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J Ind Microbiol Biotechnol. 2009 Apr;36(4):599-604. doi: 10.1007/s10295-009-0529-8. Epub 2009 Feb 6.

Investigations into the uptake of copper, iron and selenium by a highly sulphated bacterial exopolysaccharide isolated from microbial mats.

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  • 1CAIRAP Sarl, Centre d'Analyses Industrielles et de Recherche Appliquée pour le Pacifique, BP 1720, 98713, Papeete, Tahiti, French Polynesia.


A bacterium isolated from microbial mats located on a polynesian atoll produced a high molecular weight (3,000 kDa) and highly sulphated exopolysaccharide. Previous studies showed that the chemical structure of this EPS consisted of neutral sugars, uronic acids, and high proportions of acetate and sulphate groups. The copper- and iron-binding ability of the purified pre-treated native EPS was investigated. Results showed that this EPS had a very high affinity for both copper (9.84 mmol g(-1) EPS) and ferrous iron (6.9 mmol g(-1) EPS). Amazingly, this EPS did not show any affinity for either ferric ions or selenium salts. This finding is one of the first steps in assessing the biotechnological potential of this polysaccharide.

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