Fluorescent proteins (FPs) such as green fluorescent protein (GFP), firstly isolated from the jellyfish Aequorea victoria, are popular tools in C. elegans. They are genetically encoded markers which are easy to introduce. Because of the transparent and small properties of C. elegans, fluorescent proteins can be used without extensive sample preparation. Consequently, fluorescent proteins have widely applied as the method of choice to study gene expression in C. elegans, as well as reporter plasmid constructs for thousands of genes currently discovered. When fused to a protein of interest in C. elegans, fluorescent proteins allow the imaging of its subcellular localization in vivo, offer a novel staining techniques and indicators for cell physiological parameters.
Applications of fluorescent proteins in biological research develop rapidly, making it difficult to predict what the future will hold. As fluorescent proteins and imaging techniques keep evolving unpredictably, the scope of applications will grow not just for the C. elegans research community, but also for the entire life-science research community.
Hutter, H. (2012). Fluorescent Protein Methods: Strategies and Applications. Caenorhabditis Elegans: Cell Biology and Physiology, 67–92. doi:10.1016/b978-0-12-394620-1.00003-5