Submitted to: Applied and Environmental Microbiology
Publication Type: Peer Reviewed Journal
Publication Acceptance Date: June 16, 1998
Publication Date: N/A
Interpretive Summary: To remain competitive in the world marketplace and establish new value-added businesses, it is essential that research efforts be focused on the efficient conversion of surplus American agricultural commodities such as sugar into higher-value commercial products. Alternan is a natural gum made from sugar with potential as a higher-value commercial product. Currently, the production of alternan is not economically competitive due to low-yielding microorganisms that synthesize the gum. Development of a more cost efficient alternan production process is essential to initiate an alternan industry. In this study we have developed a method to rapidly identify gum-producing bacteria. This differentiation technique may serve as an aid to identify more efficient alternan producing bacteria and also provides a basis for the genetic identification of proprietary gum-producing (alternan and dextran) strains developed by the USDA or by industry.
Technical Abstract: Seven dextran-producing Leuconostoc strains were differentiated by random amplification of polymorphic DNA (RAPD) using primers that were based on conserved sequences from dextransucrase genes. RAPD profiles showed intraspecies differences among the L. mesenteroides strains tested. This RAPD protocol will aid in the differentiation and identification of polymer-producing leuconostocs which are currently distinguished by time-consuming structural analyses of the dextrans they synthesize.