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Curr Opin Biotechnol. 2001 Jun;12(3):242-7.

Biodegradation of plastics.

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Department of Biotechnology, Faculty of Engineering, Tottori University, 680-8552, Tottori, Japan.


Widespread studies on the biodegradation of plastics have been carried out in order to overcome the environmental problems associated with synthetic plastic waste. Recent work has included studies of the distribution of synthetic polymer-degrading microorganisms in the environment, the isolation of new microorganisms for biodegradation, the discovery of new degradation enzymes, and the cloning of genes for synthetic polymer-degrading enzymes.

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