Liedtke, Janine / Depelteau, Jamie S. / Briegel, Ariane. How advances in cryo-electron tomography have contributed to our current view of bacterial cell biology. 2022. J. Structural Biology X, Vol. 6, p. 100065
Advancements in the field of cryo-electron tomography have greatly contributed to our current understanding of prokaryotic cell organization and revealed intracellular structures with remarkable architecture. In this review, we present some of the prominent advancements in cryo-electron tomography, illustrated by a subset of structural examples to demonstrate the power of the technique. More specifically, we focus on technical advances in automation of data collection and processing, sample thinning approaches, correlative cryo-light and electron microscopy, and sub-tomogram averaging methods. In turn, each of these advances enabled new insights into bacterial cell architecture, cell cycle progression, and the structure and function of molecular machines. Taken together, these significant advances within the cryo-electron tomography workflow have led to a greater understanding of prokaryotic biology. The advances made the technique available to a wider audience and more biological questions and provide the basis for continued advances in the near future.