Staff Publications

Staff Publications

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    'Staff publications' is the digital repository of Wageningen University & Research

    'Staff publications' contains references to publications authored by Wageningen University staff from 1976 onward.

    Publications authored by the staff of the Research Institutes are available from 1995 onwards.

    Full text documents are added when available. The database is updated daily and currently holds about 240,000 items, of which 72,000 in open access.

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Record number 531360
Title Decay of low-density polyethylene by bacteria extracted from earthworm's guts : A potential for soil restoration
Author(s) Huerta Lwanga, Esperanza; Thapa, Binita; Yang, Xiaomei; Gertsen, Henny; Salánki, Tamás; Geissen, Violette; Garbeva, Paolina
Source Science of the Total Environment 624 (2018). - ISSN 0048-9697 - p. 753 - 757.
Department(s) Soil Physics and Land Management
Chemical Biological Soil Laboratory - Soil Biology
Publication type Refereed Article in a scientific journal
Publication year 2018
Keyword(s) Bacteria - Lumbricus terrestris - Microplastic pollution - Restoration - Soil
Abstract Low-density polyethylene (LDPE) is the most abundant source of microplastic pollution worldwide. A recent study found that LDPE decay was increased and the size of the plastic was decreased after passing through the gut of the earthworm Lumbricus terrestris (Oligochaeta). Here, we investigated the involvement of earthworm gut bacteria in the microplastic decay. The bacteria isolated from the earthworm's gut were Gram-positive, belonging to phylum Actinobacteria and Firmicutes. These bacteria were used in a short-term microcosm experiment performed with gamma-sterilized soil with or without LDPE microplastics (MP). We observed that the LDPE-MP particle size was significantly reduced in the presence of bacteria. In addition, the volatile profiles of the treatments were compared and clear differences were detected. Several volatile compounds such as octadecane, eicosane, docosane and tricosane were measured only in the treatments containing both bacteria and LDPE-MP, indicating that these long-chain alkanes are byproducts of bacterial LDPE-MP decay.
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