No microbe is an island. Understanding how they interact with each other and their surrounding environment is important to harness their beneficial properties and combat harmful behavior.
Observing microbes at the molecular and even individual protein level can reveal the details of how microbes are able to avoid danger, seek out their preferred environments and adapt to make the most of their surroundings. In order to do this, tools, such as electron cryotomography (ECT) and cryogenic electron microscopy (cryo-EM) are vital.
We spoke to Ariane Briegel, Professor of Ultrastructural Biology at theInstitute of Biology at Leiden Universityand the Centre of Microbial Cell Biologyabout her group’s work in the field of microbial structural elucidation and the role that cryo-EM plays.