African Journal of
Microbiology Research

  • Abbreviation: Afr. J. Microbiol. Res.
  • Language: English
  • ISSN: 1996-0808
  • DOI: 10.5897/AJMR
  • Start Year: 2007
  • Published Articles: 4962

Full Length Research Paper

Biodegradation of low density polyethylene (LDPE) by fungi isolated from marine water– a SEM analysis

R. Pramila and K. Vijaya Ramesh*
Department of Plant Biology and Plant Biotechnology, Quaid-e-Millath, Government College for Women,Chennai -600 002, India.
Email: [email protected]

  •  Accepted: 26 August 2011
  •  Published: 30 November 2011



Fungi, isolated from sea water, were subjected to growth in a medium containing low density polyethylene (LDPE) as the sole carbon source with and without yeast extract. Increasing fresh weight of the fungi in the medium supplemented with LDPE after regular time intervals gave the evidence that the fungi were utilizing LDPE as the carbon source. Further confirmation of LDPE utilization was carried out by the Sturm test where the degradation was attributed to the amount of carbon dioxide evolved during the growth period. The two fungi that showed good growth in medium supplemented with LDPE proved to degrade LDPE with higher efficiency in earlier reported results Scanning Electron Microscopy analysis of the fungal treated LDPE films provided a solid evidence of biodegradation. Fungi were identified as Aspergillus spp. LDPE degradation is a severe environmental crisis in the world and we have proved that microorganisms can be used for bioremediation in this line.


Key words: Biodegradation, low density polyethylene (LDPE), Aspergillus, marine fungi, Sturm test.

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