Skip to main content Accessibility help
×
Home
Hostname: page-component-78dcdb465f-vddjc Total loading time: 1.092 Render date: 2021-04-15T12:12:05.738Z Has data issue: true Feature Flags: { "shouldUseShareProductTool": true, "shouldUseHypothesis": true, "isUnsiloEnabled": true, "metricsAbstractViews": false, "figures": false, "newCiteModal": false, "newCitedByModal": true }

Mechanical Properties of Bacterial Fibres

Published online by Cambridge University Press:  21 February 2011

John J Thwaites
Affiliation:
Dept. of Engineering Cambridge University
Neil H. Mendelson
Affiliation:
Dept. of Molecular and Cellular Biology, University of Arizona, Tucson, Arizona
Get access

Abstract

Bacterial thread is the name given to a fibrillar fiber produced from cell-separation-suppressed mutants of Bacillus subtilis. which grow in long cellular filaments and produce in cultures aggregates that resemble randomly-laid textile webs. Threads are produced by steady withdrawal at the end of a sterile toothpick - for all the world like Carothers, 50 years ago! Individual filaments are drawn radially into the forming thread and adhere strongly to each other with axial alignment. Uniform threads up to 1 meter in length and 180 μm in diameter can be produced. Such threads contain about 50,000 filaments and upwards of 1010 cells Tests on thread show that peptidoglycan, which is the load-bearing polymer of the bacterial cell wall, behaves mechanically like other visco-elastic polymers. When dry its behavior is glassy, with high modulus; when wet, it is relatively weak and of low initital modulus. Relaxation data indicate a very wide spectrum of relaxation times. All the mechanical properties depend strongly on the RH of the test environment; they are also influenced by the ionic environment at the time threads are drawn. Available evidence indicates that peptidoglycan is not crystaline. Nonetheless there is some degree of orientation in the bacterial cell wall. This is shown by the effect of enzyme attack on mechanical properties and by the twisted growth pattern of bacteria.

Type
Research Article
Copyright
Copyright © Materials Research Society 1990

Access options

Get access to the full version of this content by using one of the access options below.

References

1. Mendelson, N.H., Proc.Natl.Acad.Sci. USA 75, 2478 (1978).CrossRefGoogle Scholar
2. Mendelson, N.H. and Thwaites, J.J., [this conference].Google Scholar
3. Thwaites, J.J. and Mendelson, N.H., Proc.Natl.Acad.Sci. USA 82, 2163 (1985).CrossRefGoogle Scholar
4. Rogers, H.J., Perkins, H.R. and Ward, J.B., Microbial Cell Walls and Membranes (Chapman and Hall, London, 1980), Ch. 6.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
5. Labischinski, H., Barnickel, G. and Naumann, D., in The Target of Penicillin, edited by Hackenbeck, R., Holtje, J.-V. and Labischinski, H. (de Gruyter, Berlin, 1983), p. 49.Google Scholar
6. Thwaites, J.J. and Mendelson, N.H., Int.J.Biol.Macromol. 11, 201 (1989).CrossRefGoogle Scholar
7. Koch, A.L. and Burdett, I.D.J., J.Cen.Microbiol. 132, 3441 (1986).Google Scholar
8. Mendelson, N.H. and Thwaites, J.J., J.Bacteriol. 171, 1055 (1989).CrossRefGoogle Scholar
9. Quistwater, J.M.R. and Dunell, B.A., J.Appl.Polymer.Sci. 1, 267 (1959).CrossRefGoogle Scholar
10. Gotte, L., Mammi, M. and Pezzin, G., in Symposium of Fibrous Proteins, edited by Crewther, W.G. (Butterworths, London, 1968) p. 236.Google Scholar
11. Maeda, Y., Fujita, T., Sugiura, Y. and Koga, S., J.Gen.Appl.Microbiol. 14, 217 (1968).CrossRefGoogle Scholar
12. Koch, A.L., Adv.Microb.Physiol. 24, 301 (1983).CrossRefGoogle Scholar

Full text views

Full text views reflects PDF downloads, PDFs sent to Google Drive, Dropbox and Kindle and HTML full text views.

Total number of HTML views: 0
Total number of PDF views: 6 *
View data table for this chart

* Views captured on Cambridge Core between September 2016 - 15th April 2021. This data will be updated every 24 hours.

Send article to Kindle

To send this article to your Kindle, first ensure no-reply@cambridge.org is added to your Approved Personal Document E-mail List under your Personal Document Settings on the Manage Your Content and Devices page of your Amazon account. Then enter the ‘name’ part of your Kindle email address below. Find out more about sending to your Kindle. Find out more about sending to your Kindle.

Note you can select to send to either the @free.kindle.com or @kindle.com variations. ‘@free.kindle.com’ emails are free but can only be sent to your device when it is connected to wi-fi. ‘@kindle.com’ emails can be delivered even when you are not connected to wi-fi, but note that service fees apply.

Find out more about the Kindle Personal Document Service.

Mechanical Properties of Bacterial Fibres
Available formats
×

Send article to Dropbox

To send this article to your Dropbox account, please select one or more formats and confirm that you agree to abide by our usage policies. If this is the first time you use this feature, you will be asked to authorise Cambridge Core to connect with your <service> account. Find out more about sending content to Dropbox.

Mechanical Properties of Bacterial Fibres
Available formats
×

Send article to Google Drive

To send this article to your Google Drive account, please select one or more formats and confirm that you agree to abide by our usage policies. If this is the first time you use this feature, you will be asked to authorise Cambridge Core to connect with your <service> account. Find out more about sending content to Google Drive.

Mechanical Properties of Bacterial Fibres
Available formats
×
×

Reply to: Submit a response


Your details


Conflicting interests

Do you have any conflicting interests? *