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Plant Cell Environ. 2001 May;24(5):557-63.

Expression of pH-sensitive green fluorescent protein in Arabidopsis thaliana.

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Department of Plant and Microbial Biology, University of California at Berkeley, Berkeley, CA 94720-3102, USA.
U CA, Berkeley


This is the first report on using green fluorescent protein (GFP) as a pH reporter in plants. Proton fluxes and pH regulation play important roles in plant cellular activity and therefore, it would be extremely helpful to have a plant gene reporter system for rapid, non-invasive visualization of intracellular pH changes. In order to develop such a system, we constructed three vectors for transient and stable transformation of plant cells with a pH-sensitive derivative of green fluorescent protein. Using these vectors, transgenic Arabidopsis thaliana and tobacco plants were produced. Here the application of pH-sensitive GFP technology in plants is described and, for the first time, the visualization of pH gradients between different developmental compartments in intact whole-root tissues of A. thaliana is reported. The utility of pH-sensitive GFP in revealing rapid, environmentally induced changes in cytoplasmic pH in roots is also demonstrated.

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