Polysaccharide B-1459: A new hydrocolloid polyelectrolyte produced from glucose by bacterial fermentation


  • Presented before the Division of Carbohydrate Chemistry at the 136th National Meeting of the American Chemical Society, Atlantic City, September 1959.

  • The Northern Laboratory is a part of the Northern Utilization Research and Development Division, Agricultural Research Service, U. S. Department of Agriculture.


The exocellular polysaccharide fermented from glucose in good yield by Xanthomonas campestrìs NRRL B-1459, has been characterized. The general aspects of chemical constitution have been established, as well as the physical properties related to practical applicability. This macromolecular polysaccharide is composed of D-mannose, D-glucose, D-glucuronic acid (as the potassium salt), and a small proportion of acetyl groups. It can be produced on an industrial scale and is stable is storage. Analytical fractionation indicates fairly sharp molecular distribution for the native polysaccharide. The polysaccharide forms homogeneous dispersions in water which show plastic rheological properties and viscosity comparable with that of high-grade plant gums. Outstanding characteristics of practical significance are the atypical insensitivity of solution viscosity to salt effects and to heat, especially when salt is present. Solutions of low concentration show a restricted viscosity decrease upon salt addition; those of higher concentrations show substantial increases. Viscosity is enhanced still further by monovalent cations at basic pH and by divalent cations at neutral or slightly basic pH. Salt moderates or eliminates any viscosity decrease due to heat and, in somewhat higher concentrations, it increases the viscosity of heated solutions. Heating or deacetylating Polysaccharide B-1459 causes no impairment of its properties, but actual improvement. The constitutional basis for these unusual properties is discussed.