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Biomacromolecules. 2005 Mar-Apr;6(2):598-603.

Fluorescence microscopical investigation of poly(3-hydroxybutyrate) granule formation in bacteria.

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Institut für Mikrobiologie, Universität Stuttgart, Allmandring 31, 70550 Stuttgart, Germany.


The early stages of poly(3-hydroxybutyrate) (PHB) accumulation were analyzed in vivo by fluorescence microscopy in Rhodospirillum rubrum, Ralstonia eutropha, and in recombinant Escherichia coli harboring the PHB biosynthesis genes phaCAB of R. eutropha. PHB granules were stained with Nile red and by expression of a phasin-enhanced yellow fluorescent protein fusion protein. Distribution of PHB granules at the early stages of PHB accumulation frequently occurred near the cell poles and near the cell wall in all three strains investigated. This is the first evidence obtained from living cells that PHB synthesis initiates not randomly but at discrete regions in bacteria.

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