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Keywords:

  • early development;
  • live imaging;
  • organogenesis;
  • Xenopus laevis ;
  • Xenopus tropicalis

The stable transgenesis of genes encoding functional or spatially localized proteins, fused to fluorescent proteins such as green fluorescent protein (GFP) or red fluorescent protein (RFP), is an extremely important research tool in cell and developmental biology. Transgenic organisms constructed with fluorescent labels for cell membranes, subcellular organelles, and functional proteins have been used to investigate cell cycles, lineages, shapes, and polarity, in live animals and in cells or tissues derived from these animals. Genes of interest have been integrated and maintained in generations of transgenic animals, which have become a valuable resource for the cell and developmental biology communities. Although the use of Xenopus laevis as a transgenic model organism has been hampered by its relatively long reproduction time (compared to Drosophila melanogaster and Caenorhabditis elegans), its large embryonic cells and the ease of manipulation in early embryos have made it a historically valuable preparation that continues to have tremendous research potential. Here, we report on the Xenopus laevis transgenic lines our lab has generated and discuss their potential use in biological imaging.