Degradation and metabolism of synthetic plastics and associated products by Pseudomonas sp.: capabilities and challenges.

J Appl Microbiol 2017 Sep 31;123(3):582-593. Epub 2017 May 31.

Department of Biological and Environmental Engineering, College of Agriculture and Life Sciences, Cornell University, Ithaca, NY, USA.

Synthetic plastics, which are widely present in materials of everyday use, are ubiquitous and slowly-degrading polymers in environmental wastes. Of special interest are the capabilities of microorganisms to accelerate their degradation. Members of the metabolically diverse genus Pseudomonas are of particular interest due to their capabilities to degrade and metabolize synthetic plastics. Pseudomonas species isolated from environmental matrices have been identified to degrade polyethylene, polypropylene, polyvinyl chloride, polystyrene, polyurethane, polyethylene terephthalate, polyethylene succinate, polyethylene glycol and polyvinyl alcohol at varying degrees of efficiency. Here, we present a review of the current knowledge on the factors that control the ability of Pseudomonas sp. to process these different plastic polymers and their by-products. These factors include cell surface attachment within biofilms, catalytic enzymes involved in oxidation or hydrolysis of the plastic polymer, metabolic pathways responsible for uptake and assimilation of plastic fragments and chemical factors that are advantageous or inhibitory to the biodegradation process. We also highlight future research directions required in order to harness fully the capabilities of Pseudomonas sp. in bioremediation strategies towards eliminating plastic wastes.

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http://dx.doi.org/10.1111/jam.13472DOI Listing
September 2017
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References

(Supplied by CrossRef)
Degradation of unpretreated and thermally pretreated polypropylene by soil consortia. Int. Biodeterior
Arkatkar et al.
Biodegrad 2009
High-density polyethylene (HDPE)-degrading potential bacteria from marine ecosystem of Gulf of Mannar, India
Balasubramanian et al.
Lett Appl Microbiol 2010

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