A study of strains from the genera Salmonella, Escherichia, and Aerobacter has shown that under appropriate conditions many strains produce an exopolysaccharide slime of identical composition, which has been identified as colanic acid on the basis of its chemical composition and its sensitivity to certain bacteriophage-induced depolymerase enzymes. Chemical analysis shows that the polysaccharide contains O-acetyl groups in addition to the sugars glucose, galactose, fucose, and glucuronic acid. Mild acid hydrolysis has led to the isolation of a β-glucosylfucose in addition to glucuronic acid containing oligosaccharides. Many strains were found to synthesize colanic acid under normal conditions of growth or under conditions favoring polysaccharide synthesis, whereas others only synthesized colanic acid when the control mechanism was derepressed by p-fluorophenylalanine
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