Sep 21, 1976

Conformation of the extracellular polysaccharide of Xanthomonas campestris

G Holzwarth


The solution conformation of the extracellular polysaccharide of the bacterium Xanthomonas campestris is examined by optical rotation, viscometry, and potentiometric titration. Measurements of optical rotation vs. temperature for solutions of the polysaccharide at low ionic strength reveal a sharp transition to a denatured structure which is reversible if sufficient salt is present. The temperature Tm at the transition midpoint increases as log (Na+) or log (Ca2+). Viscosity-temperature profiles substantiate a structural change of the polysaccharide at Tm. The intrinsic viscosity of the native molecule at zero shear rate exceeds 5000 ml/g. This high figure is indicative of a stiff chain. The viscosity of the native molecule is relatively insensitive to salt, whereas the denatured molecule collapses if salt is present. Hydrogen-ion titration shows that the pKapp of the COO- groups of the polymer decreases from 3.2 in 0.01 M NaC1 to 2.6 in 0.2 M NaC1. All these data suggest that the native polysaccharide possesses ordered secondary structure stabilized by nonionic interactions outweighing the repulsion between adjacent COO- groups.

Mentioned in this Paper

Hydrogen-Ion Concentration
Xanthomonas albilineans
Polysaccharides, Bacterial

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