In vivo characterisation of fluorescent proteins in budding yeast

Sci Rep. 2019 Feb 19;9(1):2234. doi: 10.1038/s41598-019-38913-z.


Fluorescent proteins (FPs) are widely used in many organisms, but are commonly characterised in vitro. However, the in vitro properties may poorly reflect in vivo performance. Therefore, we characterised 27 FPs in vivo using Saccharomyces cerevisiae as model organism. We linked the FPs via a T2A peptide to a control FP, producing equimolar expression of the 2 FPs from 1 plasmid. Using this strategy, we characterised the FPs for brightness, photostability, photochromicity and pH-sensitivity, achieving a comprehensive in vivo characterisation. Many FPs showed different in vivo properties compared to existing in vitro data. Additionally, various FPs were photochromic, which affects readouts due to complex bleaching kinetics. Finally, we codon optimized the best performing FPs for optimal expression in yeast, and found that codon-optimization alters FP characteristics. These FPs improve experimental signal readout, opening new experimental possibilities. Our results may guide future studies in yeast that employ fluorescent proteins.

Publication types

  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Gene Expression*
  • Green Fluorescent Proteins / genetics
  • Green Fluorescent Proteins / metabolism*
  • Recombinant Proteins / genetics
  • Recombinant Proteins / metabolism
  • Saccharomyces cerevisiae / genetics
  • Saccharomyces cerevisiae / metabolism*


  • Recombinant Proteins
  • Green Fluorescent Proteins