Application-based guidelines for best practices in plant flow cytometry

Elwira Sliwinska, João Loureiro, Ilia J. Leitch, Petr Šmarda, Jillian Bainard, Petr Bureš, Zuzana Chumová, Lucie Horová, Petr Koutecký, Magdalena Lučanová, Pavel Trávníček, David W. Galbraith

Research output: Contribution to journalReview articlepeer-review

22 Scopus citations


Flow cytometry (FCM) is currently the most widely-used method to establish nuclear DNA content in plants. Since simple, 1-3-parameter, flow cytometers, which are sufficient for most plant applications, are commercially available at a reasonable price, the number of laboratories equipped with these instruments, and consequently new FCM users, has greatly increased over the last decade. This paper meets an urgent need for comprehensive recommendations for best practices in FCM for different plant science applications. We discuss advantages and limitations of establishing plant ploidy, genome size, DNA base composition, cell cycle activity, and level of endoreduplication. Applications of such measurements in plant systematics, ecology, molecular biology research, reproduction biology, tissue cultures, plant breeding, and seed sciences are described. Advice is included on how to obtain accurate and reliable results, as well as how to manage troubleshooting that may occur during sample preparation, cytometric measurements, and data handling. Each section is followed by best practice recommendations; tips as to what specific information should be provided in FCM papers are also provided.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)749-781
Number of pages33
JournalCytometry Part A
Issue number9
StatePublished - Sep 2022


  • DNA base composition
  • DNA content
  • cell cycle
  • endoreduplication
  • flow cytometric seed screening
  • genome size
  • in vitro cultures
  • intraspecific variation
  • ploidy

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Pathology and Forensic Medicine
  • Histology
  • Cell Biology


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