skip to content

Department of Chemical Engineering and Biotechnology


5. An original super-resolution imaging mode for ellipsoidal Bacillus subtilis spores by Julia Manetsburger and Eric Rees

Spores of Bacillus subtilis are encapsulated by a multi-layered protein coat which provides these micro-organisms with remarkable durability such as the ability to survive exposure to boiling water. Fluorescent fusion proteins provide one of the only methods for accurately labelling specific proteins (top left image). The diffraction-limited resolution of traditional fluorescence microscopy is insufficient to distinguish the order of the various concentric protein layers in the spore coat. We have developed an original super-resolution imaging technique which uses modern computational maths to evaluate the geometry of each spore based on its image data. The true fluorescence density of the spore coats can then be visualised by image reconstruction (the main image shows one protein distribution with colour mapped density), and protein layer order can be distinguished. The tendency of some proteins to localise more densely as the spore poles can also be measured by this method.

Latest news

Powering Apollo 11: the fuel cell that took us to the moon

18 July 2019

As we celebrate the 50th anniversary of the moon landings, find out about the little known invention that made the voyage possible.

Africans in STEM conference: opportunities and challenges

15 July 2019

The first Africans in STEM symposium held on 28 June 2019 in our department was aimed at celebrating African voices and ideas in STEM.

Annual conference highlights diverse impact of department research

4 July 2019

Our department Research Conference took place from 25-26 June, bringing together researchers from across the department, wider university, external institutions and industry.