Transmission Electron Microscopy


We are operating a Philips CM-10 (100kV) Transmission Electron Microscope (TEM), which can be used in frame of collaborations and service applications. The system and service is maintained by a full-time staff scientist and half-time technician.

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

For inquiries please contact:
Marta Rodriguez-Franco or Thomas Ott



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


Current developments
In addition we are continuously aiming to broaden our methods portfolio. Thus, we are currently developing


Recent papers from the EM lab

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, doi:10.1073/pnas.1716661115

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.