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Exocellular polysaccharides from cyanobacteria and their possible applications
Cyanobacteria are photoautotrophic prokaryotes which include a large variety of species of widespread occurrence and with diverse morphological, physiological and biochemical properties. Many cyanobacteria are known to be able to synthesise outermost slimy investments and to release polysaccharidic material into the culture medium during cell growth. These released polysaccharides (RPSs), being easily recoverable from the culture medium, are attracting much interest in view of their possible uses in several industrial applications. In this paper, an overview of the current knowledge on both RPS-producing cyanobacterial strains (including the possible roles of the exopolysaccharides) and chemical characteristics of the cyanobacterial RPSs is given, with particular emphasis on RPS properties and possible industrial applications. On the whole, cyanobacterial RPSs are characterised by a great variety in both number (from two to 10) and type of constitutive monosaccharides (various arrangements of acidic and neutral sugars). Most polymers show an anionic nature due to the presence of uronic acids and/or other charged groups such as pyruvyl or sulfate. Polypeptide moieties as well as acetyl substituents have also sometimes been found, causing additional structural complexity. All the cyanobacterial RPSs so far tested showed a pseudoplastic behaviour, but with marked differences in both viscosity values and shear thinning. In terms of RPS production, the responses of cyanobacteria t
ISSN : 0168-6445
FEMS microbiology reviews A. 1998, vol. 22, n° 3, pp. 151-175 [bibl. : 129 ref.]
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