Three-dimensional super-resolution microscopy and single-particle tracking of bacterial proteins

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The first optical detection of a single molecule (SM) at cryogenic temperatures 30 years ago laid the groundwork for the routine detection of SMs today at biologically relevant temperatures, thus uncovering hidden heterogeneity that might be obscured by ensemble techniques. In addition to enabling studies of the intricate photochemistry and photophysics of fluorescent labels at the SM level, SM fluorescence has also proven useful for the imaging and tracking of cellular structures and biomolecules in a non-invasive manner with high sensitivity. The ability to genetically express fluorescent protein fusions in live cells has allowed specific labeling, and thus imaging and tracking, of dynamic processes and structures in cells. This dissertation describes applications of SM-based single-particle tracking (SPT) and super-resolution (SR) microscopy for the study of spatial organization and dynamics of bacterial proteins in two and three spatial dimensions. In an SPT experiment, the position of a SM emitter at very low concentration is measured over time to generate a trajectory, allowing for observation and quantification of labeled biomolecule dynamics at the SM level. In a SR microscopy experiment, the diffraction-limited (DL) resolution of a conventional fluorescence microscope (~200 nm in xy) is circumvented by temporally separating the emission of many SM emitters decorating a structure through control of their emissive state. A "super-resolved" image, with a factor of ~5-10 resolution improvement over a conventional DL fluorescence image, is generated by estimating the positions of many non-moving SM emitters over many frames and building up an image reconstruction in a pointillist manner. Chapter 1 of this dissertation provides an introduction to fluorescence, SM imaging, SM-based SR microscopy, and SPT. Chapter 1 also gives a brief introduction to Caulobacter crescentus, the bacterium used as the model organism in the SM studies in Chapters 4 and 5. Chapter 2 describes the experimental methods used to perform quantitative SM imaging of bacterial cells. The combination of SM imaging with point spread function (PSF) engineering has enabled the accurate and precise localization of SMs in three dimensions (3D) by the intentional introduction of specifically chosen aberrations in the emission path of an SM microscope. Throughout this dissertation, the double-helix (DH) PSF, a rotating PSF composed of two lobes whose angle encodes axial position, was used to estimate 3D SM positions. Chapter 2 describes the implementation of the DH-PSF via optical Fourier processing, and Chapter 3 describes the robust and comprehensible two-color Easy-DHPSF v2 software for localizing molecules in 3D and for registering localizations from two spectral channels into the same coordinate system with nanoscale accuracy. The resolution improvement gained from SM-based techniques is particularly useful for bacteria, the sizes of which are on the order of the DL. 3D SM-based SR and SPT have enabled the observation of structures and dynamics at length scales below the DL. Caulobacter is a useful biological target where understanding of the mechanisms for asymmetric cell division need to be explored and quantified. Central to Caulobacter's asymmetric division is the dynamic spatiotemporal regulation of gene expression and protein localization. Chapters 4 and 5 describes research performed in collaboration with Prof. Lucy Shapiro's laboratory (Department of Developmental Biology, Stanford School of Medicine) to study gene expression and signaling proteins in Caulobacter. Chapter 4 describes work studying the spatial organization and dynamics of ribosomes and a RNA-degrading enzyme RNase E using 3D SR microscopy and SPT. Results showed that the organization and dynamics of RNase E and ribosomes are closely related to the transcriptional activity of the cell. Finally, Chapter 5 describes SPT studies of the membrane-bound histidine kinase and stalked cell fate determinant DivJ in an effort to probe the physical properties of the Caulobacter stalked pole. Preliminary SPT results suggest that disrupting the physical properties and interactions at the stalked pole has an influence on DivJ diffusion and signaling.


Type of resource text
Form electronic resource; remote; computer; online resource
Extent 1 online resource.
Place California
Place [Stanford, California]
Publisher [Stanford University]
Copyright date 2019; ©2019
Publication date 2019; 2019
Issuance monographic
Language English


Author Bayas, Camille
Degree supervisor Moerner, W. E. (William Esco), 1953-
Thesis advisor Moerner, W. E. (William Esco), 1953-
Thesis advisor Cui, Bianxiao
Thesis advisor Fayer, Michael D
Degree committee member Cui, Bianxiao
Degree committee member Fayer, Michael D
Associated with Stanford University, Department of Chemistry.


Genre Theses
Genre Text

Bibliographic information

Statement of responsibility Camille Alexis Bayas.
Note Submitted to the Department of Chemistry.
Thesis Thesis Ph.D. Stanford University 2019.
Location electronic resource

Access conditions

© 2019 by Camille Bayas
This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution Non Commercial 3.0 Unported license (CC BY-NC).

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