English description top ↑
The mere description of cytological properties of bacteria in an inventory manner has not been the aim of this book. Cytological studies play a role in a complex system of investigations finally leading, as is hoped, to the comprehension of all aspects of bacteria. It is in this context that the results of cytological investigations should be considered to be of major importance. As compared to many other groups of organisms, bacteria have been more the subject for detailed studies on functional properties on the macromolecular level. To keep abreast with this development, cytological work has also to be extended to that level. In addition, physiological and genetic research involves experimental approaches often leading, as a side-effect, to changes in bacterial cell structure. A proper documentation of these changes improves the understanding of the experimental results. With this situation in mind, this book has been deviced such that the description of certain cytological facts usually is followed by a section dealing with selected aspects of related function and morphogenesis.
The recent development of new electron microscopic preparation, imaging, and image-evaluation procedures (low-temperature embedding, cryo-techniques, computer averaging) will not only provide tools suited for the correction of wrong views caused by the introduction of artifacts. These methods will also be used for the detection of so far unknown cytological properties of the bacterial cell. The potential of these techniques appears to be enormous. In this book, selected results recently obtained with some of these procedures are described and discussed.