Navigation Links
Formation of cellulose fibers tracked for the first time

Cellulose--a fibrous molecule found in all plants--is the most abundant biological material on Earth. It is also a favored target of renewable, plant-based biofuels research. Despite overwhelming interest, scientists know relatively little about how plant cells synthesize individual cellulose fibers.

However, recent work from the Carnegie Institution's Department of Plant Biology and Stanford University describes the first real-time observations of cellulose fiber formation. The research, published in the April 20 online issue of Science Express, provides the first clear evidence for a functional connection between synthesis of the cell wall and an array of protein fibers--called microtubules--that help to shape growing plant cells from the inside.

"The more we understand about cellulose, the easier it will be to modify it," said Chris Somerville, director of the Carnegie department. "With this knowledge, we are one step closer to designing energy-rich biofuel crops and improved fiber crops."

Cellulose fibers make up a significant portion of the dry weight of most plants. Because the fibers can be broken down into the sugar glucose, which can then be converted into ethanol and other biofuels, there are huge incentives to learn more about how plants produce and modify the molecule. Cellulose is also the main constituent of cotton, paper, wood, and animal feeds such as hay.

Somerville, along with colleague David Ehrhardt and Stanford graduate student Alex Paredez, engineered plants to produce a fluorescent version of cellulose synthase, the enzyme that creates cellulose fibers. They also included a fluorescent version of tubulin, the protein from which microtubules are built. Using an imaging technique that can track the motion of single fluorescent molecules, the researchers found that cellulose synthase moves along "tracks" defined by the microtubules. When the microtubule tracks were disrupted with specific drugs, the cellulose syntha se molecules kept moving, but they followed different, less directed patterns.

"Many scientists had suspected a relationship between cellulose synthase and microtubules, but the exact nature of the interaction was hard to pinpoint," Ehrhardt said. "The microtubules act as more than a general scaffold for organizing the cell wall; individual elements of the microtubule array appear to actively direct the pattern of the cellulose fibers. This work should set a long-standing discussion to rest."


'"/>

Source:Carnegie Institution


Related biology news :

1. Meeting the ethanol challenge: Scientists use supercomputer to target cellulose bottleneck
2. Cerebral navigation: How do nerve fibers know what direction to grow in?
3. Unweaving amyloid fibers to solve prion puzzles
4. Virginia Tech scientists develop process for creating biocompatible fibers
5. Biodegradable napkin -- featuring sensitive nanofibers -- may quickly detect biohazards
6. Lungs try to repair damaged elastic fibers
7. Perception gene tracked humanitys evolution, scientists say
8. Genome changes tracked during multiple myeloma initiation, progression and treatment
9. Cell death following blood reflow injury tracked to natural toxin
10. A genes first kiss sets off that affair known as puberty
11. Love at first smell
Post Your Comments:
*Name:
*Comment:
*Email:


(Date:5/9/2016)... , UAE, May 9, 2016 ... it comes to expanding freedom for high net worth ... Even in today,s globally connected world, there is still ... system could ever duplicate sealing your deal with a ... second passports by taking advantage of citizenship via investment ...
(Date:4/26/2016)... LONDON , April 26, 2016 ... EdgeVerve Systems, a product subsidiary of Infosys (NYSE: ... a partnership to integrate the Onegini mobile security ... (Logo: http://photos.prnewswire.com/prnh/20151104/283829LOGO ) The ... enhanced security to access and transact across channels. ...
(Date:4/15/2016)... 2016 Research and Markets has ... Market 2016-2020,"  report to their offering.  , ... ,The global gait biometrics market is expected to ... period 2016-2020. Gait analysis generates multiple ... used to compute factors that are not or ...
Breaking Biology News(10 mins):
(Date:5/26/2016)... ... ... After several promising treatments in Panama using stem cell ... in Panama, a 6 year-old Duchenne’s muscular dystrophy patient received his first umbilical ... approval of a second application for a single patient, investigational new drug (IND) ...
(Date:5/25/2016)... ... , ... Lajollacooks4u has become a rising hotspot for specialized team building events ... attractions. Fortune 500 companies, such as Illumina, Hewlett-Packard, Qualcomm and Elsevier, have traveled ... , Each event kicks off with an olive oil and salt-tasting competition. From ...
(Date:5/25/2016)... AZ (PRWEB) , ... May 25, 2016 , ... ... Dr. Michael Fitzmaurice recently became double board-certified in surgery and surgery of the ... 2015. Dr. Fitzmaurice is no stranger to going above and beyond in his ...
(Date:5/25/2016)... ... 2016 , ... WEDI, the nation’s leading authority on the use of health ... has been named by the WEDI Board of Directors as WEDI’s president and CEO. ... with more than 35 years of experience in healthcare, association management and organizational leadership, ...
Breaking Biology Technology: