Journal of Polymers and the Environment

, Volume 21, Issue 3, pp 874–880 | Cite as

The Biodegradation of Latex Rubber: A Minireview

  • M. D. ChengalroyenEmail author
  • E. R. Dabbs


Natural rubber is used for the production of adhesives, latex gloves, tubing and tires. This widespread use is accompanied with an extensive generation of waste rubber material. In many parts of the world, especially industrialized countries, this has prompted legislation to be passed to govern the proper disposal of rubber waste. Even so, the recycling of this polymer is not widely practiced. This review looks at the useful bacteria capable of degrading this recalcitrant polymer. Furthermore we review the mechanism of action and the identification of rubber degrading genes. Clearly, a deep understanding of this biodegradative process at the biochemical and genetic level exists and should prompt the instigation of this knowledge in biotechnological applications.


Rubber Latex Biodegradation Actinomycetes 

Supplementary material

10924_2013_593_MOESM1_ESM.docx (305 kb)
Supplementary material 1 (DOCX 305 kb)


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Copyright information

© Springer Science+Business Media New York 2013

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Department of GeneticsUniversity of WitwatersrandJohannesburg, BraamfonteinSouth Africa
  2. 2.Department of GeneticsUniversity of WitwatersrandJohannesburgSouth Africa

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