Engineering control of bacterial cellulose...

Bacterial cellulose is a strong and ultrapure form of cellulose produced naturally by several species of the Acetobacteraceae. Its high strength, purity, and biocompatibility make it of great interest to materials science ; however, precise control of its biosynthesis has remained a challenge for biotechnology.

A strain of Komagataeibacter rhaeticus has been isolated that can produce cellulose at high yields, grow in low-nitrogen conditions, and is highly resistant to toxic chemicals.To reprogram this organism for biotechnology applications, a set of genetic tools that enables bio-synthesis of patterned cellulose, functionalization of the cellulose surface with proteins, and tunable control over cellulose pro-duction has been engineered. This greatly expands our ability to control and engineer new cellulose-based biomaterials, offering numerous applications for basic research, materials science, and biotechnology.