Degradation and biotransformation

Search for innovative bacterial biocatalysts acting on different plastic species as well as plastic additives such as phthalate esters. Bacteria will be characterised with respect to their catalytic performance physiologically, biochemically and genomically. The identification of biochemical tools the bacteria use for plastic degradation will be carried out with pure model polymers. Later, the behaviour with organic (polymer) fractions of real shredder fines will be tested in degradation experiments.
New hydrolytic key enzymes involved in bacterial degradation of plastic polymers and intracellular degradation pathways for phthalate plasticisers will be identified and characterised.
The applicability of biochemical (enzymatic or whole-cell) treatment of real microplastic samples (e.g. organic fractions of shredder fines, real shredder fines) will be assessed.

Contributing scientists
Dietmar Schlosser
Thomas Maskow
Hermann J. Heipieper
Christian Eberlein
Simone Bertoldi
Noelia Fernandez Merayo
Stefanie Clauß

[1] Puiggené Ò, Espinosa MJC, Schlosser D, Thies S, Jehmlich N, Kappelmeyer U, Schreiber S, Wibberg D, Kalinowski J, Harms H, Heipieper HJ, Eberlein C (2022) Extracellular degradation of a polyurethane oligomer involving outer membrane vesicles and further insights on the degradation of 2,4-diaminotoluene in Pseudomonas capeferrum TDA1. Scientific Reports 12(1):2666 doi:10.1038/s41598-022-06558-0

[2] Utomo RNC, Heipieper HJ, Eberlein C, Blank LM New species Pseudomonas capeferrum TDA1 as a plastic monomer utilizer and a PHA native producer. In: IOP Conference Series: Earth and Environmental Science, 2021. vol 894. IOP Publishing, p 012024

[3] Cardenas Espinosa MJ, Schmidgall T, Wagner G, Kappelmeyer U, Schreiber S, Heipieper HJ, Eberlein C (2021) An optimized method for RNA extraction from the polyurethane oligomer degrading strain Pseudomonas capeferrum TDA1 growing on aromatic substrates such as phenol and 2, 4-diaminotoluene. Plos One 16(11):e0260002 doi:10.1371/journal.pone.0260002

[4] Cardenas Espinosa MJ, Colina Blanco A, Heipieper HJ, Eberlein C (2021) Screening and cultivating microbial strains able to grow on building blocks of polyurethane Methods in Enzymology. vol 648, p 423-434
Utomo RNC, Li WJ, Tiso T, Eberlein C, Doeker M, Heipieper HJ, Jupke A, Wierckx N, Blank LM (2020) Defined Microbial Mixed Culture for Utilization of Polyurethane Monomers. ACS Sustainable Chemistry and Engineering 8(47):17466-17474 doi:10.1021/acssuschemeng.0c06019

[5] Cardenas Espinosa MJ, Blanco AC, Schmidgall T, Atanasoff-Kardjalieff AK, Kappelmeyer U, Tischler D, Pieper DH, Heipieper HJ, Eberlein C (2020) Toward biorecycling: isolation of a soil bacterium that grows on a polyurethane oligomer and monomer. Frontiers in Microbiology 11:404 doi:10.3389/fmicb.2020.00404

[6] Atashgahi S, Sanchez-Andrea I, Heipieper HJ, van der Meer JR, Stams AJM, Smidt H (2018) Prospects for harnessing biocide resistance for bioremediation and detoxification. Science 360(6390):743-746 doi:10.1126/science.aar3778


Use and management of finest particulate anthropogenic material flows in a sustainable circular economy – FINEST (2022-2027) funded by the Helmholtz Association (Helmholtz Sustainability Challenge)