English Abstract

Synthesis of Cellulose by Bacteria

Division of Biotechnology and Macromolecular Chemistry, Faculty of Engineering, Hokkaido University, Kita-ku, Sapporo, Japan
Nippon Gomu Kyokaishi,(2012),85(12),406-411 General Review in Japanese

Cellulose is the most abundant biopolymer in nature and is utilized in a wide variety of industries. Although plants produce the most cellulose, some animals and bacteria also produce cellulose. Acetobacter (=Gluconacetobacter), which is a Gram-negative bacterium, produces cellulose called bacterial cellulose (BC) from glucose on the surface of a culture medium. Even in plants, there is little knowledge concerning the mechanisms of cellulose biosynthesis. Due to its ease of handling, Acetobacter xylinum (A. xylinum) has been studied as a model organism of cellulose production. BC has exceptional physicochemical properties, such as ultrafine reticulated structure, high crystallinity, high tensile strength, high hydrophilicity, moldability during formation, and biocompatibility, although its chemical structure is the same as those of the cellulose produced by plants and algae. These remarkable characteristics are of interest for the development and manufacture of a wide range of materials, such as food matrices, dietary fiber, acoustic membranes, special biomaterials. In this article, I introduce cellulose synthesis by bacteria (features and applications) and the synthetic mechanism of BC.

Keywords: Bacterial Cellulose, Acetobacter, Gluconacetobacter, Terminal Complex