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Isolation of Microbulbifer sp. SOL66 with High Polyhydroxyalkanoate-Degrading Activity from the Marine Environment

Having the advantage of eco-friendly decomposition, bioplastics could be used to replace petroleum-based plastics. In particular, poly(3-hydroxybutyrate) (PHB) is one of the most commercialized bioplastics, however, necessitating the introduction of PHB-degrading bacteria for its effective disposal. In this study, Microbulbifer sp. SOL66 (94.18% 16S rRNA with similarity to Microbulbifer hydrolyticus) demonstrated the highest degradation activity among five newly screened Microbulbifer genus strains. Microbulbifer sp. SOL66 showed a rapid degradation yield, reaching 98% in 4 days, as monitored by laboratory scale, gas chromatography-mass spectrometry, scanning electron microscopy, gel permeation chromatography, and Fourier transform infrared spectroscopy. The PHB film was completely degraded within 7 days at 37 °C in the presence of 3% NaCl. When 1% xylose and 0.4% ammonium sulfate were added, the degradation activity increased by 17% and 24%, respectively. In addition, this strain showed biodegradability on pellets of poly(3-hydroxybutyrate-co-4-hydroxybutyrate), as confirmed by weight loss and physical property changes. We confirmed that Microbulbifer sp. SOL66 has a great ability to degrade PHB, and has rarely been reported to date.

Publication date: 04/12/2021

Author: Sol Lee Park

Reference: doi: 10.3390/polym13234257

MDPI (polymers)


This project has received funding from the European Union’s Horizon 2020 research and innovation programme under grant agreement No 870292.