Visualization of intracellular structures and their spatial organization inside cells without any modification is essential to understand the mechanisms underlying the biological functions of cells. Here, we investigated the intracellular structure of cyanobacteria Prochlorococcus in the interphase by X-ray diffraction imaging using X-ray free-electron laser. A number of diffraction patterns from single cells smaller than 1 µm in size were collected with high signal-to-noise ratio with a resolution of up to 30 nm. From diffraction patterns, a set of electron density maps projected along the direction of the incident X-ray were retrieved with high reliability. The most characteristic structure found to be common among the cells was a C-shaped arrangement of 100-nm sized high-density spots, which surrounded a low-density area of 100 nm. Furthermore, a three-dimensional map reconstructed from the projection maps of individual cells was non-uniform, indicating the presence of common structures among cyanobacteria cells in the interphase. By referring to the fluorescent images for distributions of thylakoid membranes, nucleoids, and carboxysomes, we inferred and represented their spatial arrangements in the three-dimensional map. The arrangement allowed us to discuss the relevance of the intracellular organization to the biological functions of cyanobacteria.
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