How Electron Cryotomography Is Opening a New Window into Bacterial Ultrastructure

For decades microbiologists thought bacteria were little more than “bags” of enzymes, without cytoskeletons or internal organization. By allowing intact cells to be imaged in 3-D in a near-native state to macromolecular resolution, the emerging technique of electron cryotomography is rapidly changing that notion, revealing a wealth of information about how bacteria generate specific cell shapes, monitor their environment, swim toward favorable locations, produce and store energy, grow, and, finally, divide. This presentation will be a visual tour through bacterial cell biology.