A bacterium that degrades and assimilates poly(ethylene terephthalate)

Shosuke Yoshida, Kazumi Hiraga, Toshihiko Takehana, Ikuo Taniguchi, Hironao Yamaji, Yasuhito Maeda, Kiyotsuna Toyohara, Kenji Miyamoto, Yoshiharu Kimura, Kohei Oda

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311 Citations (Scopus)

Abstract

Poly(ethylene terephthalate) (PET) is used extensively worldwide in plastic products, and its accumulation in the environment has become a global concern. Because the ability to enzymatically degrade PET has been thought to be limited to a few fungal species, biodegradation is not yet a viable remediation or recycling strategy. By screening natural microbial communities exposed to PET in the environment, we isolated a novel bacterium, Ideonella sakaiensis 201-F6, that is able to use PET as its major energy and carbon source. When grown on PET, this strain produces two enzymes capable of hydrolyzing PET and the reaction intermediate, mono(2-hydroxyethyl) terephthalic acid. Both enzymes are required to enzymatically convert PET efficiently into its two environmentally benign monomers, terephthalic acid and ethylene glycol.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)1196-1199
Number of pages4
JournalScience
Volume351
Issue number6278
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - Mar 11 2016
Externally publishedYes

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All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

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Cite this

Yoshida, S., Hiraga, K., Takehana, T., Taniguchi, I., Yamaji, H., Maeda, Y., ... Oda, K. (2016). A bacterium that degrades and assimilates poly(ethylene terephthalate). Science, 351(6278), 1196-1199. https://doi.org/10.1126/science.aad6359