A vast range of extracellular polysaccharides are produced by bacteria in order to adapt to and thrive in diverse environmental niches. Many of these polymers have attracted great attention due to their implication in biofilm formation, capsule formation, virulence, or for their potential medical and industrial uses. One important exopolysaccharide, alginate, is produced by various Pseudomonas spp. and Azotobacter vinelandii. Alginate is of particular interest due to its role in the pathogenesis of Pseudomonas aeruginosa lung infection in cystic fibrosis patients. Here, we will discuss the genetic organization and distribution of the genes involved in the biosynthesis of this significant polymer. The complex regulatory networks involved in the production of bacterial alginate will be reviewed, including transcriptional, posttranscriptional and posttranslational forms of regulation.