Characterization and anti-biofilm activity of extracellular polymeric substances produced by the marine biofilm-forming bacterium <i>Pseudoalteromonas ulvae</i> strain TC14

<p>This study investigated soluble (Sol-EPS), loosely bound (LB-EPS), and tightly bound extracellular polymeric substances (TB-EPS) harvested from biofilm and planktonic cultures of the marine bacterium <i>Pseudoalteromonas ulvae</i> TC14. The aim of the characterization (colorimetric methods, FTIR, GC-MS, NMR, HPGPC, and AFM analyses) was to identify new anti-biofilm compounds; activity was assessed using the BioFilm Ring Test®. A step-wise separation of EPS was designed, based on differences in water-solubility and acidity. An acidic fraction was isolated from TB-EPS, which strongly inhibited biofilm formation by marine bacterial strains in a concentration-dependent manner. The main constituents of this fraction were characterized as two glucan-like polysaccharides. An active poly(glutamyl-glutamate) fraction was also recovered from TB-EPS. The distribution of these key EPS components in Sol-EPS, LB-EPS, and TB-EPS was distinct and differed quantitatively in biofilm <i>vs</i> planktonic cultures. The anti-biofilm potential of the fractions emphasizes the putative antifouling role of EPS in the environment.</p>