, Volume 223, Issue 1, pp 1-32
Date: 04 Mar 2004

Imaging plant cells by two-photon excitation

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Summary.

Along the past recent years, two-photon excitation (TPE) microscopy has moved from the realms of technical curiosity to be a standard application in many advanced cell biology laboratories. The growing body of literature covered in this review points out the obvious advantages of TPE over any other imaging method based on fluorescence, clearly improving signal-to-noise ratio and thick-tissue penetration and showing added potential for vital imaging. Like any new technology that has to gain its own space, TPE microscopy is still going through the growing pains in which reproducible protocols, probes, and applications are scarce. Yet, the published reports and unpublished results covered in this review point out that TPE can eventually accommodate most available protocols and probes, most of the times with evident advantages. Further, the potential for plant sciences is obvious, as plant cells possess many absorbing molecules and structures and are routinely more opaque than tissues of other organisms. Since prices make it one of the most expensive microscopies, TPE is coming slow to be a generalised technology, but enough data are emerging to establish it as a method with no alternative for some objectives.

Correspondence and reprints: Instituto Gulbenkian de Ciência. 2780-156 Oeiras, Portugal.