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Comparative genomics of marine bacteria from a historically defined plastic biodegradation consortium with the capacity to biodegrade polyhydroxyalkanoates
de Vogel, F.A.; Schlundt, C.; Stote, R.E.; Ratto, J.A.; Amaral-Zettler, L.A. (2021). Comparative genomics of marine bacteria from a historically defined plastic biodegradation consortium with the capacity to biodegrade polyhydroxyalkanoates. Microorganisms 9: 186. https://dx.doi.org/10.3390/microorganisms9010186
In: Microorganisms. MDPI: Basel. ISSN 2076-2607, meer
Peer reviewed article  

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Author keywords
    biodegradation standard test methods; plastic biodegradation; polyhydroxyalkanoate (PHA) cycle; PHA depolymerases; comparative genomics; plastisphere

Auteurs  Top 
  • de Vogel, F.A.
  • Schlundt, C.
  • Stote, R.E.
  • Ratto, J.A.
  • Amaral-Zettler, L.A., meer

Abstract

    Biodegradable and compostable plastics are getting more attention as the environmental impacts of fossil-fuel-based plastics are revealed. Microbes can consume these plastics and biodegrade them within weeks to months under the proper conditions. The biobased polyhydroxyalkanoate (PHA) polymer family is an attractive alternative due to its physicochemical properties and biodegradability in soil, aquatic, and composting environments. Standard test methods are available for biodegradation that employ either natural inocula or defined communities, the latter being preferred for standardization and comparability. The original marine biodegradation standard test method ASTM D6691 employed such a defined consortium for testing PHA biodegradation. However, the taxonomic composition and metabolic potential of this consortium have never been confirmed using DNA sequencing technologies. To this end, we revived available members of this consortium and determined their phylogenetic placement, genomic sequence content, and metabolic potential. The revived members belonged to the Bacillaceae, Rhodobacteraceae, and Vibrionaceae families. Using a comparative genomics approach, we found all the necessary enzymes for both PHA production and utilization in most of the members. In a clearing-zone assay, three isolates also showed extracellular depolymerase activity. However, we did not find classical PHA depolymerases, but identified two potentially new extracellular depolymerases that resemble triacylglycerol lipases.


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