Indexed on: 06 Jul '14Published on: 06 Jul '14Published in: Plant Methods
A multitude of different imaging systems are already available to image genetically altered RNA species; however, only a few of these techniques are actually suitable to visualize endogenous RNA. One possibility is to use fluorescently-labelled and hybridization-sensitive probes. In order to yield more information about the exact localization and movement of a single RNA molecule, it is necessary to image such probes with highly sensitive microscope setups. More challenges arise if such experiments are conducted in plant cells due to their high autofluorescence and demanding transfection procedures.Here, we report in planta imaging of single RNA molecules using fluorescently labeled molecular beacons. We tested three different transfection protocols in order to identify optimal conditions for transfection of fluorescent DNA probes and their subsequent detection at the single molecule level.We found that an optimized heat shock protocol provided a vastly improved transfection method for small DNA molecules which were used for subsequent single RNA molecule detection in living plant suspension cells.