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Annu Rev Plant Biol. 2006;57:181-201.

Laser microdissection of plant tissue: what you see is what you get.

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Department of Molecular, Cellular, and Developmental Biology, Yale University, New Haven, Connecticut 06511, USA.


Laser microdissection (LM) utilizes a cutting or harvesting laser to isolate specific cells from histological sections; the process is guided by microscopy. This provides a means of removing selected cells from complex tissues, based only on their identification by microscopic appearance, location, or staining properties (e.g., immunohistochemistry, reporter gene expression, etc.). Cells isolated by LM can be a source of cell-specific DNA, RNA, protein or metabolites for subsequent evaluation of DNA modifications, transcript/protein/metabolite profiling, or other cell-specific properties that would be averaged with those of neighboring cell types during analysis of undissected complex tissues. Plants are particularly amenable to the application of LM; the highly regular tissue organization and stable cell walls of plants facilitate the visual identification of most cell types even in unstained tissue sections. Plant cells isolated by LM have been the starting point for a variety of genomic and metabolite studies of specific cell types.

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