Butyrivibrio fibrisolvens strain 49 excretes a polysaccharide that contains D-glucose, D-galactose, 4-O-(1-carboxyethyl)-D-galactose, and an acidic component of previously unknown structure. We report here the identity of the unknown as 4-O-(1-carboxyethyl)-L-rhamnose. The structure of this previously unknown compound was deduced from (1) comprehensive electron-impact and chemical-ionization mass-spectroscopic studies of differentially labelled derivatives prepared from the unknown, (2) 13C-n.m.r. and 1H-n.m.r. studies of purified neutral sugars derived from the unknown and (3) chemical degradation experiments.

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