Marine pseudomonads, such as Pseudomonas atlantica, are readily isolated from sediments. These organisms form extracellular polysaccharide polymers (glycocalyx). The factors affecting the composition and amount of glycocalyx in batch culture of these organisms were examined. The formation of glycocalyx was stimulated by the inclusion of galactose as the carbon source and by increased surface area resulting from addition of sand to the medium. The composition of the glycocalyx changed during the growth cycle, with a marked increase in the proportions and absolute amounts of uronic acids as the rate of synthesis increased. In estuarine sediments, the glycocalyx contained a carbon content at least as great as in the microbes themselves. The greatest accumulation of these polymers occurred late in the stationary phase when the physiological status of the cells, as measured by the adenylate energy charge, showed maximal stress. Maximal formation of glycocalyx possibly could be used as an estimate of the nutritional status of these microbes
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