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1.  Degradation of biodegradable plastic mulch films in soil environment by phylloplane fungi isolated from gramineous plants 
AMB Express  2012;2:40.
To improve the biodegradation of biodegradable plastic (BP) mulch films, 1227 fungal strains were isolated from plant surface (phylloplane) and evaluated for BP-degrading ability. Among them, B47-9 a strain isolated from the leaf surface of barley showed the strongest ability to degrade poly-(butylene succinate-co-butylene adipate) (PBSA) and poly-(butylene succinate) (PBS) films. The strain grew on the surface of soil-mounted BP films, produced breaks along the direction of hyphal growth indicated that it secreted a BP-degrading enzyme, and has directly contributing to accelerating the degradation of film. Treatment with the culture filtrate decomposed 91.2 wt%, 23.7 wt%, and 14.6 wt% of PBSA, PBS, and commercially available BP polymer blended mulch film, respectively, on unsterlized soil within 6 days. The PCR-DGGE analysis of the transition of soil microbial community during film degradation revealed that the process was accompanied with drastic changes in the population of soil fungi and Acantamoeba spp., as well as the growth of inoculated strain B47-9. It has a potential for application in the development of an effective method for accelerating degradation of used plastics under actual field conditions.
doi:10.1186/2191-0855-2-40
PMCID: PMC3444367  PMID: 22856640
Biodegradable plastic; Leaf surface; Phylloplane fungi; Mulch film; PCR-DGGE
2.  A calmodulin inhibitor, W-7 influences the effect of cyclic adenosine 3', 5'-monophosphate signaling on ligninolytic enzyme gene expression in Phanerochaete chrysosporium 
AMB Express  2012;2:7.
The capacity of white-rot fungi to degrade wood lignin may be highly applicable to the development of novel bioreactor systems, but the mechanisms underlying this function are not yet fully understood. Lignin peroxidase (LiP) and manganese peroxidase (MnP), which are thought to be very important for the ligninolytic property, demonstrated increased activity in Phanerochaete chrysosporium RP-78 (FGSC #9002, ATCC MYA-4764™) cultures following exposure to 5 mM cyclic adenosine 3', 5'-monophosphate (cAMP) and 500 μM 3'-isobutyl-1-methylxanthine (IBMX), a phosphodiesterase inhibitor. Real-time reverse transcription polymerase chain reaction (RT-PCR) analysis revealed that transcription of most LiP and MnP isozyme genes was statistically significantly upregulated in the presence of the cAMP and IBMX compared to the untreated condition. However, 100 μM calmodulin (CaM) inhibitor N-(6-aminohexyl)-5-chloro-1-naphthalenesulfonamide (W-7), which had insignificant effects on fungal growth and intracellular cAMP concentration, not only offset the increased activity and transcription induced by the drugs, but also decreased them to below basal levels. Like the isozyme genes, transcription of the CaM gene (cam) was also upregulated by cAMP and IBMX. These results suggest that cAMP signaling functions to increase the transcription of LiP and MnP through the induction of cam transcription.
doi:10.1186/2191-0855-2-7
PMCID: PMC3275468  PMID: 22273182
Phanerochaete chrysosporium; cAMP signaling; Calmodulin signaling; Lignin peroxidase; Manganese peroxidase
3.  Phyllosphere yeasts rapidly break down biodegradable plastics 
AMB Express  2011;1:44.
The use of biodegradable plastics can reduce the accumulation of environmentally persistent plastic wastes. The rate of degradation of biodegradable plastics depends on environmental conditions and is highly variable. Techniques for achieving more consistent degradation are needed. However, only a few microorganisms involved in the degradation process have been isolated so far from the environment. Here, we show that Pseudozyma spp. yeasts, which are common in the phyllosphere and are easily isolated from plant surfaces, displayed strong degradation activity on films made from poly-butylene succinate or poly-butylene succinate-co-adipate. Strains of P. antarctica isolated from leaves and husks of paddy rice displayed strong degradation activity on these films at 30°C. The type strain, P. antarctica JCM 10317, and Pseudozyma spp. strains from phyllosphere secreted a biodegradable plastic-degrading enzyme with a molecular mass of about 22 kDa. Reliable source of biodegradable plastic-degrading microorganisms are now in our hands.
doi:10.1186/2191-0855-1-44
PMCID: PMC3293741  PMID: 22126328
Pseudozyma; Biodegradable plastic; Phyllosphere; Yeast

Results 1-3 (3)