Main content area

Extremophilic exopolysaccharides: A review and new perspectives on engineering strategies and applications

Wang, Jia, Salem, David R., Sani, Rajesh K.
Carbohydrate polymers 2019 v.205 pp. 8-26
biocompatible materials, biopolymers, engineering, exopolysaccharides, extremophiles, food industry, genetic engineering, industrialization, medicine, microorganisms, niches
Numerous microorganisms inhabiting harsh niches produce exopolysaccharides as a significant strategy to survive in extreme conditions. The exopolysaccharides synthesized by extremophiles possess distinctive characteristics due to the varied harsh environments which stimulate the microorganisms to produce these biopolymers. Despite many bioprocesses have been designed to yield exopolysaccharides, the production of exopolysaccharides by extremophiles is inefficient compared with mesophilic and neutrophilic exopolysaccharide producers. Meanwhile, the industrial development of novel extremophilic exopolysaccharides remains constrained due to the lack of exploration. In this review, we summarize the structure and properties of various exopolysaccharides produced by extremophiles, and also discuss potential metabolic and genetic engineering strategies for enhanced yield and modified structure of extremophilic exopolysaccharides. Special focus is given to the applications of extremophilic exopolysaccharides in the areas of biomedicine, food industry, and biomaterials via nano-techniques, casting and electrospinning.