Caged probes: a novel tool in studying symplasmic transport in plant tissues

Protoplasma. 2004 Mar;223(1):63-6. doi: 10.1007/s00709-003-0029-z. Epub 2004 Mar 4.


Caged probes offer a novel approach to study plant cell-to-cell communication. Instead of introducing fluorescent molecules into cells by microinjection, their caged counterparts can be preloaded into the tissue by diffusion. Following spatially controlled photoactivation, movement of the uncaged fluorochrome can be followed in time and direction by confocal laser scanning microscopy. In the onion bulb scale epidermis used as a model system, symplasmic transport of the tracer out of a target cell was followed. Transport via the symplasmic pathway was challenged by plasmolysing the tissue. The experiments confirmed the symplasmic nature of tracer transport.

Publication types

  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Biological Transport / physiology
  • Extracellular Space / metabolism
  • Fluoresceins / chemistry
  • Fluorescent Dyes / chemistry
  • Fluorescent Dyes / metabolism*
  • Microscopy, Confocal / methods
  • Microscopy, Fluorescence / methods
  • Nitrobenzenes / chemistry
  • Onions / cytology
  • Onions / metabolism
  • Photochemistry
  • Photolysis
  • Plant Cells
  • Plant Epidermis / cytology
  • Plant Epidermis / metabolism
  • Plants / metabolism*
  • Plasmodesmata / metabolism*
  • Protoplasts / cytology
  • Protoplasts / metabolism
  • Ultraviolet Rays


  • Fluoresceins
  • Fluorescent Dyes
  • Nitrobenzenes