Biodegradation of microplastic in freshwaters : a long‐lasting process affected by the lake microbiome
Taipale, S. J., Vesamäki, J., Kautonen, P., Kukkonen, J. V. K., Biasi, C., Nissinen, R., & Tiirola, M. T. (2022). Biodegradation of microplastic in freshwaters : a long‐lasting process affected by the lake microbiome. Environmental Microbiology, Early online. https://doi.org/10.1111/1462-2920.16177
Published inEnvironmental Microbiology
DisciplineResurssiviisausyhteisöYmpäristötiedeEkologia ja evoluutiobiologiaAkvaattiset tieteetNanoscience CenterSchool of Resource WisdomEnvironmental ScienceEcology and Evolutionary BiologyAquatic SciencesNanoscience Center
© 2022 Wiley-Blackwell
Plastics have been produced for over a century, but definitive evidence of complete plastic biodegradation in different habitats, particularly freshwater ecosystems, is still missing. Using 13C-labeled polyethylene microplastics (PE-MP) and stable isotope analysis of produced gas and microbial membrane lipids, we determined the biodegradation rate and fate of carbon in PE-MP in different freshwater types. The biodegradation rate in the humic-lake waters was much higher (0.45±0.21% per year) than in the clear-lake waters (0.07±0.06% per year) or the artificial freshwater medium (0.02±0.02% per year). Complete biodegradation of PE-MP was calculated to last 100-200 years in humic-lake waters, 300-4000 years in clear-lake waters, and 2000-20000 years in the artificial freshwater medium. The concentration of 18:1ω7, characteristic phospholipid fatty acid in Alpha- and Gammaproteobacteria, was a predictor of faster biodegradation of PE. Uncultured Acetobacterioceae and Comamonadacea among Alpha- and Gammaproteobacteria, respectively, were major bacteria related to the biodegradation of PE-MP. Altogether, it seems that microbes in the humic lakes with natural refractory polymers have a better ability to decompose PE than in other waters. ...
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Related funder(s)Academy of Finland; European Commission; Kone Foundation
Funding program(s)Academy Project, AoF; FP7 (EU's 7th Framework Programme)
The content of the publication reflects only the author’s view. The funder is not responsible for any use that may be made of the information it contains.