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Distinct microbial communities degrade cellulose diacetate bioplastics in the coastal ocean

Authors
  • Sun, Yanchen
  • Mazzotta, Michael G.
  • Miller, Carolyn A.
  • Apprill, Amy
  • Izallalen, Mounir
  • Mazumder, Sharmistha
  • Perri, Steven T.
  • Edwards, Brian
  • Reddy, Christopher M.
  • Ward, Collin P.
Type
Published Article
Journal
Applied and Environmental Microbiology
Publisher
American Society for Microbiology
Publication Date
Dec 06, 2023
Volume
89
Issue
12
Identifiers
DOI: 10.1128/aem.01651-23
Source
ASM Journals
Keywords
License
Green

Abstract

Cellulose diacetate (CDA) is a promising alternative to conventional plastics due to its versatility in manufacturing and low environmental persistence. Previously, our group demonstrated that CDA is susceptible to biodegradation in the ocean on timescales of months. In this study, we report the composition of microorganisms driving CDA degradation in the coastal ocean. We found that the coastal ocean harbors distinct bacterial taxa implicated in CDA degradation and these taxa have not been previously identified in prior CDA degradation studies, indicating an unexplored diversity of CDA-degrading bacteria in the ocean. Moreover, the shape of the plastic article (e.g., a fabric, film, or foam) and plasticizer in the plastic matrix selected for different microbial communities. Our findings pave the way for future studies to identify the specific species and enzymes that drive CDA degradation in the marine environment, ultimately yielding a more predictive understanding of CDA biodegradation across space and time.

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