calcium oxalate formation could have future applications in improving the nutritional quality and production of plant foods.