Screening of Biodegradabale Polymer (Poly-ÃÂ-Hydroxybutyric Acid) Producing Bacteria from Soil and Study on the Effect of Different Carbon Sources on Production
Plastics play a major role in our everyday lives and can be seen everywhere, from water bottles to prosthetics. However, these polymers take many years to degrade and pose environmental problems. To overcome this, the production of environmental-friendly plastics is of great interest. Bioplastics has physical properties similar to the synthetic plastic and are of biological origin and could be used as substitutes for petroleum derived synthetic plastics because of their similar physical and chemical properties. They are completely biodegradable too. PHB, is the well-known member of the PHA series of polyesters is the reserve polymer in the form of intracellular granules found in many types of bacteria. These bacteria grow in a wide variety of natural environments e.g. in soil, sea water, sewage sludge or compost.
In the present study, an attempt was made to isolate efficient PHB producing bacteria from soil. PHB accumulators were screened based on viable colony staining method using Sudan Black B and were subjected to quantitative estimation of PHB. From the selected promising bacterial isolates, one deep PHB accumulator was selected and identified. The morphological, biochemical characteristics and colony characteristics of the organism suggested that it as a Bacillus species. The studies on the effect of different carbon sources on the PHB production by the selected bacteria, by analyzing the concentration of PHB produced indicated that maltose and sucrose favored maximum accumulation of PHB by this isolate.