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Using Fluorescence Lifetime Microscopy to Study the Subcellular Localization of Anthocyanins


Anthocyanins are flavonoid pigments that accumulate in most seed plants. They are synthesized in the cytoplasm but accumulate inside the vacuoles. Anthocyanins are pigmented at the lower vacuolar pH, but in the cytoplasm they can be visualized based on their fluorescence properties. Thus, anthocyanins provide an ideal system for the development of new methods to investigate cytoplasmic pools and association with other molecular components. We have analyzed the fluorescence decay of anthocyanins by fluorescence lifetime imaging microscopy (FLIM), in both in vitro and in vivo conditions, using wild type and mutant Arabidopsis thaliana seedlings. Within plant cells, the amplitude‐weighted mean fluorescence lifetime (τm) correlated with distinct subcellular localizations of anthocyanins. The vacuolar pool of anthocyanins exhibited shorter τm than the cytoplasmic pool. Consistently, lowering the pH of anthocyanins in solution shortened their fluorescence decay. We propose that FLIM is a useful tool for understanding the trafficking of anthocyanins and potentially, for estimating vacuolar pH inside intact plant cells.

This article is protected by copyright. All rights reserved.

Authors:   Alexandra Chanoca, Brian Burkel, Nik Kovinich, Erich Grotewold, Kevin W. Eliceiri, Marisa S. Otegui
Journal:   The Plant Journal
Year:   2016
Pages:   n/a
DOI:   10.1111/tpj.13297
Publication date:   08-Aug-2016
Facts, background information, dossiers
  • vacuoles
  • solution
  • plants
  • pigments
  • fluorescence lifeti…
  • fluorescence lifeti…
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