“If You Move I Will Follow – The Organelle Love Song”

Have you already seen our new music video about laser tweezers?

Short URL: http://tinyurl.com/lasertweezers

This video is the result of a collaboration between the Plant Cell Biology Group at Oxford Brookes University and the Oxfordshire musician Cyrus Mower. It shows optical trapping of Golgi bodies in living Arabidopsis leaf cells.

Please feel free to download the movie file on our website to show in lectures, presentations, lessons etc.

Plant Cell Biology at Oxford Brookes University: http://www.brookes.ac.uk/plant_endomembrane

Plant Cell Biology at Wageningen University: http://www.pcb.wur.nl/UK/

In plant cells, the Golgi apparatus consists of many small stacks (Golgi bodies), which move through the cell over the surface of the endoplasmic reticulum (ER) network. We wanted to find out whether there is a physical connection between those two organelles. Therefore we decided to use laser-based “optical tweezers” to pull at Golgi bodies and see whether the ER would follow, or if they would rip off.

For this experiment we used different coloured fluorescent proteins to make the Golgi bodies and the ER visible in Arabidopsis thaliana plants. We then took our plants to Wageningen University in The Netherlands, where they have a confocal laser scanning microscope connected to a laser micromanipulation system.

In order to grab Golgi bodies, we took small Arabidopsis seedlings, put them on the microscope and then used a laser beam to optically trap and move them around. As you can see in the video, we managed to show that indeed there is a physical connection between Golgi bodies and the ER, which got us very excited. We are now trying to find out how this connection can be broken.


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