Amutha Santhanam, Sreenivasan Sasidharan
Institute for Research in Molecular Medicine (INFORMM), Universiti Sains Malaysia, 11800, Pulau Pinang, Malaysia.
Plastics have resistance to biological breakdown that result in its accumulation in the environment. This emphasizes the need to search for biodegradable polymer, which is easily disposable and degradable. Bacteria synthesize and accumulate polyhydroxy alkanote (PHA) as carbon source under limiting conditions of nutrients. The effect of different nutrient conditions on production of PHA by Alcaligens eutrophus, Alcaligens latus and Pseudomonas oleovorans was screened and characterized in this study. The influence of different carbon sources on PHA production showed that, medium with glucose as carbon source produced the maximum PHA content of 4.14 g/l from A. eutrophus. P. oleovorans produced 2.06 g/l from n-octane as carbon source. The functional groups of the extracted PHA granules were identified as C = O group by fourier transform infrared (FTIR) spectroscopy analysis. Biodegrability studies showed that, the PHA produced is degradable by a number of soil microbes making it an ideal environmentally friendly material for regular human use.