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Prikl Biokhim Mikrobiol. 2012 Jan-Feb;48(1):45-50.

Degradation of polyisoprene rubber by newly isolated Bacillus sp. AF-666 from soil.

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Department of Microbiology, Faculty of Biological Sciences, Quaid-i-Azam University, Islamabad 45320, Pakistan.


Various microorganisms were screened for their ability to degrade polyisoprene rubber (natural rubber latex gloves). Strain AF-666, newly isolated from a soil sample, was selected as the best strain having the ability to grow on polyisoprene containing plates. The strain identified as Bacillus sp. AF-666, was found to degrade polyisoprene rubber, both on basal agar plates (latex overlay) as well as in liquid medium. Qualitative analysis of degradation was done through scanning electron microscopy (SEM) and Fourier transform infrared (FTIR) spectroscopy SEM showed changes in surface morphology, like appearance of pits and cracks, and marked difference in transmittance spectra of test and control due to changes in the functional groups, was detected through FTIR. CO2 evolution as a result of rubber degradation, was calculated gravimetrically by Sturm Test. About 4.43 g/1 of CO2 was produced in case of test, whereas, 1.57 g/1 in case of control. The viable number of cells (CFU/ml) was also higher in test than in control. Present study may provide an opportunity for further studies on the applications of biotechnological processes as a tool for rubber waste management.

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