A multicolored set of in vivo organelle markers for co-localization studies in Arabidopsis and other plants

Plant J. 2007 Sep;51(6):1126-36. doi: 10.1111/j.1365-313X.2007.03212.x. Epub 2007 Jul 30.


Genome sequencing has resulted in the identification of a large number of uncharacterized genes with unknown functions. It is widely recognized that determination of the intracellular localization of the encoded proteins may aid in identifying their functions. To facilitate these localization experiments, we have generated a series of fluorescent organelle markers based on well-established targeting sequences that can be used for co-localization studies. In particular, this organelle marker set contains indicators for the endoplasmic reticulum, the Golgi apparatus, the tonoplast, peroxisomes, mitochondria, plastids and the plasma membrane. All markers were generated with four different fluorescent proteins (FP) (green, cyan, yellow or red FPs) in two different binary plasmids for kanamycin or glufosinate selection, respectively, to allow for flexible combinations. The labeled organelles displayed characteristic morphologies consistent with previous descriptions that could be used for their positive identification. Determination of the intracellular distribution of three previously uncharacterized proteins demonstrated the usefulness of the markers in testing predicted subcellular localizations. This organelle marker set should be a valuable resource for the plant community for such co-localization studies. In addition, the Arabidopsis organelle marker lines can also be employed in plant cell biology teaching labs to demonstrate the distribution and dynamics of these organelles.

Publication types

  • Research Support, U.S. Gov't, Non-P.H.S.

MeSH terms

  • Arabidopsis / metabolism*
  • Arabidopsis / ultrastructure
  • Arabidopsis Proteins / analysis*
  • Arabidopsis Proteins / classification
  • Arabidopsis Proteins / metabolism
  • Biomarkers / analysis
  • Luminescent Proteins / analysis
  • Organelles / metabolism*
  • Organelles / ultrastructure
  • Plasmids / physiology
  • Protein Transport


  • Arabidopsis Proteins
  • Biomarkers
  • Luminescent Proteins