Author(s): Kaplan N, Rosenberg E
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Abstract The heavily encapsulated Acinetobacter calcoaceticus BD4 and the "miniencapsulated" single-step mutant A. calcoaceticus BD413 produced extracellular polysaccharides in addition to the capsular material. The molar ratio of rhamnose to glucose (3:1) in the extracellular BD413 polysaccharide fraction was similar to the composition of the capsular material. In both strains, the increase in capsular polysaccharide was parallel to cell growth and remained constant in stationary phase. The extracellular polysaccharides were detected starting from mid-logarithmic phase and continued to accumulate in the growth medium for 5 to 8 h after the onset of stationary phase. Strain BD413 produced one-fourth the total rhamnose exopolysaccharide per cell that strain BD4 did. Depending on the growth medium, 32 to 63\% of the rhamnose polysaccharide produced by strain BD413 was extracellular, whereas in strain BD4 only 7 to 14\% was extracellular. In all cases, strain BD413 produced more extracellular rhamnose polysaccharide than strain BD4 did. In glucose medium, strain BD413 also produced approximately 10 times more extracellular emulsifying activity than strain BD4 did. The isolated capsular polysaccharide obtained after shearing of BD4 cells showed no emulsifying activity. Thus, strain BD413 either produces a modified extracellular polysaccharide or excretes an additional substance(s) that is responsible for the emulsifying activity. Emulsions induced by the ammonium sulfate-precipitated BD413 extracellular emulsifier require the presence of magnesium ion and a mixture of an aliphatic and an aromatic hydrocarbon.
This article was published in Appl Environ Microbiol
and referenced in Journal of Petroleum & Environmental Biotechnology