Biotech Updates

Live-Cell Imaging of Green Fluorescent Protein in Plants

February 9, 2007

The green fluorescent protein from jellyfish Aequorea victoria is a very stable and relatively small protein that serves as a molecular marker. It can be imaged dynamically in living cells, both in its native form and as a fusion to other proteins. The Cold Spring Harbor Laboratory recently published a protocol on live-cell imaging of GFP in plants.

Successful imaging of GFP fusions depends on adequate expression levels relative to background autofluorescence from chlorophyll, lignified cell walls, vacuolar contents, and other cell materials, which can obscure the GFP signal. Consequently, root tips of Arabidopsis are among the best tissues for live-cell imaging. These tissues lack chlorophyll, are transparent, and can be grown on a microscope stage.

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