Diverse exopolysaccharide producing bacteria isolated from milled sugarcane : implications for cane spoilage and sucrose yield

Hector, Stanton ; Willard, Kyle ; Bauer, Rolene ; Mulako, Inonge ; Slabbert, Etienne ; Kossmann, Jens ; George, Gavin M. (2015)

CITATION: Hector, S., et al. 2015. Diverse exopolysaccharide producing bacteria isolated from milled sugarcane : implications for cane spoilage and sucrose yield. PLoS ONE, 10(12):1-10, doi:10.1371/journal.pone.0145487.

The original publication is available at http://journals.plos.org/plosone

Article

Bacterial deterioration of sugarcane during harvesting and processing is correlated with significant loss of sucrose yield and the accumulation of bacterial polysaccharides. Dextran, a homoglucan produced by Leuconostoc mesenteroides, has been cited as the primary polysaccharide associated with sugarcane deterioration. A culture-based approach was used to isolate extracellular polysaccharide (EPS) producing bacterial strains from milled sugarcane stalks. Ribosomal RNA sequencing analysis grouped 25 isolates into 4 genera. This study identified 2 bacterial genera not previously associated with EPS production or sucrose degradation. All isolates produced polysaccharide when grown in the presence of sucrose. Monosaccharide analysis of purified polymers by Gas Chromatography revealed 17 EPSs consisting solely of glucose (homoglucans), while the remainder contained traces of mannose or fructose. Dextranase treatment of polysaccharides yielded full digestion profiles for only 11 extracts. Incomplete hydrolysis profiles of the remaining polysaccharides suggest the release of longer oligosaccharides which may interfere with sucrose crystal formation.

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