Methanobacterium formicicum and Methanosarcina mazeii are two prevalent species isolated from an anaerobic granular consortium grown on a fatty acid mixture. The extracellular polysaccharides (EPS) were extracted from Methanobacterium formicicum and Methanosarcina mazeii and from the methanogenic granules to examine their role in granular development. The EPS made up approximately 20 to 14% of the extracellular polymer extracted from the granules, Methanobacterium formicicum, and Methanosarcina mazeii. The EPS produced by Methanobacterium formicicum was composed mainly of rhamnose, mannose, galactose, glucose, and amino sugars, while that produced by Methanosarcina mazeii contained ribose, galactose, glucose, and glucosamine. The same sugars were also present in the EPS produced by the granules. These results indicate that the two methanogens, especially Methanobacterium formicicum, contributed significantly to the production of the extracellular polymer of the anaerobic granules. Growth temperature, substrates (formate and H(inf2)-CO(inf2)), and the key nutrients (nitrogen and phosphate concentrations) affected polymer production by Methanobacterium formicicum.
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