In vivo characterisation of fluorescent proteins in budding yeast

Dennis Botman, Daan Hugo de Groot, Phillipp Schmidt, Joachim Goedhart, Bas Teusink*

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to JournalArticleAcademicpeer-review


Fluorescent proteins (FPs) are widely used in many organisms, but are commonly characterised in vitro. However, the in vitro properties may poorly reflect in vivo performance. Therefore, we characterised 27 FPs in vivo using Saccharomyces cerevisiae as model organism. We linked the FPs via a T2A peptide to a control FP, producing equimolar expression of the 2 FPs from 1 plasmid. Using this strategy, we characterised the FPs for brightness, photostability, photochromicity and pH-sensitivity, achieving a comprehensive in vivo characterisation. Many FPs showed different in vivo properties compared to existing in vitro data. Additionally, various FPs were photochromic, which affects readouts due to complex bleaching kinetics. Finally, we codon optimized the best performing FPs for optimal expression in yeast, and found that codon-optimization alters FP characteristics. These FPs improve experimental signal readout, opening new experimental possibilities. Our results may guide future studies in yeast that employ fluorescent proteins.

Original languageEnglish
Article number2234
Pages (from-to)1-14
Number of pages14
JournalScientific Reports
Publication statusPublished - 19 Feb 2019


We thank Paula Martínez Román (Erasmus scholarship BSc student at Vrije Universiteit Amsterdam) and Jip Wulffelé (BSc student at Vrije Universiteit Amsterdam) for constructing various FP constructs and assisting with experiments. We thank Rick Nijhout for constructing pFA6a-link-ymNeongreen SpHis5. We thank Laura van Weeren and Marieke Mastop (Molecular Cytology, University of Amsterdam) for constructing the plasmids for co-expressing proteins with the T2A sequence in mammalian cells. This work was supported in part by the NWO VICI grant 865.14.005 and the F10.001.03 BE Basic project under the TKIEB01003 AMBIC program.

FundersFunder number
Nederlandse Organisatie voor Wetenschappelijk Onderzoek865.14.005


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