Marine Biotechnology

, Volume 7, Issue 3, pp 184–192 | Cite as

Extracellular Polysaccharide Production by Thraustochytrid Protists

  • Ruchi Jain
  • Seshagiri RaghukumarEmail author
  • R. Tharanathan
  • N.B. Bhosle


Four strains of marine stramenopilan protists, the thraustochytrids, were studied for their ability to produce extracellular polysaccharides (EPSs). Observations by light and scanning electron microscopy revealed the production of a matrix of EPS around groups of cells in stationary cultures. EPS in shake culture filtrates ranged from 0.3 to 1.1 g/L. EPS production, which was studied in greater detail in 2 isolates, SC-1 and CW1, increased with age of cultures, reaching a peak in the stationary phase. Anion exchange chromatography yielded a single fraction of the EPS of both species. The EPS contained 39% to 53% sugars, besides proteins, lipids, uronic acids, and sulfates. Molecular weight of the EPS produced by SC-1 was approximately 94 kDa, and that of CW1, 320 kDa. Glucose formed the major component in the EPS of both isolates—galactose, mannose, and arabinose being the other components. Cultures of both isolates survived air-drying up to a period of 96 hours, suggesting a role for EPS in preventing desiccation of cells.


exopolysaccharides thraustochytrids marine protist. 



One of us (R.J.) is grateful to the director, National Institute of Oceanography, support and encouragement. Laboratory facilities extended by the director, Central Food Technological Research Institute, are thankfully acknowledged. The cultures Mar3 and SR were kindly provided by Dr Lucia Bongiorni. This is NIO’s contribution 3888.


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Copyright information

© Springer Science+Business Media, Inc. 2005

Authors and Affiliations

  • Ruchi Jain
    • 1
  • Seshagiri Raghukumar
    • 1
    Email author
  • R. Tharanathan
    • 2
  • N.B. Bhosle
    • 1
  1. 1.National Institute of OceanographyDona PaulaIndia
  2. 2.Central Food Technological Research InstituteIndia

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