FARIÑA Julia Ines
Microbial production of scleroglucan and downstream processing
CASTILLO, NATALIA A.; VALDEZ, ALEJANDRA L.; FARIÑA, JULIA I.
Frontiers in Microbiology
Frontiers Research Foundation
Lugar: Laussane; Año: 2015 vol. 6
Synthetic petroleum-based polymers and natural plant polymers have the disadvantage of restricted sources, in addition to the non-biodegradability of the former ones. In contrast, eco-sustainable microbial polysaccharides, of low-cost and standardized production, represent an alternative to address this situation. With a strong global market, they attracted worldwide attention because of their novel and unique physico-chemical properties as well as varied industrial applications, and many of them are promptly becoming economically competitive. Scleroglucan, a ß-1,3-ß-1,6-glucan secreted by Sclerotium fungi, exhibits high potential for commercialization and may show different branching frequency, side-chain length, and/or molecular weight depending on the producing strain or culture conditions. Water-solubility, viscosifying ability and wide stability over temperature, pH and salinity make scleroglucan useful for different biotechnological (enhanced oil recovery, food additives, drug delivery, cosmetic and pharmaceutical products, biocompatible materials, etc.), and biomedical (immunoceutical, antitumor, etc.) applications. It can be copiously produced at bioreactor scale under standardized conditions, where a high exopolysaccharide concentration normally governs the process optimization. Operative and nutritional conditions, as well as the incidence of scleroglucan downstream processing will be discussed in this chapter. The relevance of using standardized inocula from selected strains and experiences concerning the intricate scleroglucan scaling-up will be also herein outlined.