Abstract

Using oscillating optical tweezers, we show that controlled alignment of rod-shaped bacterial cells allows imaging fluorescently labeled three-dimensional (3D) subcellular structures from different, optimized viewpoints. To illustrate our method, we analyze the Z ring of E. coli. We obtain that the radial width of the Z ring in unconstricted cells is about 120 nm. This result suggests that the Z ring consists of an extremely sparse network of FtsZ filaments.

© 2012 Optical Society of America

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