Bacterial alginate production: an overview of its biosynthesis and potential industrial production

  • Viviana Urtuvia
  • Nataly Maturana
  • Fernando Acevedo
  • Carlos Peña
  • Alvaro Díaz-Barrera


Alginate is a linear polysaccharide that can be used for different applications in the food and pharmaceutical industries. These polysaccharides have a chemical structure composed of subunits of (1–4)-β-d-mannuronic acid (M) and its C-5 epimer α-l-guluronic acid (G). The monomer composition and molecular weight of alginates are known to have effects on their properties. Currently, these polysaccharides are commercially extracted from seaweed but can also be produced by Azotobacter vinelandii and Pseudomonas spp. as an extracellular polymer. One strategy to produce alginates with different molecular weights and with reproducible physicochemical characteristics is through the manipulation of the culture conditions during fermentation. This mini-review provides a comparative analysis of the metabolic pathways and molecular mechanisms involved in alginate polymerization from A. vinelandii and Pseudomonas spp. Different fermentation strategies used to produce alginates at a bioreactor laboratory scale are described.


Alginate Azotobacter vinelandii Pseudomonas spp. 



We acknowledge the financial support from CONICYT-Chile (Project PCCI40039 and FONDECYT 1170896).


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© Springer Science+Business Media B.V. 2017

Authors and Affiliations

  • Viviana Urtuvia
    • 1
  • Nataly Maturana
    • 1
  • Fernando Acevedo
    • 1
  • Carlos Peña
    • 2
  • Alvaro Díaz-Barrera
    • 1
  1. 1.Escuela de Ingeniería BioquímicaPontificia Universidad Católica de ValparaísoValparaísoChile
  2. 2.Departamento de Ingeniería Celular y Biocatálisis, Instituto de BiotecnologíaUniversidad Nacional Autónoma de MéxicoCuernavacaMexico

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