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Cyanobacterial exopolysaccharides

Author(s): Doumit Camilios Neto | Maria Helena Pimenta Pinotti

Journal: Semina : Ciências Exatas e Tecnológicas
ISSN 1676-5451

Volume: 25;
Issue: 1;
Start page: 43;
Date: 2004;
Original page

Keywords: Exopolysaccharide | Cyanobacteria | Extracellular Polysaccharide

Exopolysaccharides (EPS) are characterized as secondary metabolites being produced predominantly during the stationary growth phase of the microorganism. The capacity of cyanobacteria to produce extracellular polysaccharides has been related since the beginning of the 1950s. In stress conditions, a lot of cyanobacteria produce a great amount of EPS, being in that way a metabolic strategy of these microorganisms for growth and development in unfavorable conditions. They have the purpose of protecting them against tensions of extreme habitats and harmful conditions. EPS are compounds whose chemical composition is complex and with peculiar properties. Those biopolimers present inhibition properties against several types of viruses as well as tumors. They also show physical-chemical properties with advantages for industrial use, being utilized in food, textiles, cosmetics and pharmaceutical industries. The full biotechnological use of EPS produced by cyanobacteria is expected soon. This research field is wide, prosperous and of great scientific and lucrative potential.
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