Protoplast Isolation and Staining

  • Shiu-Cheung Lung
  • Sarah Schoor
  • Dustin Sigurdson
  • Makoto Yanagisawa
  • Kelly Yeung
  • Mi Qi Liu
  • Simon D. X. ChuongEmail author


The successful isolation of mesophyll protoplasts from plant species has become a versatile tool for in vivo imaging of subcellular structures. Taking advantage of the various cytochemical probes available, the subcellular localization of specific organelles can be visualized in live protoplasts. In an isolated system, monitoring of the dynamics of organelle movement in response to external stimuli, stresses or an exogenous substance can be substantially facilitated. The isolation of a pure population of non-stressed, healthy protoplasts critically affects the reliability and reproducibility of these studies. In this chapter, we detail a standard protocol for the isolation of live mesophyll protoplasts from leaves of the model plant, Arabidopsis thaliana. We also consider the critical factors for empirical optimization of protoplast isolation procedures for succulent species such as Kalanchoe daigremontiana, Bienertia sinuspersici and Lampranthus spectabilis.


Cell wall digestion Cellulase Cytochemical staining Fluorescence stains Macerozyme Protoplast isolation 



This research was supported by Discovery Grants from the Natural Sciences and Engineering Research Council of Canada (NSERC) and the University of Waterloo Start-Up Fund to SDXC.


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Copyright information

© Springer International Publishing Switzerland 2015

Authors and Affiliations

  • Shiu-Cheung Lung
    • 1
    • 2
  • Sarah Schoor
    • 1
  • Dustin Sigurdson
    • 1
  • Makoto Yanagisawa
    • 1
  • Kelly Yeung
    • 1
  • Mi Qi Liu
    • 1
  • Simon D. X. Chuong
    • 3
    Email author
  1. 1.Department of BiologyUniversity of WaterlooWaterlooCanada
  2. 2.School of Biological SciencesUniversity of Hong KongHong Kong SARChina
  3. 3.Department of BiologyUniversity of WaterlooWaterlooCanada

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