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Nat Rev Microbiol. 2014 Jan;12(1):9-22. doi: 10.1038/nrmicro3154.

Exploring bacterial cell biology with single-molecule tracking and super-resolution imaging.

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1
Department of Chemistry, Stanford University, Stanford, California 94305, USA.

Abstract

The ability to detect single molecules in live bacterial cells enables us to probe biological events one molecule at a time and thereby gain knowledge of the activities of intracellular molecules that remain obscure in conventional ensemble-averaged measurements. Single-molecule fluorescence tracking and super-resolution imaging are thus providing a new window into bacterial cells and facilitating the elucidation of cellular processes at an unprecedented level of sensitivity, specificity and spatial resolution. In this Review, we consider what these technologies have taught us about the bacterial cytoskeleton, nucleoid organization and the dynamic processes of transcription and translation, and we also highlight the methodological improvements that are needed to address a number of experimental challenges in the field.

PMID:
24336182
PMCID:
PMC3934628
DOI:
10.1038/nrmicro3154
[Indexed for MEDLINE]
Free PMC Article
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