Submitted to: New Orleans Carbohydrate Symposium
Publication Type: Abstract Only
Publication Acceptance Date: April 20, 2008
Publication Date: April 20, 2008
Citation: Cote, G.L., Eggleston, G. 2008. Polysaccharides from sugar - A range of structures [abstract]. New Orleans Carbohydrate Symposium. p. 6. Technical Abstract: It has been known for many years that bacteria, most notably Leuconostoc spp., can convert sugar into a high-molecular weight glucan known as dextran. While problematic in the sugar industry due to its potential for forming biofilms, viscous slimes and for interfering with massecuite boiling and sucrose crystallization, dextran is also an important commercial product. However, it is not widely understood that Leuconostoc spp. can produce not only the classic alpha-(1'6)-linked dextran, but a number of other glucan structures as well. These can range from the highly soluble, low-viscosity alternan to the completely insoluble alpha-(1'3)-linked glucans similar to streptococcal mutan. Copolymers of these structures may also exist. Our understanding of Leuconostoc biofilms can benefit by studying the glucans they produce and by studies analogous to those done on biofilms prevalent in dental caries.