Journal of bacteriology

Formation of highly twisted ribbons in a carboxymethylcellulase gene-disrupted strain of a cellulose-producing bacterium.

PMID 23243308


Cellulases are enzymes that normally digest cellulose; however, some are known to play essential roles in cellulose biosynthesis. Although some endogenous cellulases of plants and cellulose-producing bacteria are reportedly involved in cellulose production, their functions in cellulose production are unknown. In this study, we demonstrated that disruption of the cellulase (carboxymethylcellulase) gene causes irregular packing of de novo-synthesized fibrils in Gluconacetobacter xylinus, a cellulose-producing bacterium. Cellulose production was remarkably reduced and small amounts of particulate material were accumulated in the culture of a cmcax-disrupted G. xylinus strain (F2-2). The particulate material was shown to contain cellulose by both solid-state (13)C nuclear magnetic resonance analysis and Fourier transform infrared spectroscopy analysis. Electron microscopy revealed that the cellulose fibrils produced by the F2-2 cells were highly twisted compared with those produced by control cells. This hypertwisting of the fibrils may reduce cellulose synthesis in the F2-2 strains.