Multistranded helix in xanthan polysaccharide

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Science  19 Aug 1977:
Vol. 197, Issue 4305, pp. 757-759
DOI: 10.1126/science.887918


The extracellular polysaccharide xanthan is shown by electron microscopy to be an unbranched, probably double-stranded fiber 4 nanometers wide and 2 to 10 micrometers long when native. Denaturation yields a single strand only 2 nanometers wide and 0.3 to 1.8 micrometers long. Renatured xanthan shows short unraveled regions with two or three strands arranged in a right-handed twist.

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