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Polymer Degradation and Stability
94, No.8, 2009; Pages: 1190 - 1196

Characterization of a mesophilic aliphatic–aromatic copolyester-degrading fungus

Ken-ichi Kasuya, Nariaki Ishii,Yoshio Inoue,Koji Yazawa, Tomoko Tagaya,Taro Yotsumoto,Jun-ichiro Kazahaya,Daisuke Nagai

Department of Chemistry and Chemical Biology, Graduate School of Engineering, Gunma University, 1-5-1 Tenjin, Kiryu, Gunma 376-8515, Japan.


We isolated 5 mesophilic microorganisms that form clear zones around the colony on an opaque medium containing the aliphatic–aromatic copolyester poly(60 mol% butylene adipate-co-40 mol% butylene terephthalate) (PBAT). Among all strains, the fungal strain NKCM1712 degraded PBAT at the fastest rate (3.5 ± 0.3 μg cm−2 h−1). Genetic and morphological analyses revealed that this strain was closely related to Isaria fumosorosea (phylum Ascomycota). Mass spectroscopic analysis revealed that the degradation products were T, AB, TB, BAB, and ABT (T, terephthalic acid unit; A, adipic acid unit; B, 1,4-butanediol unit)] in the culture of the strain that used PBAT as the sole carbon source. Furthermore, the PBAT degradation ability of this strain in terms of BOD suggested that it could utilize the PBAT degradation products as growth substrates. This is the first report of a mesophilic strain that can mineralize an aliphatic–aromatic polyester into carbon dioxide on its own.

Keywords:Aliphatic–aromatic copolyester, PBAT, Biodegradation, Fungus; Mesophilic, Mineralization.



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