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ARS Home » Midwest Area » Peoria, Illinois » National Center for Agricultural Utilization Research » Renewable Product Technology Research » Research » Publications at this Location » Publication #218591

Title: Glucans, biofilms, and sugar: A biochemical and practical perspective

item Cote, Gregory
item Leathers, Timothy
item Eggleston, Gillian

Submitted to: American Chemical Society National Meeting
Publication Type: Abstract Only
Publication Acceptance Date: 4/10/2008
Publication Date: 4/10/2008
Citation: Cote, G.L., Leathers, T.D., Eggleston, G. 2008. Glucans, biofilms, and sugar: A biochemical and practical perspective [abstract]. American Chemical Society National Meeting. CARB 97.

Interpretive Summary:

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 a(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 a(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. Current research results on Leuconostoc biofilms and on polysaccharides from hard-to-boil massecuite samples will be presented as examples.