17 III 2016 - Ideonella sakaiensis 201-F6 eats PET


PET refillable bottles help to reduce environment impact and PET plastic is easy to recycle via existing recycle network; however the nature could also assist.


The researchers from Japan’s Kyoto University collected microbes living in our trash and found a bacterium having a particular appetite for the polymer traditionally used to produce bottles.


The bacterium Ideonella sakaiensis can be docked on the extremely smooth surface of the PET and then begins, with a previously unknown enzyme that was given the name PETase, to decompose the plastic. The studie was published by Science and can be seen on http://science.sciencemag.org/content/351/6278/1196. This is first step and bacteria efficiency needs to be improved.


Picture from Kyoto Institute of Technology.