Bacteria, such as Escherichia coli and Caulobacter crescentus, are the most studied and perhaps best-understood organisms in biology. The advances in understanding of living systems gained from these organisms are immense. Application of single-molecule techniques in bacteria have presented unique difficulties owing to their small size and highly curved form. The aim of this review is to show advances made in single-molecule imaging in bacteria over the past 10 years, and to look to the future where the combination of implementing such high-precision techniques in well-characterized and controllable model systems such as E. coli could lead to a greater understanding of fundamental biological questions inaccessible through classic ensemble methods.
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