The Gram-negative bacterium Acetobacter xylinum assembles a cellulse ribbon composed of a number of microfibrils in the longitudinal axis of its envelope. The zone of ribbon assembly was investigated by freeze-etch electron microscopy. Freeze-etching revealed, beneath the cellulose ribbons, a linear array of pores on the lipopolysaccharide membrane. These pores have a rim diameter of 120--150 A and a central hole or deepening of approximately 35 A. The axes of pore arrays closely coincide with linear arrays of 100 A particles on the E- and P-faces of the fractured lipopolysaccharide membranes. Pores and particles in the lipopolysaccharide membrane are probably congruent. The pores are hypothesized to be the export sites (penetration sites) for cellulose.

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