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Burst Hope: No chance for environment-relieving plastic decomposition by bacteria

06.08.2019 13:00

Marine pollution with plastics
Depressing "hand selfie": Marine pollution with plastics is omnipresent, be it at deserted dream beaches like here on Lanzarote or in even more remote regions like the Arctic. (Photo: IOW / F. Klaeger)

No, they won’t help us with this particular environmental problem: Bacteria are definitely not able to decompose plastic released into marine environments, and they are unlikely to acquire this ability through evolution. This is the conclusion reached by IOW microbiologists Sonja Oberbeckmann and Matthias Labrenz in a comprehensive review study concerning biofilms on microplastics. The results have now been published in the renowned international journal Annual Review of Marine Science.

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