Single Molecule Microbiology

Single Molecule Localization Microscopy (SMLM) registers the position of individual fluorescent molecules. This provides microscopic images with sub-diffraction spatial resolution approaching 20 nm, and allows resolving tiny cellular structures in space. The single-molecule data can further be used for molecular counting, e.g. of protein copy numbers that may vary with respect to the cell cycle. Localization-based algorithms provide access to sub-populations and heterogeneities that are otherwise hidden through ensemble averaging, e.g. through a spatial analysis of protein distributions or the colocalization of molecules. 

We apply recent experimental and analytical strategies to study cellular processes in the model organisms E. coli and S. pombe. We investigate the protein distributions and copy numbers, determine interactions and stoichiometries, and relate these findings with the cell cycle.

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