Söderholm N, Singh B, Uhlin BE, Sandblad L
Curr. Opin. Struct. Biol. 64 (-) 166-173 [2020-10-00; online 2020-08-23]
Since the days of the first acknowledged microscopist, Antonie van Leeuwenhoek, the 'animalcules', that is, bacteria and other microbes have been subject to increasingly detailed visualization. With the currently most sophisticated molecular imaging method; cryo electron tomography (Cryo-ET), we are reaching the milestone of being able to image an entire organism in a single dataset at nanometer resolution. Cryo-ET will enable the next revolution in our understanding of bacterial cells, their ultra-structure and intricate molecular nanomachines. Here, we highlight recent research discoveries based on constantly progressing technology developments. We discuss advantages and challenges of using Cryo-ET to visualize spatial structure of microorganisms and macromolecular complexes in their native environment.