Correlative imaging of fluorescent proteins in resin-embedded plant material

Karen Bell, Steve Mitchell, Danae Paultre, Markus Posch, Karl Oparka

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    60 Citations (Scopus)


    Fluorescent proteins (FPs) were developed for live-cell imaging and have revolutionized cell biology. However, not all plant tissues are accessible to live imaging using confocal microscopy, necessitating alternative approaches for protein localization. An example is the phloem, a tissue embedded deep within plant organs and sensitive to damage. To facilitate accurate localization of FPs within recalcitrant tissues, we developed a simple method for retaining FPs after resin embedding. This method is based on low-temperature fixation and dehydration, followed by embedding in London Resin White, and avoids the need for cryosections. We show that a palette of FPs can be localized in plant tissues while retaining good structural cell preservation, and that the polymerized block face can be counterstained with cell wall probes. Using this method we have been able to image green fluorescent protein-labeled plasmodesmata to a depth of more than 40 mm beneath the resin surface. Using correlative light and electron microscopy of the phloem, we were able to locate the same FP-labeled sieve elements in semithin and ultrathin sections. Sections were amenable to antibody labeling, and allowed a combination of confocal and superresolution imaging (three-dimensional-structured illumination microscopy) on the same cells. These correlative imaging methods should find several uses in plant cell biology.
    Original languageEnglish
    Pages (from-to)1595-1603
    Number of pages9
    JournalPlant Physiology
    Issue number4
    Publication statusPublished - Apr 2013


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