We propose to develop x-ray diffraction microscopy towards the goal of 10 nm resolution 3D imaging of frozen hydrated cells. This goal is built upon our recent success in obtaining 30 nm resolution 2D images of a freeze-dried yeast, Saccharomyces cerevisiae, in experiments carried out at the Advanced Light Source (ALS) at Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory. X-ray diffraction microscopy is a-recently-developed method in which the coherent diffraction pattern of a non-crystalline sample is measured, and then phased by an iterative algorithm to yield a real-space image. It provides an approach to achieve the maximum possible spatial resolution in x-ray imaging by avoiding the radiation dose increasing limitations of optic efficiency and maximum collection angle otherwise imposed by an x-ray optical system. With NIH support, we have built a new apparatus to acquire tilt series data of frozen hydrated specimens, and have installed it on a beam line at the ALS. With this apparatus, we have collected a series of 2D diffraction patterns of freeze-dried yeast, and have obtained reconstructed images at 30 nm resolution. We have also begun to collect diffraction data from frozen hydrated yeast, and have verified that the radiation tolerance of frozen hydrated cells is compatible with our goal of 10 nm resolution. To reach our goal of high resolution 3D imaging of frozen hydrated specimens, we plan on providing specimen preparation capabilities near the apparatus, and to improve our apparatus to allow for more rapid evaluation of different preparations by incorporating a scanned image capability. We also plan on improving our data acquisition procedures by developing a new beamstop to allow us to better capture data at low spatial frequencies. We will improve our data reconstruction approaches and software to deal with the challenges posed by 3D imaging. We will carry out labeling studies and correlative microscopy so as to interpret images of yeast delivered by this new modality. We will improve the beam line we presently operate at to provide the capability to work at higher photon energies so as to work with thicker specimens. We will also take steps toward the establishment of a new facility (including a custom designed undulator and beam line) at the Advanced Light Source that will make the technique routinely available to the wider user community. This project has top priority in the ALS Strategic Plan. Development of improved methods for studying cellular ultrastructure is crucial for increasing our understanding of biological structure and function. Soft x rays have fundamental advantages for imaging unsectioned, hydrated cells, and diffraction microscopy can maximize the structural information that can be obtained for a given radiation exposure. ? ?

National Institute of Health (NIH)
National Institute of General Medical Sciences (NIGMS)
Research Project (R01)
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Special Emphasis Panel (ZRG1-CB-A (10))
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Rodewald, Richard D
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State University New York Stony Brook
Schools of Arts and Sciences
Stony Brook
United States
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