Production and Characterization of a Novel Exopolysaccharide from Ramlibacter tataouinensis
The current study examines the desiccation-resistant Ramlibacter tataouinensis TTB310 T as a model organism for the production of novel exopolysaccharides and their structural features. This bacterium is able to produce dividing forms of cysts which synthesize cell-bound exopolysaccharide. Initial experiments were conducted on the enrichment of cyst biomass for exopolysaccharide production under batch-fed conditions in a pilot-scale bioreactor, with lactate as the source of carbon and energy. The optimized medium produced significant quantities of exopolysaccharide in a single growth phase, since the production of exopolysaccharide took place during the division of the cysts. The exopolysaccharide layer was extracted from the cysts using a modified trichloroacetic acid method. The biochemical characterization of purified exopolysaccharide was performed by gas chromatography, ultrahigh-resolution mass spectrometry, nuclear magnetic resonance, and Fourier-transform infrared spectrometry. The repeating unit of exopolysaccharide was a decasaccharide consisting of ribose, glucose, rhamnose, galactose, mannose, and glucuronic acid with the ratio 3:2:2:1:1:1, and additional substituents such as acetyl, succinyl, and methyl moieties were also observed as a part of the exopolysaccharide structure. This study contributes to a fundamental understanding of the novel structural features of exopolysaccharide from a dividing form of cysts, and, further, results can be used to study its rheological properties for various industrial applications.