Studying Protein-Protein Interactions In Planta Using Advanced Fluorescence Microscopy

Methods Mol Biol. 2017;1610:267-285. doi: 10.1007/978-1-4939-7003-2_17.


The formation of protein complexes through direct protein-protein interaction is essential for virtually every biological process, and accordingly the ability to determine the interaction properties of specific proteins is important to understand these processes. Förster resonance energy transfer (FRET) measurements are state-of-the-art confocal fluorescence microscopy- and imaging-based techniques that allow the analysis of protein interactions in vivo and in planta, in specific compartments of single cells or tissues. Here we provide a step-by-step guide to perform FRET measurements by acceptor photobleaching (APB) and fluorescence lifetime imaging microscopy (FLIM) in the plant expression system Nicotiana benthamiana.

Keywords: APB; Acceptor photobleaching; Confocal fluorescence microscopy; FLIM; FRET; Fluorescence lifetime; Live cell imaging; Nicotiana benthamiana; Protein–protein interaction.

Publication types

  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Fluorescence Resonance Energy Transfer
  • Green Fluorescent Proteins / metabolism
  • Microscopy, Confocal
  • Microscopy, Fluorescence / methods*
  • Optical Imaging
  • Photobleaching
  • Protein Binding
  • Tobacco / metabolism


  • Green Fluorescent Proteins