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Molecular weight and viscosifying power of alginates produced by mutant strains of Azotobacter vinelandii under microaerophilic conditions


Alginates are polysaccharides that are of interest in various industrial applications. This is due to the viscosifying properties of alginates, which depends on the weight-average molecular weight. The aim of the present study was to evaluate the changes in alginate quality, in terms of the viscosifying power and weight-average molecular weight of the polymer produced by Azotobacter vinelandii mutant strains in shake flasks under microaerophilic conditions. In cultures developed at oxygen transfer rate (OTR) values close to 5 mmol L−1 h−1, the highest viscosifying power (1.75 L g−1) and weight-average molecular weight (3112 ± 150 kDa) were achieved in cultures performed with the AT9 strain. These values were higher than those obtained for the alginates produced by the parental strain ATCC 9046 grown under similar OTR conditions. In contrast, the alginate produced by the GG9 and OPAlgU + exhibited a very low weight-average molecular weight and therefore a poor viscosifying power. Our results have shown that by the cultivation of AT9 strain under microaerophilic conditions it is possible to obtain a polymer having a high weight-average molecular weight and excellent viscosifying capacity. Therefore, it could be a viable strategy for producing alginates for industrial applications.


Authors: García, Andres; Castillo, Tania; Ramos, Diego; Ahumada-Manuel, Carlos L.; Núñez, Cinthia; Galindo, Enrique; Büchs, Jochen; Peña, Carlos

Journal: Biotechnology Reports Volume 26, June 2020, e00436


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