66. Brown, Jr. R. M., Willison, J. H. M., and C. L. Richardson. 1976. Cellulose biosynthesis in Acetobacter xylinum: 1. Visualization of the site of synthesis and direct measurement of the in vivo process. Proc. Nat. Acad. Sci. U.S.A. 73(12):4565-4569.

66. Abstract

In vivo synthesis of cellulose by Acetobacter xylinum was monitored by darkfield light microscopy. Cellulose is synthesized in the form of a ribbon projecting from the pole of the bacterial rod. The ribbon elongates at a rate of 2 m min-1. The ribbon consists of approximately 46 microfibrils which average 1.6 x 5.8 nm in cross section. The observed microfibrillar elongation rate corresponds to 470 amol of glucose/cell per hr assimilated into cellulose. Electron microscopy of the process using negative staining, sectioning, and freeze-etching indicated the presence of approximately 50 individual synthetic sites organized in a row along the longitudinal axis of the bacterial rod and in close association with the outer envelope. The process of cellulose synthesis in Acetobacter is compared with that in eukaryotic plant cells.

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Last modified 27 October 2005.
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