Confocal microscopy is widely used in cell biology. Like other filter-based systems, traditional confocal microscopes are limited by the spectral bands established by each optical filter. As a result, emission spectra from labels and/or autofluorescence can be overlapped leading to spectral crosstalk and inability to quantify the amount of signal originating from each individual fluorescent species. The need for accurate quantification of in vivo cellular processes and in-depth knowledge of organelle development and microstructure led Monsanto to search for non-commercial microscopes that could achieve those goals. Through a cooperative research and development agreement (CRADA) established between Monsanto and Sandia Corporation in August 2006, we built a new 3D-hyperspectral confocal fluorescence imaging system, specifically designed to meet the analytical requirements of plant specimens.