Extracellular polysaccharide composition of Azospirillum brasilense and its relation with cell aggregation

S. Burdman, E. Jurkevitch, María E. Soria-Díaz, Antonio M.Gil Serrano, Y. Okon*

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

88 Scopus citations


The exopolysaccharide (EPS) and capsular polysaccharide (CPS) composition of four Azospirillum brasilense strains differing in their aggregation capacity was analyzed by high performance anion exchange chromatography. When growing the different strains in an aggregation inducing medium containing a high carbon:nitrogen (C:N) ratio, both EPS and CPS showed a positive correlation between aggregation and the relative amount of arabinose. Arabinose was not detected in polysaccharides from Sp72002, a pleiotrophic Tn5 mutant strain impaired in aggregation. Arabinose was also not detected in extracellular polysaccharides of bacteria grown in a low C:N ratio, non-inducing aggregation medium, with exception for a relatively small amount found in the CPS of FAJ0204, a super-aggregating mutant strain. The only monosaccharides able to significantly inhibit aggregation at low sugar concentration when tested in a bioassay were arabinose (at a higher extent) and galactose. The possibility that residues of arabinose present in the extracellular polysaccharides are involved in the aggregation of A. brasilense is discussed. (C) 2000 Federation of European Microbiological Societies.

Original languageAmerican English
Pages (from-to)259-264
Number of pages6
JournalFEMS Microbiology Letters
Issue number2
StatePublished - 15 Aug 2000

Bibliographical note

Funding Information:
We thank J. Vanderleyden (Catholic University of Leuven, Belgium) and C. Elmerich (Institute Pasteur, Paris, France) for supplying strains for this research, and M. Megias (University of Sevilla, Spain) for helpful discussions. This work was supported by a grant from ‘The Israel Science Foundation’ founded by ‘The Academy of Sciences and Humanities’.


  • Azospirillum brasilense
  • Capsular polysaccharide
  • Cell aggregation
  • Exopolysaccharide
  • Flocculation


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