Assembly and operation of an imaging system for long-term monitoring of bioluminescent and fluorescent reporters in plants

Maria L. Sorkin, Kathleen Kay T Markham, Stevan Zorich, Ananda Menon, Kristen N. Edgeworth, Angela Ricono, Douglas Bryant, Rebecca Bart, Dmitri A. Nusinow, Kathleen Greenham

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


Background: Non-invasive reporter systems are powerful tools to query physiological and transcriptional responses in organisms. For example, fluorescent and bioluminescent reporters have revolutionized cellular and organismal assays and have been used to study plant responses to abiotic and biotic stressors. Integrated, cooled charge-coupled device (CCD) camera systems have been developed to image bioluminescent and fluorescent signals in a variety of organisms; however, these integrated long-term imaging systems are expensive. Results: We have developed self-assembled systems for both growing and monitoring plant fluorescence and bioluminescence for long-term experiments under controlled environmental conditions. This system combines environmental growth chambers with high-sensitivity CCD cameras, multi-wavelength LEDs, open-source software, and several options for coordinating lights with imaging. This easy-to-assemble system can be used for short and long-term imaging of bioluminescent reporters, acute light-response, circadian rhythms, delayed fluorescence, and fluorescent-protein-based assays in vivo. Conclusions: We have developed two self-assembled imaging systems that will be useful to researchers interested in continuously monitoring in vivo reporter systems in various plant species.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Article number19
JournalPlant Methods
Issue number1
StatePublished - Dec 2023

Bibliographical note

Funding Information:
This work was supported by National Science Foundation grants DBI-2042159 to KKM, IOS-2029549 to SZ, AM, AR, and KG, NSF-DGE GRFP 1745038 to M.L.S., a William H. Danforth Plant Sciences Fellowship to K.N.E., and NIH 5R01GM141374 to DAN.

Publisher Copyright:
© 2023, The Author(s).


  • Bioluminescence
  • Fluorescence
  • Imaging
  • Luciferase
  • Non-invasive
  • Reporter assay

PubMed: MeSH publication types

  • Journal Article


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