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Biotechnol Lett. 2006 Nov;28(21):1701-12. Epub 2006 Aug 16.

Bacterial alginates: from biosynthesis to applications.

Author information

1
Institute of Molecular BioSciences, Massey University, Private Bag 11222, Palmerston North, New Zealand.

Abstract

Alginate is a polysaccharide belonging to the family of linear (unbranched), non-repeating copolymers, consisting of variable amounts of beta-D-mannuronic acid and its C5-epimer alpha- L-guluronic acid linked via beta-1,4-glycosidic bonds. Like DNA, alginate is a negatively charged polymer, imparting material properties ranging from viscous solutions to gel-like structures in the presence of divalent cations. Bacterial alginates are synthesized by only two bacterial genera, Pseudomonas and Azotobacter, and have been extensively studied over the last 40 years. While primarily synthesized in form of polymannuronic acid, alginate undergoes chemical modifications comprising acetylation and epimerization, which occurs during periplasmic transfer and before final export through the outer membrane. Alginate with its unique material properties and characteristics has been increasingly considered as biomaterial for medical applications. The genetic modification of alginate producing microorganisms could enable biotechnological production of new alginates with unique, tailor-made properties, suitable for medical and industrial applications.

PMID:
16912921
DOI:
10.1007/s10529-006-9156-x
[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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