Plenary 2.1

8/31 4:00 - 6:00, Memorial Auditorium

How electron cryotomography will provide the ultrastructural information needed for spatially explicit systems analyses

Grant Jensen

Professor of Biology, California Institute of Technology. Howard Hughes Medical Institute.

Cells are not simply bags of enzymes, and in many cases the spatial arrangement of macromolecules is critical to their function. Electron cryotomography is a rapidly emerging technique that can produce 3-D images of intact cells in their native states to “molecular” resolution, thereby revealing some of these critical spatial arrangements. The power of this technique and its importance to systems biological studies will be illustrated through images and computational analyses of the ultrastructure of Halothiobacillus neapolitanus, a small bacterium that accelerates carbon fixation by packing RuBisCO molecules within proteinaceous microcompartments called carboxysomes.

Grant Jensen