The most direct technique for studying calcium, which is an essential element for pollen tube growth, is Ca2+ imaging. Because membranes are relatively impermeable, the loading of fluorescent Ca2+ probes into plant cells is a challenging task. Thus, we have developed a new method of loading fluo-4 acetoxymethyl ester into cells that uses a cell lysis solution to improve the introduction of this fluorescent dye into pollen tubes. Using this method, the loading times were reduced to 15 min. Furthermore, loading did not have to be performed at low (4°C) temperatures and was successful at room temperature, and pluronic F-127 was not required, which would theoretically allow for the loading of an unlimited number of cells. Moreover, the method can also be used to fluorescently stain root hairs.
Qu, H., Xing, W., Wu, F., & Wang, Y. (2016). Rapid and inexpensive method of loading fluorescent dye into pollen tubes and root hairs. PLoS ONE, 11(4). https://doi.org/10.1371/journal.pone.0152320