We describe a protocol for flow cytometry analysis of cell cycle in plants using indirect immunolabelling staining and Vicia faba, Pisum sativum and Zea mays root tip cells as model systems. The protocol is based on simultaneous analysis of two fluorescent signals. The first, obtained after staining with propidium iodide, is used to quantify nuclear DNA content. The second, obtained after indirect immunofluorescent staining of bromodeoxyuridine (BrdUrd), is used to quantify the amount of BrdUrd incorporated into nuclear DNA. In an attempt to standardize the procedure, the effects of various conditions for partial DNA denaturation using HCl, as well as of BrdUrd concentration and incorporation time on flow cytometry DNA/BrdUrd content analysis have been studied. Maximum BrdUrd-linked fluorescence was observed after a 30 min pulse with 10 μM BrdUrd and after DNA denaturation with 1.5 N HCl (final concentration) for 30 min at 25°C. Under these conditions, DNA content histograms with relatively small coefficient of variation (< 4%, full peak) could be obtained. To avoid non-specific staining of cytoplasm and cell walls, the protocol involves the use of nuclei isolated from formaldehyde-fixed tissues. Fixed isolated nuclei are stable and may be stored in hexylene glycol 0.75 M at 4°C for prolonged periods prior to actual staining and analysis.
All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes
- Cell Biology