Lighting up life: Cold Spring Harbor Protocols presents tips for creating glowing plants

This green fluorescent protein (GFP) has allowed biologists to make many new discoveries regarding how living cells function. But one kingdom of life—plants—has presented special challenges to GFP detection: plants harbor tough cell walls and enormous subcellular structures that interfere with visualization, and their natural green pigments can mask the luminescent qualities of GFP.

The current issue of Cold Spring Harbor Protocols includes a freely available article that addresses these concerns (http://www.cshprotocols.org/cgi/content/

full/2007/3/pdb.ip31). It provides advice on choosing appropriate plant tissues, designing test proteins for maximal GFP detection, and setting up microscope equipment for imaging in plants. This information will be useful to a broad range of scientists interested in plant biology and imaging technologies.

A second freely accessible article (http://www.cshprotocols.org/cgi/
content/full/2007/3/pdb.prot4674)—also new to Cold Spring Harbor Protocols this month—describes a procedure for nurturing mammalian cells for studies in cell division. Both of these publications join a growing library of high-quality methods from Cold Spring Harbor Protocols that span a broad spectrum of topics essential to researchers across many disciplines.

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