Send to

Choose Destination
Biodegradation. 2000;11(5):323-9.

Degradation of microbial polyester poly(3-hydroxybutyrate) in environmental samples and in culture.

Author information

Department of Botany, University of Calcutta, India.


Poly(3-hydroxybutyrate) [P(3HB)] test-pieces prepared from the polymer produced by Azotobacter chroococcum were degraded in natural environments like soil, water, compost and sewage sludge incubated under laboratory conditions. Degradation in terms of % weight loss of the polymer was maximum (45%) in sewage sludge after 200 days of incubation at 30 degrees C. The P(3HB)-degrading bacterial cultures (36) isolated from degraded test-pieces showed different degrees of degradation in polymer overlayer method. The extent of P(3HB) degradation increases up to 12 days of incubation and was maximum at 30 degrees C for majority of the cultures. For most efficient cultures the optimum concentration of P(3HB) for degradation was 0.3% (w/v). Supplementation of soluble carbon sources like glucose, fructose and arabinose reduced the degradation while it was almost unaffected with lactose. Though the cultures degraded P(3HB) significantly, they were comparatively less efficient in utilizing copolymer of 3-hydroxybutyrate and 3-hydroxyvalerate [P(3HB-co-3HV)].

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

Supplemental Content

Loading ...
Support Center