Microbial mats in French Polynesia and their biotechnological applications
It is well known that microorganisms well-adapted to survival in extreme ecosystems could be considered as new sources of biomolecules that have biotechnological importance. On French Polynesian atolls, microbial mats are developing in water ponds exposed to fluctuations in physical and chemical parameters. In these microbial mats, which are called “kopara” by the inhabitants, bacteria coexist with cyanobacteria, and a synergistic relationship may exist between these two types of living microorganisms. A large number of cyanobacteria and bacteria have been isolated from different mats. Under laboratory conditions, these microorganisms were shown to produce various exopolymers, including exopolysaccharides and poly-β-hydroxyalkanoates, along with pigments for further commercial developments. This manuscript gives an overview of substances isolated and characterized from these bacteria and cyanobacteria and discusses their potential applications in biotechnology.
Research highlights▶ “Kopara” sampling. ▶ New microorganisms isolation. ▶ EPS- and PHA-production screening. ▶ Lab-scale production. ▶ Biological activities and chemical properties screening. ▶ Research & Development studies.
Journal: Process Biochemistry - Volume 46, Issue 1, January 2011, Pages 16–22