Soil inoculation with cyanobacteria (cyanobacterization) is a biotechnological method widely studied to improve soil quality and productivity. During their growth on soil, cyanobacteria excrete exopolysaccharides (EPSs) which glue trichomes to soil particles, in a three-dimensional extracellular polymeric matrix. EPS productivity is an important screening parameter to select proficient inoculants and is affected by growth conditions and abiotic stresses. In this study, we evaluated the capability of the cyanobacterium Schizothrix cf. delicatissima AMPL0116 to form biocrusts when inoculated in sand microcosms under stressing conditions, and the characteristics of the synthesized polymeric matrix. In parallel, we evaluated the characteristics of exopolysaccharidic exudates of the strain when grown in liquid culture, under optimal growth setting. Our results pointed out at significant differences of the exopolymers produced in the two conditions in terms of monosaccharidic composition and molecular weight distribution, and proved the capability of S. cf. delicatissima AMPL0116 to form stable bioaggregates on sandy soils.
- Extracellular polymeric matrix
- Microcosm inoculation