Conference paper Open Access

Discovery and Biochemical Characterization of a Novel Polyesterase for the Degradation of Synthetic Plastics

Efstratios Nikolaivits; Phaedra Dimopoulou; Veselin Maslak; Jasmina Nikodinovic-Runic; Evangelos Topakas

Plastic waste poses an enormous environmental problem as a result of soil and ocean contamination, causing the release of microplastics that end up in humans through the food web. Enzymatic degradation of plastics has emerged as an alternative to traditional recycling processes. In the present work, we used bioinfomatics tools to discover a gene coding for a putative polyester degrading enzyme (polyesterase). The gene was heterologously expressed, purified and biochemically characterized. Furthermore, its ability to degrade polyethylene terephthalate (PET) model substrates and synthetic plastics was assessed.

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