Rhizosphere of Avicennia marina (Forsk.) Vierh. as a landmark for polythene degrading bacteria

Mohd Shahnawaz, Manisha K Sangale, Avinash B Ade
Environmental Science and Pollution Research International 2016, 23 (14): 14621-35
Due to high durability, cheap cost, and ease of manufacture, 311 million tons of plastic-based products are manufactured around the globe per annum. The slow/least rate of plastic degradation leads to generation of million tons of plastic waste per annum, which is of great environmental concern. Of the total plastic waste generated, polythene shared about 64 %. Various methods are available in the literature to tackle with the plastic waste, and biodegradation is considered as the most accepted, eco-friendly, and cost-effective method of polythene waste disposal. In the present study, an attempt has been made to isolate, screen, and characterize the most efficient polythene degrading bacteria by using rhizosphere soil of Avicennia marina as a landmark. From 12 localities along the west coast of India, a total of 123 bacterial isolates were recorded. Maximum percent weight loss (% WL; 21.87 ± 6.37 %) was recorded with VASB14 at pH 3.5 after 2 months of shaking at room temperature. Maximum percent weight gain (13.87 ± 3.6 %) was reported with MANGB5 at pH 7. Maximum percent loss in tensile strength (% loss in TS; 87.50 ± 4.8 %) was documented with VASB1 at pH 9.5. The results based on the % loss in TS were only reproducible. Further, the level of degradation was confirmed by scanning electron microscopic (SEM) and Fourier transform infrared spectroscopy (FTIR) analysis. In SEM analysis, scions/crakes were found on the surface of the degraded polythene, and mass of bacterial cell was also recorded on the weight-gained polythene strips. Maximum reduction in carbonyl index (4.14 %) was recorded in untreated polythene strip with Lysinibacillus fusiformis strain VASB14/WL. Based on 16S ribosomal RNA (rRNA) gene sequence homology, the most efficient polythene degrading bacteria were identified as L. fusiformis strainVASB14/WL and Bacillus cereus strain VASB1/TS.

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