Marine microbiology

Investigate microbial communities

Observe marine microbes with integrated CLEM: fluorescence microscopy serves to reveal the function or information regarding the metabolism of the organism, while electron microscopy can reveal the ultrastructural composition that is needed to identify cells and different communities of microbes.

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Challenges we help you with
  • Simultaneously obtain contextual and ultrastructural information
  • Identify microbes, viruses, and other regions of interest easily
  • Distinguish between different microbial communities in your sample

Identify, characterize and study marine microorganisms

Investigation into microbial communities, viruses, and other microorganisms is central to marine biology. Understanding the dynamics of marine environments means understanding how microbes, protists, and viruses relate to one another. Microscopy is fundamental to studying the tiniest organisms that make up such a vast portion of the ocean's environment. 

While electron microscopy can look deep into ultrastructure, fluorescence microscopy is perfect

for identifying specific molecules such as taxonomic marker genes or proteins. Integrated correlative light and electron microscopy (CLEM) provides a new dimension to the study of marine microorganisms by offering simultaneously a more holistic and detailed picture of microorganisms at the nanoscale. Combining fluorescence with an electron microscope enables you to obtain complimentary information from the two imaging modalities  to study the relationship between different organisms in the marine environment.

What can you achieve with Integrated CLEM?

CLEM combines the advantages of both microscopes, putting molecular identity into structural context. It can therefore shed light on complex microbiomes, for example. The Delmic Integrated CLEM  integrates two microscopes in one device and thus enables simple workflows for performing CLEM. Integrated CLEM can acquire two types of data at different scales simultaneously: distinguish easily between different microbial communities in your sample and obtain optimal characterization of microbes.

  • Open up new possibilities of investigating metabolism and other processes in marine microorganisms
  • Rapidly image regions of interest to obtain  high resolution data
  • Obtain in-depth contextual and ultrastructural information
MarineMicrobiology MediaReize Loc3_FM_RES MarineMicrobiology MediaReize Loc3_EM_RES
Dolichospermum (aka Anabaena) (round) and Aphanizomenon together with dinoflagellates and a diatom from the Baltic Sea (Sten Littman, MPI Bremen)

Integrated CLEM image of a diatom, made on the SECOM, with automated overlay. The fluorescence signal comes from a combination of the DAPI stain and autofluorescence from the organism

Filaments of the cyanobacteria Dolichospermum (alsoknown as Anabaena) (chains of round cells with red autofluores -cence) and Aphanizomenon (chains of cylindrical cells with redautofluorescence) together with some dinoflagellates (large ovalcells with blue DAPI fluorescence) and a diatom from the BalticSea. This sample was collected in June 2015 from surface waterclose to Askö (Sweden) by Niels Schoffelen and Daniela Tienken(MPI Bremen)


It gives us the possibility to identify different types of bacteria in environmental samples by the hybridization of these cells with specific HRP probes, after which we image them with the SEM...

Dr. Sten Littman


Max Planck Institute

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Choose the right product for your research

Delmic CLEM solutions consist of powerful integrated correlative light and electron microscopy systems, which can help you understand more about your microbiological sample.

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