GFP expression in Hydra: lessons from the particle gun

Dev Genes Evol. 2002 Jul;212(6):302-5. doi: 10.1007/s00427-002-0245-0.


The cnidarian Hydra is an important model organism to study pattern formation and tem cell differentiation. In the past, however, it has been difficult to study gene function in Hydra because the animals have hot been accessible to gene transfection studies, we have now developed a method to transiently express GFP-tagged proteins in Hydra using a green fluorescent protein (GFP) expression plasmid under the control of the Hydra actin promoter and a particle gun to introduce it into Hydra cell nuclei. We achieve strong transient GFP expression in a small but reproducible number of epithelial and interstitial cells. Implications for the use of this method to carry out single cell assays with GFP-tagged Hydra proteins are discussed.

Publication types

  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Animals
  • Biolistics / methods*
  • Cell Differentiation
  • Gene Expression
  • Green Fluorescent Proteins
  • Hydra / cytology
  • Hydra / genetics*
  • Luminescent Proteins / analysis
  • Luminescent Proteins / genetics*
  • Microscopy, Fluorescence
  • Plasmids / genetics
  • Transcription, Genetic


  • Luminescent Proteins
  • Green Fluorescent Proteins