Bacteria From Rotten Pomegranade can be Used For Producing Cellulose

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Bacteria From Rotten Pomegranade can be Used For Producing Cellulose

Scientists at the Pune-based National Chemical Laboratory (NCL) have isolated a bacterial strain from rotten pomegranate which promises to help produce bacterial cellulose on a large scale.

Plants produce cellulose, an abundant biopolymer in the world, which is used for paper and pulp production. Similarly, certain bacteria too can produce cellulose. Bacterial cellulose has better physicochemical properties such as crystallinity, tensile strength, moldability and larger surface area since they are devoid of lignin and hemicelluloses material. These characteristics make them suitable for biotechnological and biomedical applications like bone and tissue scaffold material, wound dressing material and even as a drug delivery agent.

Conventionally, a bacterium named Komagataeibacterxylinus is used for producing bacterial cellulose. Its genome was completely sequenced in 2018 which aimed at understanding the cellulose production process. The bacterium and its strains produce good quality bacterial cellulose. However, the yield is low and the cost of production is high, making it unfavourable for large scale production.

The team of scientists from NCL screened different rotten fruits such as dragon fruit, mango, orange, lime, banana and fig for alternative cellulose producing bacteria and cultured them under laboratory conditions. They isolated a bacterium called K. rhaeticusPG2 from rotten pomegranate which showed promising results.

The research team involved in this study

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