Repository logo

Fluorescent reporters for functional analysis in rice leaves.

Published version



Change log


Luginbuehl, Leonie H 
El-Sharnouby, Sherif 
Wang, Na 
Hibberd, Julian M 


Fluorescent reporters have facilitated non-invasive imaging in multiple plant species and thus allowed the analysis of processes ranging from gene expression and protein localization to cellular patterning. However, in rice, a globally important crop and model species, there are relatively few reports of fluorescent proteins being used in leaves. Fluorescence imaging is particularly difficult in the rice leaf blade, likely due to a high degree of light scattering in this tissue. To address this, we investigated approaches to improve deep imaging in mature rice leaf blades. We found that ClearSee treatment, which has previously been used to visualize fluorescent reporters in whole tissues of plants, led to improved imaging in rice. Removing epidermal and subtending mesophyll cell layers was faster than ClearSee and also reduced light scattering such that imaging of fluorescent proteins in deeper leaf layers was possible. To expand the range of fluorescent proteins suitable for imaging in rice, we screened twelve whose spectral profiles spanned most of the visible spectrum. This identified five proteins (mTurquoise2, mNeonGreen, mClover3, mKOκ, and tdTomato) that are robustly expressed and detectable in mesophyll cells of stably transformed plants. Using microparticle bombardment, we show that mTurquoise2 and mNeonGreen can be used for simultaneous multicolor imaging of different subcellular compartments. Overall, we conclude that mTurquoise2, mNeonGreen, mClover3, mKOκ, and tdTomato are suitable for high-resolution live imaging of rice leaves, both after transient and stable transformation. Along with the rapid microparticle bombardment method, which allows transient transformation of major cell types in the leaf blade, these fluorescent reporters should greatly facilitate the analysis of gene expression and cell biology in rice.



Rice leaves, Fluorescent Proteins, Microparticle Bombardment, Stable Transformants

Journal Title

Plant direct

Conference Name

Journal ISSN


Volume Title