Nanotechnology Now

Our NanoNews Digest Sponsors

Heifer International

Wikipedia Affiliate Button

Home > Press > Bacteria from Salar de Uyuni in Bolivia conceal bioplastic

Inclusions of PHB in Bacillus megaterium Uyuni S29 cells.Credit: A. Rodríguez-Contreras/UPC
Inclusions of PHB in Bacillus megaterium Uyuni S29 cells.

Credit: A. Rodríguez-Contreras/UPC

Abstract:
In Bolivia, in the largest continuous salt desert in the world, researchers from the Polytechnic University of Catalonia have found a bacterium that stores large amounts of PHB, a prized polymer. This biodegradable plastic is used by the food and pharmaceutical industries, for example to produce nanospheres to transport antibiotics.

Bacteria from Salar de Uyuni in Bolivia conceal bioplastic

Madrid, Spain | Posted on July 10th, 2013

In the quest for natural polymers to substitute for petroleum-based plastics, scientists have recently discovered that a microorganism in South America produces poly-beta-hydroxybutyrate (PHB), a biodegradable compound of great utility for the food, pharmaceutical, cosmetic and packaging industries.

The bacterium in question is Bacillus megaterium uyuni S29, a strain that produces the largest amount of polymer of the genus. It has been found in the water 'eyes' of the famous Salar de Uyuni or Uyuni salt flat, in Bolivia.

"These are very extreme environments, which facilitate intracellular accumulation of PHB, a reserve material used by bacteria in times when nutrients are scarce," Dr Marisol Marqués, microbiologist at the Polytechnic University of Catalonia (UPC, Spain), explains to SINC.

Scientists from the UPC and the Graz University of Technology in Austria have successfully made the bacillus produce significant quantities of the compound in the laboratory in cultivation conditions similar to those used in industry. The technique is published in the journals 'Food Technology & Biotechnology' and 'Journal of Applied Microbiology'.

"The resulting biopolymer has thermal properties different from conventional PHBs, which makes it easier to process, independently of its application," Marqués goes on.

The researcher recognizes that the costs of producing biopolymers are, in general, "still high and not competitive when compared with conventional polymers, although progress is being made in this regard."

The team has managed to reduce PHB's high molecular weight for the first time, using lipase enzymes, which break up fats, as well as using the biopolymer to form nano- and microspheres loaded with antibiotic to control their spread throughout the organism.

Full bibliographic information

A. Rodríguez-Contreras, M Koller, M. Miranda de Sousa Dias, M. Calafell, G. Braunegg, M. S. Marqués-Calvo. "Novel Poly[(R)-3-Hydroxybutyrate]-Producing Bacterium Isolated from a Bolivian Hypersaline Lake". Food Technology & Biotechnology 51 (1): 123-130, 2013.

A. Rodríguez-Contreras, M. Koller, M. Miranda-de Sousa Dias, M. Calafell, G. Braunegg, M. S. Marqués-Calvo. "High production of poly(3-hydroxybutyrate) from a wild Bacillus megaterium Bolivian strain. Journal of Applied Microbiology 114 (5):1378-87, 2013.

####

About Plataforma SINC
The Scientific Information and News Service (Servicio de Información y Noticias Científicas - SINC), is a new public and nationwide multimedia scientific news platform supported by an open source software tool based in Spain. The primary objective behind the creation of SINC is to increase the number of high quality scientific news items in the media, as a means of bringing the public closer to science.

For more information, please click here

Contacts:
Para contactar con la investigadora:
Marisol Marqués
Lab. Microbiologia Sanitària i Mediambiental
Universitat Politècnica de Catalunya - Barcelona Tech
Teléf: +34 937398567 Email:


Enrique Sacristán López
Redactor SINC - www.agenciasinc.es
Tfno. Agencia SINC: (+34) 91 425 18 20
Fundación Española para la Ciencia y la Tecnología
C/ Pedro Teixeira, 8 (planta 2) - 28020 Madrid
Tfno: 91 425 09 09 ext.251 - Fax: 91 571 21 72

Copyright © AlphaGalileo

If you have a comment, please Contact us.

