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Isolation of a polyethylene degrading Paenibacillus sp. from a landfill in Brazil.

Bardají, Danae Kala Rodríguez; Furlan, João Pedro Rueda; Stehling, Eliana Guedes.
Arch Microbiol; 201(5): 699-704, 2019 Jul.
Inglês | MEDLINE | ID: mdl-30815712
The annual production of plastics has doubled over the past 15 years and, consequently, a large amount of plastic has accumulated in the environment generating ecological problems. In this study, a Paenibacillus sp. isolate was obtained from a landfill from Brazil and it presented the alkane hydroxylase gene (alkB). Weight loss of low-density polyethylene (LDPE) was measured and a significant difference in final weight compared to initial weight was assessed. Some chemical characteristics, such as bond scissions and formation of new functional groups [carboxylic acids (3300-2500 cm-1), esters (1210-1163 cm-1), and ethers (1075-1020 cm-1)], were detected by Fourier-transform infrared spectroscopy. Bacterial colonization on the plastic surface and physical changes, as formation of cracks and pits, was visualized by scanning electron microscopy. This isolate was susceptible to all the antimicrobials tested. Therefore, this isolate possesses great potential to degrade polyethylene and become an option for LDPE bioremediation.