Description: This project addressed four major areas of investigation: i) characterization of formation of Cellulomonas uda biofilms on cellulose; ii) characterization of Clostridium phytofermentans biofilm development; colonization of cellulose and its regulation; iii) characterization of Thermobifida fusca biofilm development; colonization of cellulose and its regulation; and iii) description of the architecture of mature C. uda, C. phytofermentans, and T. fusca biofilms. This research is aimed at advancing understanding of biofilm formation and other complex processes involved in the degradation of the abundant cellulosic biomass, and the biology of the microbes involved. Information obtained from these studies is invaluable in the development of practical applications, such as the single-step bioconversion of cellulose-containing residues to fuels and other bioproducts. Our results have clearly shown that cellulose-decomposing microbes rapidly colonize cellulose and form complex structures typical of biofilms. Furthermore, our observations suggest that, as cells multiply on nutritive surfaces during biofilms formation, dramatic cell morphological changes occur. We speculated that morphological changes, which involve a transition from rod-shaped cells to more rounded forms, might be more apparent in a filamentous microbe. In order to test this hypothesis, we included in our research a study of biofilm formation by T. fusca, a thermophilic cellulolytic actinomycete commonly found in compost. The cellulase system of T. fusca has been extensively detailed through the work of David Wilson and colleagues at Cornell, and also, genome sequence of a T. fusca strain has been determine by the DOE Joint Genome Institute. Thus, T. fusca is an excellent subject for studies of biofilm development and its potential impacts on cellulose degradation. We also completed a study of the chitinase system of C. uda. This work provided essential background information for understanding how C. uda colonizes and degrades insoluble substrates. Major accomplishments of the project include: • Development of media containing ...
Date: October 31, 2009
Creator: Leschine, Susan
Partner: UNT Libraries Government Documents Department