Proanthocyanidins (PAs) play a vital role in protecting plants from herbivores and pathogens. However, the mechanism of their action in planta has remained elusive. Recently, we have characterized a new fluorescent dye, 4-dimethylaminocinnamaldehyde (DMACA), that allows for high-resolution localization of PAs in both cell walls and inside plant cells. Using confocal microscopy and co-staining with other fluorescent dyes, we uncovered previously unseen features of wall-bound PAs. Our study revealed that the dye is not only easy to use, but also highly photostable and compatible with other fluorogenic dyes. This makes DMACA a valuable tool for understanding the biological function of PAs at a cellular level in various plant tissues, including roots.
We hope the findings of this study will revolutionize our understanding of PA's role in plant life and pave the way for new industrial applications for PAs.
Author: Jamil Chowdhury
16 January 2023