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Tracking Germline Stem Cell Dynamics In Vivo in C. elegans Using Photoconversion
The maintenance of many adult tissues depends on stem cell systems, which must balance proliferation and differentiation. To understand the properties of adult stem cell systems, one powerful tool is visualization of the cell dynamics in vivo. Here we describe a protocol to track cells in the germline progenitor zone (which includes germline stem cells) in live C. elegans adult worms. Tracking is achieved by using a genetically encoded photoconvertible fluorescent protein, where photoconversion is used to mark cells of interest and their descendants. Individual worms are immobilized, the cells of interest are selected for photoconversion, and the worms are then recovered to plates and imaged at later timepoints. This allows longitudinal studies of individual worms, providing valuable information regarding germline stem cell dynamics.
KeywordsGermline Stem cells Photoconversion Proliferation C. elegans Lineage tracing Live imaging
The authors were supported by the Intramural Research Program of the NIH, The National Institute of Diabetes and Digestive and Kidney Diseases (NIDDK).
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