Cryo-electron tomography of bacteria: Progress, challenges and future prospects

Jacqueline L S Milne, Sriram Subramaniam

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

109 Scopus citations


Recent advances in three-dimensional electron microscopy provide remarkable tools to image the interior of bacterial cells. Glimpses of cells at resolutions that are 1-2 orders of magnitude higher than those currently attained with light microscopy can now be obtained with cryo-electron tomography, especially when used in combination with new tools for image averaging. This Review highlights recent advances in this area and provides an assessment of the general applicability, current limitations and type of structural information that can be obtained about the organization of intact cells using tomography. Possible future directions for whole cell imaging are also discussed.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)666-675
Number of pages10
JournalNature Reviews Microbiology
Issue number9
StatePublished - 2009
Externally publishedYes

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Immunology and Microbiology(all)


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