The oocytes from Xenopus laevis are well known for their polarity, presenting a distinct animal and vegetal pole. Other heterogeneities are less known. To study the heterogeneity of the Xenopus oocyte, we expressed eGFP and analyzed the protein distribution with fluorescence lifetime microscopy. The vegetal pole exhibited higher levels of fluorescence, than the animal pole. However, the fluorescence lifetimes between the two areas were indistinguishable, suggesting similar environments. In contrast, we observed a substantial and gradual decrease in the fluorescence lifetime from 2.9 ns to 2.6 ns as slices approached the periphery. This has an important implication for future oocyte studies as it demonstrates the environment inside the oocyte is not uniform and might affect the fluorescence intensity. As a result, it cannot be assumed that the observed fluorescence intensity reflects the expression of the proteins but might reflect the environment within the oocyte.

Original languageEnglish
Article number015001
JournalMethods and Applications in Fluorescence
Issue number1
StatePublished - 2020


  • Xenopus oocytes
  • eGFP
  • fluorescence lifetime
  • oocyte polarity


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