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Appl Microbiol Biotechnol. 2001 Aug;56(3-4):315-25.

Bacterial alginate: physiology, product quality and process aspects.

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GBF-Gesellschaft für Biotechnologische Forschung mbH, Biochemical Engineering Division, Braunschweig, Germany.


Alginate, a copolymer of beta-D-mannuronic acid and alpha-L-guluronic acid and currently commercially produced from the marine brown algae, can also be biologically produced by bacteria such as Azotobacter vinelandii, A. chroococcum and several species of Pseudomonas. The ever-increasing applications of this polymer in the food and pharmaceutical sectors have led to continuing research interest aimed at better understanding the metabolic pathways, the physiological or biological function of this polymer, the regulation of its formation and composition, and optimising the microbial production process. These aspects are reviewed here, with particular attention to alginate formation in the soil bacterium A. vinelandii. In addition, the biotechnological and industrial applications of alginate are summarised.

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