The challenges of sample preparation can limit a researcher's selection of transmission electron microcopy (TEM) for analysis of yeast. However, with the exception of thin sectioning, preparation of well-fixed and infiltrated samples of yeast cells is achievable by any reasonably equipped laboratory. This review presents a general overview of TEM sample preparation methods and detailed protocols for chemical fixation of yeast for ultrastructural analysis and immunolabeling. For ultrastructural analysis, the most commonly used chemical fixation involves treatment with glutaraldehyde followed by either potassium permanganate or osmium. Prior to osmium postfixation, the cell wall must be enzymatically digested to allow optimal fixation and embedding. Freeze substitution methods continue to provide the highest quality of fixation, but equipment needed for these protocols is not generally available to many labs. The low viscosity of Spurr's resin makes it the resin of choice for ultrastructure studies. Immunoelectron microscopy has enjoyed great success in analysis of yeast molecular organization. For immunoelectron microscopy, glutaraldehyde/formaldehyde-fixed cells are embedded in LR White resin. The thin sections are then treated in much the same way as an immunoblot: following blocking, they are incubated in primary antiserum, washed, and then incubated in gold-labeled secondary antiserum.
Copyright 2000 Wiley-Liss, Inc.