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J Appl Microbiol. 2007 Jan;102(1):254-64.

Characterization of extracellular polymers synthesized by tropical intertidal biofilm bacteria.

Author information

  • 1Departamento de Microbiología Ambiental y Biotecnología, Programa de Corrosión del Golfo de México, Universidad Autónoma de Campeche Av., Campeche, México. beortega@uacam.mx

Abstract

AIM:

This study was performed to determine the potential of tropical intertidal biofilm bacteria as a source of novel exopolymers (EPS).

METHODS AND RESULTS:

A screening procedure was implemented to detect EPS-producing biofilm bacteria. Isolates MC3B-10 and MC6B-22, identified respectively as a Microbacterium species and Bacillus species by 16S rDNA and cellular fatty acids analyses, produced different EPS, as evidenced by colorimetric and gas chromatographic analyses. The polymer produced by isolate MC3B-10 displays significant surfactant activity, and may chelate calcium as evidenced by spectroscopic analysis.

CONCLUSIONS:

Polymer MC3B-10 appears to be a glycoprotein, while EPS MC6B-22 seems to be a true polysaccharide dominated by neutral sugars but with significant concentrations of uronic acids and hexosamines. EPS MC3B-10 possesses a higher surfactant activity than that of commercial surfactants, and given its anionic nature, may chelate cations thus proving useful in bioremediation. The chemical composition of polymer MC6B-22 suggests its potential biomedical application in tissue regeneration.

SIGNIFICANCE AND IMPACT OF THE STUDY:

This is the first report of a Microbacterium species producing EPS with surfactant properties, which expands our knowledge of the micro-organisms capable of producing these biomolecules. Furthermore, this work shows that tropical intertidal environments are a nonpreviously recognized habitat for bioprospecting EPS-producing bacteria, and that these molecules might be involved in ecological roles protecting the cells against dessication.

PMID:
17184342
[PubMed - indexed for MEDLINE]
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