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:6/23/2017)... and ITHACA, N.Y. , June ... Cornell University, a leader in dairy research, today announced ... designed to help reduce the chances that the global ... onset of this dairy project, Cornell University has become ... Sequencing the Food Supply Chain, a food safety initiative ...
(Date:5/16/2017)... , May 16, 2017   Bridge ... health organizations, and MD EMR Systems , ... development partner for GE, have established a partnership ... Portal product and the GE Centricity™ products, including ... EMR. These new integrations will ...
(Date:4/18/2017)... April 18, 2017  Socionext Inc., a global expert in SoC-based ... edge server, the M820, which features the company,s hybrid codec technology. ... by Tera Probe, Inc., will be showcased during the upcoming Medtec ... show at the Las Vegas Convention Center ... Click here ...
Breaking Biology News(10 mins):
(Date:7/18/2017)... ... July 18, 2017 , ... Nanomedical Diagnostics, ... development, announces the launch of a new NTA biosensor chip for use with ... study the kinetics of polyhistidine-tagged (His-tagged) molecules quickly and reliably. , “Recombinant ...
(Date:7/18/2017)... Basel, Switzerland (PRWEB) , ... July 18, 2017 ... ... for R&D, today announced that Merck, a leading science and technology company, has ... develop innovative therapeutics for the therapeutic areas of Oncology, Immunology, and Neurodegenerative Diseases. ...
(Date:7/18/2017)... ... July 18, 2017 , ... Blood centers traditionally see a dangerous drop ... summer is a struggle for community blood centers as high schools are out and ... of Commerce is teaming up with the South Texas Blood & Tissue ...
(Date:7/18/2017)... ... July 18, 2017 , ... Recently recognized by CIO ... announces the migration of its flagship cloud-based product Planet Life Cycle – a ... work management system that merges strategic and financial planning with execution. The solution ...
Breaking Biology Technology: