Bacteria: Source of Biodegradable Plastic


Source: Urry, Lisa A.. Campbell Biology (p. 588). Pearson Education. Kindle Edition.

The world produces more than 300 billion pounds of plastic from petroleum. Plastic is a material used to make bottles, containers, toys, and many other common items. Products made from plastic degrade at a much slower rate creating problems in the environment. Fortunately, natural plastic exists and bacteria are the main source. Polyhydroxyalkanoate or PHA is a natural polyesters synthesize by many microorganisms as a form of chemical energy storage. PHA can be removed from a bacteria and form into pellets which then used to produce biodegradable plastic. Bacteria that are involved in biosynthesizing PHA include Cupriavidus necator, Bacillus subtilis, and Alcaligenes latus. The photo shows bacteria producing and storing PHA that can be used to make durable and environmental friendly plastic.


Urry, Lisa A.. Campbell Biology. Pearson Education. Kindle Edition.



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