Ultrastructure and Imaging
- 374 Downloads
Most characterization techniques use bulk approaches to study microbes in either their planktonic or their biofilm state. Such bulk analysis methods however ignore the large heterogeneities that exist with respect to protein expression and metabolism. Visualizing the cell-to-cell differences in protein and metabolite abundance that exist in planktonic cultures as well as regional differences that can be found in biofilms require imaging approaches with adequate resolving power and spatial coverage. Various optical light and electron microscopy techniques are most frequently employed, often in a correlative manner. Samples must be faithfully preserved, and imaging often requires the use of affinity-based or genetically encoded tag-based specific labeling approaches, however label-free imaging is a promising developing field. Light and electron microscopy, particularly when well integrated, have excellent potential to allow mechanistic insight into biological processes in hydrocarbon and lipid research.