3D subcellular localization with superresolution array tomography on ultrathin sections of various species. Academic Article uri icon


  • Array Tomography (AT) is a relatively easy-to-use and yet powerful method to put molecular identity in its full ultrastructural context. Ultrathin sections are stained with fluorophores and then imaged by light and afterward by electron microscopy to obtain a correlated view of a region of interest: its ultrastructure and specific staining. By combining AT with high-pressure freezing for superior structural preservation and superresolution light microscopy, even small subcellular structures can be mapped in 3D. We established protocols for the application of superresolution AT on ultrathin plastic sections of Caenorhabditis elegans, Trypanosoma brucei, and brain tissue of Cataglyphis fortis and Apis mellifera. All steps are described in detail from sample preparation to 3D reconstruction, including species-specific modifications. We thus showcase the versatility of our protocol and give some examples for biological questions that can be answered with this technique. We offer a step-by-step recipe for superresolution AT that can be easily applied for C. elegans, T. brucei, C. fortis, and A. mellifera and adapted for other model systems.

publication date

  • 2017