Bacteria able to grow on purified natural rubber in the absence of other organic carbon sources were isolated from soil. Ten isolates reduced the weight of vulcanized rubber from latex gloves by > 10% in 6 weeks. Scanning electron microscopy clearly revealed the ability of the microorganisms to colonize, penetrate, and dramatically alter the physical structure of the rubber. The rubber-metabolizing bacteria were identified on the basis of fatty acid profiles and cell wall characteristics. Seven isolates were strains of Streptomyces, two were strains of Amycolatopsis, and one was a strain of Nocardia.
All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes
- Food Science
- Applied Microbiology and Biotechnology