• Environment

    Plastic Degrading Bacterium Identified

    A team of Japanese researchers led by Shosuke Yoshida (Department of Applied Biology, Kyoto Institute of Technology, Kyoto) has identified a bacterium species Ideonella sakaiensis 201-F6 that can break down the plastic called polyethylene terephthalate or PET. PET is considered highly biodegradation resistant and till now only two fungi could be identified that can degrade it. This is the first report in which a bacteria able to breakdown PET could be identified. The bacteria were screened by using 250 contaminated samples obtained from PET bottle recycling site. The microorganisms that could utilize PET as carbon source for growth were selected. In the first stage of research a microbial consortium capable…