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Keywords:

  • biofilm;
  • bioremediation;
  • cell surface hydrophobicity;
  • polyethylene succinate;
  • Pseudomonas

Abstract

Aim

Polyethylene succinate (PES) contains hydrolysable ester bonds that make it a potential substitute for polyethylene (PE) and polypropylene (PP). Towards bioremediation of PES, we have already reported that a new strain of Pseudomonas, Pseudomonas sp. AKS2, can efficiently degrade PES and hypothesized that cell surface hydrophobicity plays an important role in this degradation process. In this study, our efforts were targeted towards establishing a correlation between cell surface hydrophobicity and PES degradation.

Methods and Results

We have manipulated cell surface hydrophobicity of AKS2 by varying concentrations of glucose and ammonium sulphate in the growth medium and subsequently examined the extent of PES degradation. We observed an increase in PES degradation by AKS2 with an increase in cell surface hydrophobicity. The increased surface hydrophobicity caused an enhanced biofilm formation on PES surface that resulted in better polymer degradation.

Conclusion

The current study establishes a direct correlation between cell surface hydrophobicity of an organism and its potential to degrade a nonpolar polymer like PES.

Significance and Impact of the Study

Cell surface hydrophobicity manipulation can be used as an important strategy to increase bioremediation of nonpolar polymer like PES.