Microbial Exopolysaccharides

  • Avinash Mishra
  • Bhavanath Jha


Microbial polysaccharides are produced in two forms, capsular polysaccharide (CPS) and exopolysaccharide (EPS). EPSs of microbial origin are ubiquitous in nature, have unique properties, and can be isolated from the bacteria in fresh water, marine environment, extreme conditions, and soil ecosystem. Exopolysaccharides are comprised of repeated units of sugar moieties, attached to a carrier lipid, and can be associated with proteins, lipids, organic and inorganic compounds, metal ions, and DNA. Specific functions and precise role of EPSs depend on structural units and ecological niches of the host microorganisms. EPSs produced by bacteria have great potential, and physicochemical characteristics of EPS decide its possible commercial application ranging from pharmaceutical to food-processing, extended to detoxification, bioremediation, paints, biotechnology, and petrochemicals. Exploitation of microbial exopolysaccharides is relatively unexplored and research interest is constantly increasing toward isolation, characterization, and applications of novel exopolysaccharides as renewable resources. Downstream processing and genetic engineering for enhanced biosynthesis of EPS require further emphasis.


Extracellular Polymeric Substance Bacterial Cellulose Nuclear Magnetic Resonance Spectroscopy Extracellular Polysaccharide Xanthomonas Campestris 
These keywords were added by machine and not by the authors. This process is experimental and the keywords may be updated as the learning algorithm improves.



CSIR Network Project (NWP-0018) is thankfully acknowledged for research work conducted in the authors’ laboratory. Authors are also thankful to Prof. Eugene Rosenberg for critically editing the manuscript.


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© Springer-Verlag Berlin Heidelberg 2013

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Discipline of Marine Biotechnology and EcologyCSIR-Central Salt and Marine Chemicals Research Institute (CSIR-CSMCRI)BhavnagarIndia

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