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Molecules 2012, 17(6), 7103-7120; doi:10.3390/molecules17067103

The Potential Biotechnological Applications of the Exopolysaccharide Produced by the Halophilic Bacterium Halomonas almeriensis

Microbial Exopolysaccharide Research Group, Department of Microbiology, Faculty of Pharmacy, Campus Universitario de Cartuja, University of Granada, 18071 Granada, Spain
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Received: 31 March 2012 / Revised: 31 May 2012 / Accepted: 5 June 2012 / Published: 12 June 2012
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Natural Polysaccharides: Chemistry, Bioactivity and Analysis)
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Abstract

We have studied the extracellular polysaccharide (EPS) produced by the type strain, M8T, of the halophilic bacterium Halomonas almeriensis, to ascertain whether it might have any biotechnological applications. All the cultural parameters tested influenced both bacterial growth and polysaccharide production. EPS production was mainly growth-associated and under optimum environmental and nutritional conditions M8T excreted about 1.7 g of EPS per litre of culture medium (about 0.4 g of EPS per gram of dry cell weight). Analysis by anion-exchange chromatography and high-performance size-exclusion chromatography indicated that the exopolysaccharide was composed of two fractions, one of 6.3 × 106 and another of 1.5 × 104 Daltons. The monosaccharide composition of the high-molecular-weight fraction was mannose (72% w/w), glucose (27.5% w/w) and rhamnose (0.5% w/w). The low-molecular-weight fraction contained mannose (70% w/w) and glucose (30% w/w). The EPS has a substantial protein fraction (1.1% w/w) and was capable of emulsifying several hydrophobic substrates, a capacity presumably related to its protein content. The EPS produced solutions of low viscosity with pseudoplastic behaviour. It also had a high capacity for binding some cations. It contained considerable quantities of sulphates (1.4% w/w), an unusual feature in bacterial polysaccharides. All these characteristics render it potentially useful as a biological agent, bio-detoxifier and emulsifier.
Keywords: extremophiles; halophilic bacteria; Halomonas almeriensis; exopolysaccharide; sulphates; heavy-metal chelation; emulsifying activity extremophiles; halophilic bacteria; Halomonas almeriensis; exopolysaccharide; sulphates; heavy-metal chelation; emulsifying activity
This is an open access article distributed under the Creative Commons Attribution License (CC BY 3.0).

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MDPI and ACS Style

Llamas, I.; Amjres, H.; Mata, J.A.; Quesada, E.; Béjar, V. The Potential Biotechnological Applications of the Exopolysaccharide Produced by the Halophilic Bacterium Halomonas almeriensis. Molecules 2012, 17, 7103-7120.

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