Exopolysaccharides produced by many microorganisms confer adhesive and protective qualities to extracellular secretions by forming a hydrated architectural matrix.

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"Microalgae and bacteria living in aquatic ecosystems commonly secrete extracellular polymeric substancesA large proportion (40–95%) of this polymeric material is exopolysaccharide (EPS), but it may also include proteins, nucleic acids, and lipids [5]EPS plays an important role in cellular attachment and adhesion to surfaces, increasing survival compared with growth in an unattached state [7,8]. It forms a highly hydrated matrix [9], which provides a layer of protection to cells against toxic compounds [10,11] or against digestion by other organisms [12]. EPS may also prevent cellular desiccation [13–15] or damaging ice-crystal formation [16]. Thus, EPS forms the architectural network of biofilms and aggregates, protecting cells and facilitating intercellular interactions [1,17]The culture CS 566=01, identified as the alga Microcystis aeruginosa f. flos-aquae (Wittrock) Kirchner 1898, had the highest viscosity in the survey." (Nichols et al. 2009:98-99)

Journal article
Screening Microalgal Cultures in Search of Microbial Exopolysaccharides with Potential as AdhesivesThe Journal of AdhesionApril 28, 2009
Carol A. Mancuso Nichols, Kate M. Nairn, Veronica Glattauer, Susan I. Blackburn, John A. M. Ramshaw, Lloyd D. Graham

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