Cellulose: the amazing biophysics of a biopolymer

RLM 11.204
R. Malcolm Brown
Molecular Genetics & Microbiology, UT Austin
Cellulose: the amazing biophysics of a biopolymer

Cellulose is the most abundant biopolymer on earth. It surrounds you! -­’?-­’?-­’? trees, vegetation, crops, and biota in streams, ponds, and oceans.
‘? How is this biopolymer assembled by living organisms?
‘? How do the assembly processes affect its properties?
The most remarkable living cellulose synthesizing system is Acetobacter xylinum, which secretes nanometer-­’?sized crystalline microfibrils through pores on
its surface.  Manipulation of A. xylinum genes gives insight into the polymerization and crystallization mechanisms for cellulose, which helps us understand the
interactions that lead to the unique biofilms formed by A. xylinum.