John R Dutcher

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Bacterial biofilms are responsible for the majority of all microbial infections and have profound impact on industrial and geochemical processes. While many studies documented phenotypic differentiation and gene regulation of biofilms, the importance of their structural and mechanical properties is poorly understood. Here we investigate how changes in(More)
Bacteria can possess an outermost assembly of polysaccharide molecules, a capsule, which is attached to their cell wall. We have used two complementary, high-resolution microscopy techniques, atomic force microscopy (AFM) and transmission electron microscopy (TEM), to study bacterial capsules of four different gram-negative bacterial strains: Escherichia(More)
Dehydrins are intrinsically unstructured proteins that are expressed in plants experiencing extreme environmental conditions such as drought or low temperature. Although their role is not completely understood, it has been suggested that they stabilize proteins and membrane structures during environmental stress and also sequester metals such as zinc. Here,(More)
Hole growth measurements were performed using optical microscopy on freely standing polystyrene films at temperatures that were slightly larger than the bulk value of the glass transition temperature T(bulk)g. For the measured range of temperatures, we have observed a transition from linear growth of the hole radius R during the early stages to exponential(More)
Many plant aspartic proteases contain an additional sequence of ~100 amino acids termed the plant-specific insert, which is involved in host defense and vacuolar targeting. Similar to all saposin-like proteins, the plant-specific insert functions via protein-membrane interactions; however, the structural basis for such interactions has not been studied, and(More)
Group 2 late embryogenesis abundant (LEA) proteins, also known as dehydrins, are intrinsically disordered proteins that are expressed in plants experiencing extreme environmental conditions such as drought or low temperatures. These proteins are characterized by the presence of at least one conserved, lysine-rich K-segment and sometimes by one or more(More)
In this work, we show molecular resolution scanning tunneling microscopy (STM) images of gramicidin, a model antibacterial peptide, inserted into a phospholipid matrix. The resolution of the images is superior to that obtained in previous attempts to image gramicidin in a lipid environment using atomic force microscopy (AFM). This breakthrough has allowed(More)
Dehydrins are intrinsically disordered (unstructured) proteins that are expressed in plants experiencing stressful conditions such as drought or low temperature. Dehydrins are typically found in the cytosol and nucleus, but also associate with chloroplasts, mitochondria, and the plasma membrane. Although their role is not completely understood, it has been(More)
We used a novel atomic force microscopy (AFM)-based technique to compare the local viscoelastic properties of individual gram-negative (Escherichia coli) and gram-positive (Bacillus subtilis) bacterial cells. We found that the viscoelastic properties of the bacterial cells are well described by a three-component mechanical model that combines an(More)
The biodegradation of cellulose involves the enzymatic action of cellulases (endoglucanases), cellobiohydrolases (exoglucanases), and β-glucosidases that act synergistically. The rate and efficiency of enzymatic hydrolysis of crystalline cellulose in vitro decline markedly with time, limiting the large-scale, cost-effective production of cellulosic(More)