Dancing with the Stars: Using Image Analysis to Study the Choreography of the Endoplasmic Reticulum and Its Partners and of Movement Within Its Tubules. Chapter uri icon


  • In this chapter, approaches to the image analysis of the choreography of the plant endoplasmic reticulum (ER) labeled with fluorescent fusion proteins ("stars," if you wish) are presented. The approaches include the analyses of those parts of the ER that are attached through membrane contact sites to moving or nonmoving partners (other "stars"). Image analysis is also used to understand the nature of the tubular polygonal network, the hallmark of this organelle, and how the polygons change over time due to tubule sliding or motion. Furthermore, the remodeling polygons of the ER interact with regions of fundamentally different topology, the ER cisternae, and image analysis can be used to separate the tubules from the cisternae. ER cisternae, like polygons and tubules, can be motile or stationary. To study which parts are attached to nonmoving partners, such as domains of the ER that form membrane contact sites with the plasma membrane/cell wall, an image analysis approach called persistency mapping has been used. To study the domains of the ER that are moving rapidly and streaming through the cell, the image analysis of optic flow has been used. However, optic flow approaches confuse the movement of the ER itself with the movement of proteins within the ER. As an overall measure of ER dynamics, optic flow approaches are of value, but their limitation as to what exactly is "flowing" needs to be specified. Finally, there are important imaging approaches that directly address the movement of fluorescent proteins within the ER lumen or in the membrane of the ER. Of these, fluorescence recovery after photobleaching (FRAP), inverse FRAP (iFRAP), and single particle tracking approaches are described.

author list (cited authors)

  • Griffing, L. R.

citation count

  • 5

complete list of authors

  • Griffing, Lawrence R

Book Title


publication date

  • January 2018