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Carbon Source Requirements for Exopolysaccharide Production by Lactobacillus casei CG11 and Partial Structure Analysis of the Polymer

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Abstract

Exopolysaccharide production by Lactobacillus casei CG11 was studied in basal minimum medium containing various carbon sources (galactose, glucose, lactose, sucrose, maltose, melibiose) at concentrations of 2, 5, 10, and 20 g/liter. L. casei CG11 produced exopolysaccharides in basal minimum medium containing each of the sugars tested; lactose and galactose were the poorest carbon sources, and glucose was by far the most efficient carbon source. Sugar concentrations had a marked effect on polymer yield. Plasmid-cured Muc- derivatives grew better in the presence of glucose and attained slightly higher populations than the wild-type strain. The values obtained with lactose were considerably lower for both growth and exopolysaccharide yield. The level of specific polymer production per cell obtained with glucose was distinctively lower for Muc- derivatives than for the Muc+ strain. The polymer produced by L. casei CG11 in the presence of glucose was different from that formed in the presence of lactose. The polysaccharide produced by L. casei CG11 in basal minimum medium containing 20 g of glucose per liter had an intrinsic viscosity of 1.13 dl/g. It was rich in glucose (76%), which was present mostly as 2- or 3-linked residues along with some 2,3 doubly substituted glucose units, and in rhamnose (21%), which was present as 2-linked or terminal rhamnose; traces of mannose and galactose were also present.

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