Issuers of news releases, not 7th Wave, Inc. or Nanotechnology Now, are solely responsible for the accuracy of the content.

Bookmark:
Delicious Digg Newsvine Google Yahoo Reddit Magnoliacom Furl Facebook

Related News Press

News and information

A toolkit for transformable materials: How to design materials with reprogrammable shape and function January 20th, 2017

Explaining how 2-D materials break at the atomic level January 20th, 2017

New research helps to meet the challenges of nanotechnology: Research helps to make the most of nanoscale catalytic effects for nanotechnology January 20th, 2017

Ultra-precise chip-scale sensor detects unprecedentedly small changes at the nanoscale January 20th, 2017

Nanomedicine

New research helps to meet the challenges of nanotechnology: Research helps to make the most of nanoscale catalytic effects for nanotechnology January 20th, 2017

Chemists Cook up New Nanomaterial and Imaging Method: Nanomaterials can store all kinds of things, including energy, drugs and other cargo January 19th, 2017

'5-D protein fingerprinting' could give insights into Alzheimer's, Parkinson's January 19th, 2017

New active filaments mimic biology to transport nano-cargo: A new design for a fully biocompatible motility engine transports colloidal particles faster than diffusion with active filaments January 11th, 2017

Discoveries

A toolkit for transformable materials: How to design materials with reprogrammable shape and function January 20th, 2017

Explaining how 2-D materials break at the atomic level January 20th, 2017

New research helps to meet the challenges of nanotechnology: Research helps to make the most of nanoscale catalytic effects for nanotechnology January 20th, 2017

Ultra-precise chip-scale sensor detects unprecedentedly small changes at the nanoscale January 20th, 2017

Announcements

A toolkit for transformable materials: How to design materials with reprogrammable shape and function January 20th, 2017

New research helps to meet the challenges of nanotechnology: Research helps to make the most of nanoscale catalytic effects for nanotechnology January 20th, 2017

Ultra-precise chip-scale sensor detects unprecedentedly small changes at the nanoscale January 20th, 2017

Chemists Cook up New Nanomaterial and Imaging Method: Nanomaterials can store all kinds of things, including energy, drugs and other cargo January 19th, 2017

Food/Agriculture/Supplements

PCATDES Starts Field Testing of Photocatalytic Reactors in South East Asia December 28th, 2016

News from Quorum: The Agricultural Research Service of the USDA uses a Quorum Cryo-SEM preparation system for the study of mites, ticks and other soft bodied organisms November 22nd, 2016

Water, water -- the two types of liquid water: Understanding water's behavior could help with Alzheimer's research November 11th, 2016

How nanoscience will improve our health and lives in the coming years: Targeted medicine deliveries and increased energy efficiency are just two of many ways October 26th, 2016

Personal Care/Cosmetics

Programmable materials find strength in molecular repetition May 23rd, 2016

Common nanoparticle has subtle effects on oxidative stress genes May 11th, 2016

NRL reveals novel uniform coating process of p-ALD April 21st, 2016

New ORNL method could unleash solar power potential March 16th, 2016

Nanobiotechnology

New research helps to meet the challenges of nanotechnology: Research helps to make the most of nanoscale catalytic effects for nanotechnology January 20th, 2017

Chemists Cook up New Nanomaterial and Imaging Method: Nanomaterials can store all kinds of things, including energy, drugs and other cargo January 19th, 2017

'5-D protein fingerprinting' could give insights into Alzheimer's, Parkinson's January 19th, 2017

Nanoscale Modifications can be used to Engineer Electrical Contacts for Nanodevices January 13th, 2017

NanoNews-Digest
The latest news from around the world, FREE




  Premium Products
NanoNews-Custom
Only the news you want to read!
 Learn More
NanoTech-Transfer
University Technology Transfer & Patents
 Learn More
NanoStrategies
Full-service, expert consulting
 Learn More











ASP
Nanotechnology Now Featured Books




NNN

The Hunger Project