Purification and molecular weight distribution of a key exopolysaccharide component of Bacillus megaterium TF10

Lingling Wang , Longfei Wang , Qingshan Shi , Hanqing Yu


Received September 07, 2016,Revised November 14, 2016, Accepted , Available online December 18, 2016

Volume 30,2018,Pages 9-15

Extracellular polymeric substances (EPS) are organic metabolic compounds excreted by microorganisms. They largely impact microbial aggregate structures and functions. Extracellular polysaccharides (EP) in EPS are responsible for the formation of microbial aggregates. In this work, we successfully separated and characterized EP from EPS of the bacterium Bacillus megaterium TF10. Extraction of EP from EPS was optimized using Sevag's reagent. Chemical characteristics, functional groups, and molecular weight (MW) distribu-tion of EP were compared with the harvested EPS and soluble microbial products (SMP). We found that the polymers of lower MW and free proteins were successfully removed by Sevag's reagent. The higher MW components of EPS were predominantly polysaccharides, while the polymers of lower MW tended to secrete to the supernatant and were described as SMP. A part of the proteins in the EP was polysaccharide-bonded. Our results can be further used in elucidating the complex flocculation mechanisms in which EP play a major role.

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