Expert Opinion on Environmental BiologyISSN: 2325-9655

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Research Article, Expert Opin Environ Biol Vol: 6 Issue: 1

Exploring the Role of a Soil Microbial Consortium on the Biodegradation and Physical Alteration of Low Density Polyethylene

Sergio Palacios-Mayorga1*, Jazmín G Gutiérrez-Pescador1, Adela M Reyes-Salas1 and Silvia C Galván2
1Instituto de Geología, Universidad Nacional Autónoma de México, Ciudad de México, México
2Instituto de Investigaciones Biomédicas, Universidad Nacional Autónoma de México Ciudad de México, México
Corresponding author : Sergio Palacios-Mayorga
Instituto de Geología,Universidad Nacional Autónoma de México, Ciudad de México, México
E-mail: [email protected]
Received: August 30, 2016 Accepted: September 20, 2016 Published: September 23, 2016
Citation: Palacios-Mayorga S, Gutiérrez-Pescador JG, Reyes-Salas AM, Galván SC (2016) Exploring the Role of a Soil Microbial Consortium on the Biodegradation and Physical Alteration of Low Density Polyethylene. Expert Opin Environ Biol 6:1. doi:10.4172/2325-9655.1000138

Abstract

Exploring the Role of a Soil Microbial Consortium on the Biodegradation and Physical Alteration of Low Density Polyethylene

Background: Our study is a contribution to the searching for microorganisms capable of degrading low density polyethylene. A microbial consortium was detected on low density polyethylene wastes buried under soil in a composting area of a Mexico City landfill known as “Bordo Poniente”. Methods: Photomicrographs of the microbial consortium by optical microscopy and scanning electron microscope (SEM) were taken at different times during the microbial film development in low density polyethylene; specific culture media, with polyethylene as the only carbon source, were used for strain isolation of bacteria, yeast and filamentous fungi; polyethylene degradation was evaluated by observing the physical alteration of this material in the SEM and by quantifying its weight loss when the polyethylene was used as a carbon source and incubated at different temperatures under shaking conditions at different pH. Results and conclusions: Photomicrographs of the microbial consortium by SEM, show a wide variety of species. It was possible to observe not only the shape of the microbial colonies but also the progressive development of a biofilm. The higher microbial degradation activity (18% in 60 days) was attained when cultures were incubated at 24°C under shaking conditions at pH 5.0. This is one of the more efficient degradations reported up to date. In addition, paper and wood degrading activity by the same consortium was estimated.

Keywords: Soil; Microbial Consortium; Biodegradation; Microorganisms

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