Journal article

Structure of the bacterial cellulose ribbon and its assembly-guiding cytoskeleton by electron cryotomography

William J Nicolas, Debnath Ghosal, Elitza I Tocheva, Elliot M Meyerowitz, Grant J Jensen

Cold Spring Harbor Laboratory


AbstractCellulose is a widespread component of bacterial biofilms, where its properties of exceptional water retention, high tensile strength and stiffness prevents dehydration and mechanical disruption of the biofilm. Bacteria in the Gluconacetobacter genus secrete crystalline cellulose, with a structure very similar to that found in plant cell walls. How this higher-order structure is produced is poorly understood. We used cryo-electron tomography and focused ion beam milling of native bacterial biofilms to image cellulose-synthesizing G. hansenii and G. xylinus bacteria in a frozen-hydrated, near-native state. We confirm previous results suggesting that cellulose crystallization occurs se..

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