Transmission Electron Microscopy

The Transmission Electron Microscopy facility is embedded in the Cell Biology Department at the Faculty of Biology. It operates a Hitachi 7800 TEM (120 kV), equipped with a LaB6 filament and coupled to an EMSIS Xarosa CMOS camera for high resolution acquisition of images.

The system and service is maintained by a full-time staff scientist and half-time technician, and it can be used in frame of collaborations and service applications.

We offer full sample processing and analyses including preparation, sectioning, staining and imaging. Sample types include but are not limited to: plants (leaves, shoots, roots, fruits), animal tissues, cell cultures, bacteria, archeae, etc.

For inquiries please contact:
Marta Rodriguez-Franco


For sample preparation and analysis the following methods are available:

  • Negative staining
  • Chemical fixation of cells and multi-cellular specimens
  • Cryo-fixation (High Pressure Freezing) and Freeze Substitution
  • Resin embedding
  • Ultramicrotomy (including serial sectioning)
  • Cryo-ultramicrotomy (for Tokuyasu technique)
  • Immuno-labelling
  • Furthermore we offer and/or are involved in:
  • Advanced training of the users on all the accessible techniques.
  • Participating in courses and lectures on EM methods in cell biology.

According to the recent guidelines (form 55_04) of the German Research Foundation (Deutsche Forschungsgemeinschaft; DFG) we charge 140€ for full service sample preparation including one hour TEM analysis and 80€ for each additional hour at the TEM. Collaborations can be negotiated. However, it should be noted that prices can vary depending on sample quality and difficulty.


Our unit is fully integrated into the Freiburg “Microscopy and Imaging Platform” (MIAP), which clusters all imaging facilities in frame of a DFG-funded technology center (‘Gerätezentrum’).


Publications guidelines

If you use any instrument of the EM lab, acknowledge the facility in your publications in any of the following ways:

We would like to thank Rosula Hinnenberg/Marta Rodriguez- Franco of the EM facility at the Faculty of Biology, Freiburg University, for her/their assistance with the generation of EM data.

Please, in addition acknowledge our funding resources:

The TEM (Hitachi HT7800) was funded by the DFG grant INST 39/1153-1) is operated by the University of Freiburg, Faculty of Biology, as a partner unit within the Microscopy and Image Analysis Platform (MIAP) and the Life Imaging Center (LIC), Freiburg.

If any of the staff members significantly contributed to the published work, this staff member should be included in the author list.


Recent contributions from the EM lab

Tittes C, Schwarzer S, Pfeiffer F, Dyall-Smith M, Rodriguez-Franco M,
Oksanen HM, Quax TEF (2021) Cellular and genomic properties of
Haloferax gibbonsii LR2-5, the host of euryarchaeal virus HFTV1.
Frontiers in Microbiology, DOI: 10.3389/fmicb.2021.625599

Schwarzer S, Rodriguez-Franco M, Oksanen H. M, Quax TEF (2021). Growth
Phase Dependent Cell Shape of Haloarcula. Microorganisms 9(2), 231

Nußbaum P, Ithurbide S, Walsh JC, Patro M, Delpech F, Rodriguez-Franco M, Curmi PMG, Duggin IG, Quax TEF, Albers SV (2020). An Oscillating MinD Protein Determines the Cellular Positioning of the Motility Machinery in Archaea. Current Biology,

Li Z, Rodriguez-Franco M, Albers SV, Quax TEF (2020). The switch complex ArlCDE connects the chemotaxis system and the archaellum. Molecular Microbiology, doi:10.1111/mmi.14527

Müller-Schüssele S, Wang R, Gütle D, Romer J, Rodriguez-Franco M, Scholz, M, Buchert F, Lüth V, Kopriva S, Dörmann P, Schwarzländer M, Reski R, Hippler M, Meyer A (2020). Chloroplasts Require Glutathione Reductase to Balance Reactive Oxygen Species and Maintain Efficient Photosynthesis. The Plant Journal, doi:10.1111/tpj.14791

Bu F, Rutten L, Roswanjaya YP, Kulikova O, Rodriguez-Franco M, Ott T, Bisseling T, van Zeijl A, Geurts R (2020). Mutant analysis in the non-legume Parasponia andersonii reveals conserved symbiotic functioning of the transcription factors NIN and NF-YA1. New Phytologist,

Tsai CL, Tripp P, Sivabalasarma S, Zhang C, Rodriguez-Franco M, Wipfler R, Chaudhury P, Banerjee A, Beeby M, Whitaker R, Tainer J, Albers SV (2020). The periplasmic FlaG/F complex structure and its essential role for archaellar swimming motility. Nature Microbiology 5, 216–225

Li Z, Kinosita Y, Rodriguez-Franco M, Nußbaum P, Braun F, Delpech F, Quax TEF, Albers SV (2019). Positioning of the Motility Machinery in Halophilic Archaea. MBio 7;10(3). pii: e00377-19.

Schaub P, Rodriguez-Franco M, Cazzonelli CI, Álvarez D, Wüst F, Welsch R (2018). Establishment of an Arabidopsis callus system to study the interrelations of biosynthesis, degradation and accumulation of carotenoids. PLoS ONE 13(2): e0192158.

Quax TEF., Altegoer F, Rossi F, Lia Z, Rodriguez-Franco M, Kraus F, Bange G, and Albers SV (2018). Structure and function of the archaeal response regulator CheY.  PNAS,

Schuessele C, Hoernstein SN, Mueller SJ, Rodriguez-Franco M, Lorenz T, Lang D, Igloi GL, Reski R. (2016). Spatio-temporal patterning of arginyl-tRNA protein transferase (ATE) contributes to gametophytic development in a moss. New Phytol. 209(3):1014-27.

Ali L, Spiess M, Wobser D, Rodriguez M, Bluma HE, Sakinc T (2016). Identification and functional characterization of the putative polysaccharide biosynthesis protein (CapD) of Enterococcus faecium U0317. Infection, Genetics and Evolution 37 (2016) 215–224.

Gemmecker S, Schaub P, Koschmieder J, Brausemann A, Drepper F, Rodriguez-Franco M, Ghisla S, Warscheid B, Einsle O, Beyer P. (2015). Phytoene Desaturase from Oryza sativa: Oligomeric Assembly, Membrane Association and Preliminary 3D-Analysis. PLoS One. 10(7):e0131717.

Morath V, Keuper M, Rodriguez-Franco M, Deswal S, Fiala G, Blumenthal B, Kaschek D, Timmer J, Neuhaus G, Ehl S, Ronneberger O, Schamel WW. (2013). Semi-automatic determination of cell surface areas used in systems biology. Front Biosci (Elite Ed) 5:533 -45.