French AP, Mills S, Swarup R, Bennett MJ, Pridmore TP
This protocol describes the steps needed to perform quantitative statistical colocalization on two-color confocal images, specifically of plant cells. The procedure includes a calibration test to check the chromatic alignment of the confocal microscope. A software tool is provided to calculate the Pearson and Spearman correlation coefficients (‘Pearson–Spearman correlation colocalization’ ImageJ plug-in) across regions of interest within the image. Steps are included to help the user practice using the software. The result is a quantitative estimate of the amount of colocalization in the images. Manual masking takes about 1–15 min per image, depending on the detail required, and calculating the correlation coefficients is almost instantaneous. Examples of suitable dyes for such two-color colocalization include Oregon Green or Alexa Fluor 488 dyes in the green range (excited with 488-nm laser line) and Alexa Fluor 555 dye in the red range (excited with 543-nm laser line).