The advent of fluorescent proteins and access to modern imaging technologies have dramatically accelerated the pace of discovery in plant cell biology. Remarkable new insights into such diverse areas as plant pathogenesis, cytoskeletal dynamics, sugar transport, cell wall synthesis, secretory control, and hormone signaling have come from careful examination of living cells using advanced optical probes. New technologies, both commercially available and on the horizon, promise a continued march toward more quantitative methods for imaging and for extending the optical exploration of biological structure and activity to molecular scales. In this review, we lay out fundamental issues in imaging plant specimens and look ahead to several technological innovations in molecular tools, instrumentation, imaging methods, and specimen handling that show promise for shaping the coming era of plant cell biology.


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  • Article Type: Review Article
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