Title

Revolutionizing Industry with Microbial Cellulose

Presenter Information

Chester Gregg

Department

Computer Science

Major

Computer Science

Research Advisor

Westenberg, David J.

Advisor's Department

Biological Sciences

Funding Source

iGEM; National Science Foundation; Missouri Department of Conservation; U.S. Department of Energy; U.S. Department of Agriculture; Environmental Protection Agency

Abstract

Cellulose is a polysaccharide used in a plethora of products ranging from paper and clothing to food and medical supplies. Cellulose harvested from wood pulp is typically used in these products, but Gluconacetobacter xylinus, formerly known as Acetobacter xylinum, is one of many microbes which produce microbial cellulose. The cellulose produced by microbes such as G. xylinus is far superior to plant cellulose. To name just a few benefits, it is finer, being less than 1000 times smaller than the width of a human hair and able to hold 1000 percent of its weight in water; there are fewer byproducts, so it is purer; and it has strength comparable to steel. The proposed experiments aim to genetically modify E. coli to include the genes for cellulose production from G. xylinus, perhaps making it possible to provide a cheaper, ecologically clean alternative to the methods currently used.

Biography

Chester is a senior majoring in Computer Science at Missouri S&T. He is the webmaster of iGEM and has been involved in the design team’s research. He is also an MAL in the Residence Hall Association, a governor in the Thomas Jefferson Hall Association and involved in several special interest groups for the Association for Computing Machinery. He enjoys programming software, listening to music, playing video games, discussing politics and learning.

Research Category

Research Proposals

Presentation Type

Poster Presentation

Document Type

Poster

Location

Upper Atrium/Hallway

Presentation Date

10 Apr 2012, 1:00 pm - 3:00 pm

This document is currently not available here.

Share

COinS
 
Apr 10th, 1:00 PM Apr 10th, 3:00 PM

Revolutionizing Industry with Microbial Cellulose

Upper Atrium/Hallway

Cellulose is a polysaccharide used in a plethora of products ranging from paper and clothing to food and medical supplies. Cellulose harvested from wood pulp is typically used in these products, but Gluconacetobacter xylinus, formerly known as Acetobacter xylinum, is one of many microbes which produce microbial cellulose. The cellulose produced by microbes such as G. xylinus is far superior to plant cellulose. To name just a few benefits, it is finer, being less than 1000 times smaller than the width of a human hair and able to hold 1000 percent of its weight in water; there are fewer byproducts, so it is purer; and it has strength comparable to steel. The proposed experiments aim to genetically modify E. coli to include the genes for cellulose production from G. xylinus, perhaps making it possible to provide a cheaper, ecologically clean alternative to the methods currently used.