Cellulose production and movement

Chris Rodesney

Cellulose is an organic macromolecule used in the manufacture of products as diverse as paper and biofuels. While most cellulose is derived from the cell walls of plants, a much finer form of cellulose is produced by a species of bacteria calledGluconacetobacter xylinusG. xylinus cells propel themselves by the secretion of a very fine cellulose ribbon, but not much else is known about the motility of these fascinating microorganisms. In our lab, we are using analyzing time lapse micrographs using particle tracking algorithms to elucidate some of the mechanisms behind G. xylinus movement. This work is done in collaboration with Dr. Malcolm Brown’s group in the UT Molecular Biosciences Department.