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Bacterial alliance to devour plastic pollutants with the absence of oxygen

A recent scientific study results have revealed a Bacteria that are capable of decomposing the plastic materials without the need of oxygen.

This scientific study witnessed the participation of Dr. Wael Al-Maslamani, the Professor of the Environmental Biotechnology at the Arabian Gulf University, and it was recently published in mSystems Journal, which specialized in scientific researches in such field. In order to develop a biological technology by using bacteria to treat plastic pollutants in the water, a team of researchers from Taiwan and Japan had participated in this study, as Dr. Al-Maslamani stated in his speech that “the plastic materials are causing a disruption in the work of the endocrine, as they are carcinogens substances and works as a catalyst that working to grow the cancer cells, in addition to their ability to cause damage to the genetic material DNA. He added “such bacteria have the ability to use plastics as a food source through the process of biodegradation or disintegration. He pointed out that this type of microorganism depends entirely on oxygen as a major catalyst in the biodegradation process.

Accordingly, the study aimed to identify whether the biodegradation process contributes in decomposing the plastic materials in oxygen-free environments, and what are the types of microbes which working in such environment? and, how do these microbes deal with these dangerous substances in terms of biochemical reactions, enzymes and genes responsible for decomposing the plastics?

The study showed that there are bacterial groups that are able to decompose plastics in water-sediments without the need for oxygen, as it confirmed that these bacterial groups are exchanging the genetic codes, which are responsible for decomposing plastics by using them as a source of carbon through anaerobic respiration.

One of the most important results of this scientific study is detecting a cooperation process between different types of bacteria in order to entirely decompose the plastics. 

Dr. Al-Maslamani stated that" we can build on such results and through larger-scale research in environments contaminated with plastics, in preparation for the development of biological technologies that help and assist in treating the environment from such dangerous chemicals, even in the absence of oxygen." 

Visit the following link to read the study: