In the Briegel lab, we are interested in understanding how microbes sense and respond to their environment. How are the cells able to actively seek out their preferred environmental niches, how can they effectively evade toxins and predators, and how can they adapt to thrive in changing environments?
In order to gain insight into the structure and function of the molecular complexes involved in these behaviors, we use electron cryotomography (ECT). This technique allows us to directly study microbes in their native state at resolutions capable of visualizing individual proteins.
Electron Tomography (ECT)
Cellular electron cryotomography allows the study of individual microbial cells in their native state and in three dimensions at macromolecular resolutions. Our experiments rely on highly sophisticated and specialised equipment.
We have access to the electron microscopes at the NeCEN, the dutch cryo-electron microscopy center located in the Biology Institute of the Leiden University. The available instruments include a Talos L120C, Aquilos cryo-FIB, 2 TITAN Krios microscopes with state-of-the-art equipment for highest quality data collection, as well as a fully equipped sample preparation laboratory.
Leiden is a city and municipality in the Dutch province of South Holland. The municipality of Leiden has a population of 122,565, but the city forms one densely connected agglomeration with its suburbs Oegstgeest, Leiderdorp, Voorschoten and Zoeterwoude with around 190,000 inhabitants. Leiden is located on the Old Rhine, at a distance of some 20 kilometres (12 miles) from The Hague to its south and some 40 kilometres (25 miles) from Amsterdam to its north. The recreational area of the Kaag Lakes (Kagerplassen) lies just to the northeast of Leiden.