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Volume 294, 2022, 133709

Can polymer-degrading microorganisms solve the bottleneck of plastics’ environmental challenges?

Nasser Delangiza, Sajad Aliyarb, Neda Pashapoorc

Department of Plant Biotechnology and Breeding, Faculty of Agriculture, University of Tabriz, Tabriz, Iran.


Increasing world population and industrial activities have enhanced anthropogenic pollution, plastic pollution being especially alarming. So, plastics should be recycled and/or make them biodegradable. Chemical and physical remediating methods are usually energy consuming and costly. In addition, they are not ecofriendly and usually produce toxic byproducts. Bioremediation is a proper option as it is cost-efficient and environmentally friendly. Plastic production and consumption are increasing daily, and, as a consequence, more microorganisms are exposed to these nonbiodegradable polymers. Therefore, investigating new efficient microorganisms and increasing the knowledge about their biology can pave the way for efficient and feasible plastic bioremediation processes. In this sense, omics, systems biology and bioinformatics are three important fields to analyze the biodegradation pathways in microorganisms. Based on the above-mentioned technologies, researchers can engineer microorganisms with specific desired properties to make bioremediation more efficient.

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