Alginate precursor in brown algae
Alginate is the main polymer of some groups of algae, such as brown algae, as the name suggests. The recent sequencing of the genome of the brown alga Ectocarpus siliculosus provided the basis for a characterization of the first biosynthesis enzyme for alginate: GDP-mannose dehydrogenase. We managed to obtain highly active recombinant enzyme preparations which allowed us to characterize the previously unknown enzyme. For more details see  Tenhaken et al. (2011) J Biol Chem 286, 16707-16715

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