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*CIL – Cell Image Library accession number. Please use this to reference an image.

CIL:7321*  Cite 

This is one of four related images of F-pili (conjugative pili encoded by the F plasmid of E. coli) dynamics by live-cell imaging. There are 2 movie (.avi) files and 2 files (.tiff) from the movies. The movies show that F-pili normally undergo cycles of extension and retraction in the absence of any obvious triggering event such as contact with a recipient cell. Retraction of an F-pilus. E. coli strain HfrH expressing the red fluorescent marker DsRed Express were mixed with R17 bacteriophage labeled with Alexa 488 (green); R17 bacteriophage (NCBITaxon:12026) bind to the sides of F-pili. Samples were imaged by using a Zeiss LSM 510 confocal microscope with a Plan-Apochromat 63 × 1.4 N.A. DIC objective. Alexa-488 was excited with the 488-nm line of an argon laser with a 505–530-nm filter for emission, and DsRed was excited with the 543-nm line of a HeNe laser, with a 560-nm long pass filter for emission. An HFT UV/488/543 beam splitter was used. Images were collected in a single focal plane at 2 s intervals and accompanying movies (.avi) are playing at 10fps.

Biological Sources
NCBI Organism Classification
Escherichia coli
Cell Type
prokaryotic cell
Cellular Component
Biological Context
Biological Process
pilus assembly
pilus retraction
Molecular Function
Clarke, Margaret
Silverman, Philip
PMID: 19004777
Digital Object Identifier (DOI)
Archival Resource Key (ARK)
Grouping This image is part of a group.
Sample Preparation
living tissue
Relation To Intact Cell
living tissue
Spatial Axis Image Size Pixel Size
X 116px 0.114µm
Y 100px 0.114µm
Channel Wavelength
1 488, 532nm