However, factors contributing to this ecological success are not well elucidated mainly due to difficulties
in bacterial isolation. Acidobacteria may be able to survive for long periods in soil due to protection
provided by secreted extracellular polymeric substances that include exopolysaccharides (EPSs).
Here we present the first study to characterize EPSs derived from two strains of Acidobacteria from
subdivision 1 belonging to Granulicella sp. EPS are unique heteropolysaccharides containing mannose,
glucose, galactose and xylose as major components, and are modified with carboxyl and methoxyl
functional groups that we characterized by Fourier transform infrared (FTIR) spectroscopy. Both
EPS compounds we identified can efficiently emulsify various oils (sunflower seed, diesel, and liquid
paraffin) and hydrocarbons (toluene and hexane). Moreover, the emulsions are more thermostable over
time than those of commercialized xanthan. Acidobacterial EPS can now be explored as a source of
biopolymers that may be attractive and valuable for industrial applications due to their natural origin,
sustainability, biodegradability and low toxicity.