WestminsterResearch

Imaging internal features of whole, unfixed bacteria

Thomson, Nicholas and Channon, Kevin and Mokhtar, Noor Azlin and Staniewicz, Lech and Rai, Ranjana and Roy, Ipsita and Sato, Shun and Tsuge, Takeharu and Donald, Athene M. and Summers, David and Sivaniah, Easan (2011) Imaging internal features of whole, unfixed bacteria. Scanning, 33 (2). pp. 59-68. ISSN 0161-0457

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Official URL: http://dx.doi.org/10.1002/sca.20221

Abstract

Wet scanning-transmission electron microscopy (STEM) is a technique that allows high-resolution transmission imaging of biological samples in a hydrated state, with minimal sample preparation. However, it has barely been used for the study of bacterial cells. In this study, we present an analysis of the advantages and disadvantages of wet STEM compared with standard transmission electron microscopy (TEM). To investigate the potential applications of wet STEM, we studied the growth of polyhydroxyalkanoate and triacylglycerol carbon storage inclusions. These were easily visible inside cells, even in the early stages of accumulation. Although TEM produces higher resolution images, wet STEM is useful when preservation of the sample is important or when studying the relative sizes of different features, since samples do not need to be sectioned. Furthermore, under carefully selected conditions, it may be possible to maintain cell viability, enabling new types of experiments to be carried out. To our knowledge, internal features of bacterial cells have not been imaged previously by this technique.

Item Type:Article
Research Community:University of Westminster > Life Sciences, School of
ID Code:11374
Deposited On:26 Oct 2012 11:59
Last Modified:26 Oct 2012 11:59

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