Microbial Ecology

, Volume 73, Issue 2, pp 353–367 | Cite as

Microbial Degradation of Polyhydroxyalkanoates with Different Chemical Compositions and Their Biodegradability

  • Tatiana G. Volova
  • Svetlana V. Prudnikova
  • Olga N. Vinogradova
  • Darya A. Syrvacheva
  • Ekaterina I. Shishatskaya
Environmental Microbiology


The study addresses degradation of polyhydroxyalkanoates (PHA) with different chemical compositions—the polymer of 3-hydroxybutyric acid [P(3HB)] and copolymers of P(3HB) with 3-hydroxyvalerate [P(3HB/3HV)], 4-hydroxybutyrate [P(3HB/4HB)], and 3-hydroxyhexanoate [P(3HB/3HHx)] (10–12 mol%)—in the agro-transformed field soil of the temperate zone. Based on their degradation rates at 21 and 28 °C, polymers can be ranked as follows: P(3HB/4HB) > P(3HB/3HHx) > P(3HB/3HV) > P(3HB). The microbial community on the surface of the polymers differs from the microbial community of the soil with PHA specimens in the composition and percentages of species. Thirty-five isolates of bacteria of 16 genera were identified as PHA degraders by the clear zone technique, and each of the PHA had both specific and common degraders. P(3HB) was degraded by bacteria of the genera Mitsuaria, Chitinophaga, and Acidovorax, which were not among the degraders of the three other PHA types. Roseateles depolymerans, Streptomyces gardneri, and Cupriavidus sp. were specific degraders of P(3HB/4HB). Roseomonas massiliae and Delftia acidovorans degraded P(3HB/3HV), and Pseudoxanthomonas sp., Pseudomonas fluorescens, Ensifer adhaerens, and Bacillus pumilus were specific P(3HB/3HHx) degraders. All four PHA types were degraded by Streptomyces.


Degradable polyhydroxyalkanoates PHA Soil PHA-degrading microorganisms 



This study was supported by the Russian Science Foundation (Grant No. 14-26-00039).

We would like to thank Maria Trusova of the Laboratory of Experimental Hydroecology at the Institute of Biophysics of Siberian Branch of Russian Academy of Sciences for her assistance in the phylogenetic analysis.


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Copyright information

© Springer Science+Business Media New York 2016

Authors and Affiliations

  • Tatiana G. Volova
    • 1
  • Svetlana V. Prudnikova
    • 1
  • Olga N. Vinogradova
    • 1
  • Darya A. Syrvacheva
    • 1
  • Ekaterina I. Shishatskaya
    • 1
  1. 1.Institute of Biophysics of Siberian Branch of Russian Academy of SciencesKrasnoyarskRussia

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