Winning green fluorescent protein images, videos chosen in ASCB contest

First Place GFP Image. The assembly of a worm rocket! A muscle’s function is accomplished by the sliding of strings that are mainly made up of proteins called actin and myosin. These strings of proteins are neatly arranged in rows inside a muscle cell and appear as stripes under a microscope. We are trying to understand how proteins called formins control the assembly of muscle proteins to form such strings using the simple roundworm, Caenorhabditis elegans as a model system. The image shows a worm expressing muscle myosin tagged with GFP (green). It is stained with phalloidin to visualize actin filaments (magenta) in muscles and also with DAPI (blue) to visualize the nuclei. Sumana Sundaramurthy, SUNY Upstate Medical University
First Place GFP Image. The assembly of a worm rocket! A muscle’s function is accomplished by the sliding of strings that are mainly made up of proteins called actin and myosin. These strings of proteins are neatly arranged in rows inside a muscle cell and appear as stripes under a microscope. We are trying to understand how proteins called formins control the assembly of muscle proteins to form such strings using the simple roundworm, Caenorhabditis elegans as a model system. The image shows a worm expressing muscle myosin tagged with GFP (green). It is stained with phalloidin to visualize actin filaments (magenta) in muscles and also with DAPI (blue) to visualize the nuclei. Sumana Sundaramurthy, SUNY Upstate Medical University

Earlier this year, the call went out to the worldwide scientific community to submit their most beautiful and intriguing images and videos created using green fluorescent protein (GFP), the glowing molecule that revolutionized cell imaging 25 years ago. Now the votes are in, and the American Society for Cell Biology (ASCB), its Public Information Committee, and the public have determined the winners in each category.

Winners will be highlighted on slides during the 2019 ASCB|EMBO Meeting in Washington, DC, Dec 7-11. The winners will also be recognized during a 7:15 pm, Tuesday, Dec. 10 session entitled, “GFP25: Lighting up Cell Biology,” with Nobel Laureate Martin Chalfie of Columbia University and Jennifer Lippincott-Schwartz of Janelia Research Campus. Both will offer an historical perspective and present their research using GFP.

“All the submissions to our contest were amazing and showcased the elegant and beautiful scientific images researchers are able to create using this simple protein,” said ASCB CEO Erika Shugart. “They were so impressive, both visually and scientifically, that I know it was a challenge to choose the very best ones. ASCB thanks everyone for participating in this first-time event.  I also want to thank Marty and Jennifer for helping us close out the celebration of this important bioscience tool.”

There were 67 submissions to the contest. ASCB received entries from across the United States including Puerto Rico, as well as from Brazil, Chile, England, Finland, France, Israel, The Netherlands, and Poland. Congratulations to all the winners and thanks to everyone who submitted all of these beautiful images and videos.

Here are the winners in ASCB’s 2019 GFP Image and Video Contest. A link to the gallery of all the winners may be found at the top of the contest page here.

Images

First Place – Sumana Sundaramurthy, SUNY Upstate Medical University: The assembly of a worm rocket!

Three-way tie for Second Place –

Daniela Malide, National Institutes of Health: NIH3T3-co5FPs_ Mouse fibroblasts NIH-3T3 cells co-transduced with 5 fluorescent proteins.

Sumana Sundaramurthy, SUNY Upstate Medical University: Movement of screw-propelled worms!

Ivan Surovtsev, Yale University: MicroUniverse

Two-way tie for Third Place –

Mike Henne, UT Southwestern Medical Center: Adipocytes keep in touch with their fat stores

Joachim Goedhart, University of Amsterdam: Quintuple

People’s Choice

Bruno da Costa Rodrigues, Federal University of Rio de Janeiro: F-actin structure of a salivary gland from the kissing bug insect

Honorable Mentions

Page Baluch, Arizona State University: GFP Lifeact Mouse Uterus

Daniela Malide, National Institutes of Health: Ear-mouse myosinIIA-EGFP

Andrew Moore, Howard Hughes Medical Institute: Zebrafish F-actin

Bruno da Costa Rodrigues, Federal University of Rio de Janeiro:  F-actin structure of a salivary gland from the kissing bug insect

Jennifer Heppert, Duke University: Not just “Green”

First place GFP Video. Cytoskeletal Storm (screen capture). The microtubule cytoskeleton acts as a scaffold the cell uses to arrange and move its internal parts. This network of filamentous polymers is dynamic, constantly building and rebuilding itself to achieve different functional forms during different stages of the cell cycle. In interphase, microtubules organize into an arborous, astral array whose position dictates where the cell division machinery assembles during the next mitosis. To better understand the biophysical mechanisms that direct this positioning, we confine microtubule asters in cell-free extracts using photo-patterned hydrogel micro-enclosures and then visualize their behavior using time-lapse confocal microscopy. In this example, microtubules are labeled with an mCherry-Tau variant (red) and their growing ends with EB1-GFP (green). The enclosure is ~60 µm in diameter and the playback speed is 200x. Jesse Gatlin, University of Wyoming

Videos

First place – Jesse Gatlin, University of Wyoming: Cytoskeletal Storm

Second place – Giulia Zarfati, Weizmann Institute of Science: Myoblast fusion

Third place – Jeffrey van Haren, UCSF (currently Erasmus MC): Microtubule and actin cytoskeleton in a human epithelial cell

People’s Choice

Giulia Zarfati, Weizmann Institute of Science: Myoblast fusion

Honorable Mentions

Thomas Di Mattia, Institute of Genetics and Molecular and Cellular Biology – Illkirch, France: Connected organelles in motion

Matthew Pittman, Johns Hopkins University: Focal Adhesion Fireworks

Pablo Saez, Institut Curie – IPGG (MOTILE team): The chemokine call

Jules Riley, Syracuse University: A Stressful Phase

Zhirong Wang, Georgetown University: Spontaneous Auditory Rehearsal

About the Author:


Mary Spiro is ASCB's Science Writer and Social Media Manager.