The March issue of CSH Protocols includes a diverse trio of methods for fluorescently labeling cells and subcellular structures. The most basic of the three methods comes from Brad Chazotte at Campbell University and covers labeling of lysozymes with Neutral Red. This joins a group of already-published protocols from Chazotte on labeling cellular structures including the plasma membrane, the golgi apparatus and acetylcholine receptors. Expect more articles in this series in forthcoming issues.

The second protocol provides a method for differentiating viable plant cells from dead plant cells. Contributed by Birgit Schwab and Martin Hülskamp from the Center for Plant Molecular Biology in Tübingen, the technique takes advantage of the inability of propidium iodide to enter live cells. Dead cells allow it in, and fluoresce red, so they can be easily identified.

Finally, Paul Kulesa’s group at the Stowers Institute have written up their method for Photoactivation Cell Labeling for Cell Tracing in Avian Development. This technique allows for selective marking of individual cells or groups of cells at precise times and spatial locations normally not accessible using previous techniques. It’s less invasive than most methods used for labeling cells in avian embryos, and can be targeted to both individual cells, or small groups of cells. This month’s cover image shows an example of this technique.