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Plant Viruses in ELISA

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Plant Viruses in ELISA

Postby Babybel56 » Sat Apr 23, 2011 6:32 pm

I have an ELISA plot of an infected woody plant (apple) and an infected herbaceous one (tobacco - sorry no more specific than that!). Infected sap from both has been mixed with a PBS-T buffer put on an ELISA tray to let the alkaline phosphatase cause a colour change.
The graph has absorbency at 405nm plotted against the dilution of the sap between arbitrary factors 1-4, and both lines follow a downward curve as you'd expect (as the dilution of the virus-containing sap gets greater its ability to activate the enzyme and cause colour change is diminished).

HOWEVER between dilution factor 1 and 2 for the apple there is an increase in enzyme activity (and so viral presence) before the normal curve is resumed. Is this something to do with it being a woody plant?
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Postby JackBean » Tue Apr 26, 2011 9:00 am

I would rather suspect some inhibition of the phosphatase from the sap. How was it treated before the phosphatase was added?
(did you add anything, dilute into buffer, purify through some column?)
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Postby Babybel56 » Tue Apr 26, 2011 12:01 pm

Leaf material was simply ground using calcite and coarse carborundum and the supernatant liquid removed, mixed with the buffer and put in the ELISA wells. Woody plants contain a greater concentrations of inhibitors don't they? I just can't figure out why that would mean a greater virus activity :s
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Postby JackBean » Tue Apr 26, 2011 12:24 pm

not really higher virus activity. You mix that extract with some antibody and measure the alkaline phosphatase activity, rigth?
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Postby Babybel56 » Tue Apr 26, 2011 12:30 pm

Broadly speaking. A greater concentration of colour suggests higher concentration of viral antigen's doesn't it?
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Postby JackBean » Tue Apr 26, 2011 12:44 pm

yes, higher concentration of the phosphatase product.

However, the extract is coloured, rigth? It contains lots of balast compounds, which probably interfere with your assay, thus if you apply high amount of it, you inhibit the phosphatase reaction and you get actually lower activity. I've had something similar in my work. When I measure activity of my enzyme in crude extract, the more I add, the lower activity I actually obtain. Nevertheless, when I purify it, it is better and the activity grows with enzyme amount added.
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Postby Babybel56 » Tue Apr 26, 2011 12:50 pm

I understand where you're going: so inhibitors (whether by design or just getting in the way) are dropping antigen/antibody complex formation for the woody plant.

But this doesn't quite explain why the colour gets higher at first and then drops (with increasing dilution, not over time). Is there an optimum concentration for the inhibitors to work at or something?

Btw I can't tell you how grateful I am for this! Hours of my life have been whiled away trying to figure this out.
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Postby JackBean » Wed Apr 27, 2011 11:02 am

wait a second, I thought, that the problem is, that the most concentrated sample gave lower response than more diluted one...?
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Postby JackBean » Wed Apr 27, 2011 11:03 am

that it was like ^\ (up and then down:)
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Postby Babybel56 » Wed Apr 27, 2011 11:12 am

Okay sorry my bad for being unclear! I have infected sap samples from two plants: an apple tree and a tobacco plant. The tobacco colour decreases with dilution as you'd expect, but the apple has an initial increase in colour before it starts to decrease in sync with the tobacco.
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Postby JackBean » Wed Apr 27, 2011 11:37 am

yes, I think I understood it that way. It agrees with what I said.
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Postby Babybel56 » Wed Apr 27, 2011 11:48 am

Oh god yes sorry! No I see what's going on - cheers!

*starts rushing to finish the report*
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