[From Latin mucillago “moldy juice,” from Latin mucus).
The mucilage obtained from cactus
(especially from Opuntiasp.) is commonly described as a
polysaccharide. The ability
of Cactaceae to retain water
under prolonged drought in
unfavourable climatic conditions in
arid and hot drylands is due
in part, at least, to the water-binding capacity of mucilage.
Mucilage is another term for so called exopolysaccharides
(sugar substances produced by
unicellular or filamentous green algae and cyanobacteria)
Exopolysaccharides are the most stabilising factor for microaggregates
and are widely distributed in soils.
Therefore exoplysaccharide-producing "soil algae" play a vital role in
the ecology of the world's soils.
composed or pertaining to mucilage; moist, sticky and slimy.
Characterized by a gummy or gelatinous consistency.