Team:University College London/Module 3


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Module 3: Degradation

Description | Design | Construction | Characterisation | Modelling | Results | Conclusions


As an alternative to Island Formation Modules (Modules 1 and 2), we are also developing an alternative solution – Degradation of plastic. This will focus on Polyethylene degradation, for which numerous bacteria and fungi are capable of degrading. Certain Multi-copper enzymes have been found to degrade Polyethylene and Polypropylene, and we are looking in particular at an enzyme called laccase has been found to degrade Polyethylene in a number of bacteria and fungi.

The laccase system (BBa_K729002) will be driven by a strong constitutive promoter (BBa_J23119) which initiates the extracellular release of the laccase enzyme. Laccases in fact exhibit an ‘extraordinary’ range of substrates. It has conserved copper binding site that couple the oxidation reactions of a reducing susbtrate to the cleavage of a dioxygen bond. This series of oxidation reactions can be used for plastic degradation.