Improved method for visualizing cells revealed dynamic morphological changes of ventral neuroblasts during ventral cleft closure of Caenorhabditis elegans

Authors

  • Zhicen Liu,

    Corresponding author
    1. Center for Gene Research, Nagoya University and
    2. Department of Biological Science, Graduate School of Science, Nagoya University, Furo-cho, Chikusa-ku, Nagoya 464-8602, Japan
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  • Akira Nukazuka,

    1. Department of Biological Science, Graduate School of Science, Nagoya University, Furo-cho, Chikusa-ku, Nagoya 464-8602, Japan
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  • Shin Takagi

    1. Department of Biological Science, Graduate School of Science, Nagoya University, Furo-cho, Chikusa-ku, Nagoya 464-8602, Japan
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*Author to whom all correspondence should be addressed.
Email: zhicen@gene.nagoya-u.ac.jp

Abstract

The formation of intricate and functional biological structures depends on the dynamic changes of cellular morphology. Confocal laser scanning microscopy (CLSM) is a widely used method to reveal the three-dimensional (3-D) structure of cells during the development of Caenorhabditis elegans (C. elegans) and other model organisms. Improving the efficiency and image quality of CLSM would benefit studies using this method. We found that CED-10::GFP::CED-10, a green fluorescent protein (GFP) marker, is intensely expressed beneath the cell surface, facilitating visualization of cellular morphology in C. elegans embryos. By combining the unique properties of this marker, and with the help of direct 3-D rendering of images obtained by CLSM, we developed a simple but powerful method for investigating cellular morphology in developing embryos. Using this method we, for the first time, document the dynamic changes in the morphology of ventral neuroblasts in vivo during ventral cleft closure.

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