Chemical mutagenesis ofHalomonas eurihalinaand selection of exopolysaccharide-deficient variants

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The halophilic bacteria Halomonas eurihalina produces an exopolysaccharide (EPS) of potential interest for biotechnological applications. To study the characteristics of this bacteria and others like it, we have developed an efficient chemical mutation technique using hydroxylamine and, in this way, have obtained non-mucoid mutants of its F2–7 strain. We have characterised the phenotypes of the mutants via nutritional, biochemical and physiological tests and by their susceptibility to antimicrobial agents and heavy metals. These mutants will be used as recipient tools in further studies to discover the genetic determinants for the synthesis of EPS.

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