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Comparative genomic analysis of plastic degrading bacteria reveals complex set of genes responsible for biodegradation of plastic

Student name: Ms Diksha Tomer
Guide: Dr Pallavi Somvanshi
Year of completion: 2018
Host Organisation: TERI School of Advanced Studies

Abstract: Plastics and their use has become a part and parcel of the human life. Due to its inertness and the haphazard use of synthetic polymers the issues like land and water pollution are increasing at a fast pace. Plastic is used in a wide range of applications like in household practices, industries, packaging, etc. Plastics are seen as an environmental threat because they are difficult to degrade. Microbes are involved in the degradation of plastic. So the metabolic enzymes of these microbes can be exploited as a potent tool for the degradation of the polymers. Pan genome analysis is performed on the core gene data of five selected strains of Pseudomonas species to investigate the genes responsible for the plastic degradation property. Analysis based on comprehensive core genes should thus provide a scope of finding more microorganisms that are involved in the process of plastic degradation. Plastic degradation by the species of Pseudomonas genus is a result of genes that are responsible for biofilm formation and also in the formation of enzymes that leads to the processes like oxidation and dehydration of the polymers of plastic. This will provide us the future scope of finding more microorganisms with similar properties for the better efficiency of biodegradation of plastic wastes. Hence, making the process of plastic degradation easier and manageable leading to controlled land and water pollution.

Keywords: Pseudomonads, Phylogenomic, Pan genome, Core genome, Biofilm