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Published: 30 October 2014

Marine microbes in the Plastic Age

A Mark Osborn and Slobodanka Stojkovic

School of Applied Sciences
RMIT University
Bundoora, Vic. 3083, Australia
Tel: +61 3 9925 7126
Email: mark.osborn@rmit.edu.au

We are living in the ?Plastic Age?, but unfortunately our non-human
relatives with whom we share our planet are not adapted to cope with the
thousands of tons of plastic waste entering rivers, seas and oceans each
year. Plastic poses both physical and chemical threats to aquatic life.
It leads to damage or death of animals following plastic entanglement or
ingestion and/or can lead to bioaccumulation of co-pollutants absorbed
on plastic surfaces. Once ingested, co-pollutants can be absorbed into
tissues and accumulated in the food chain. As nature?s biodegraders and
recyclers, microorganisms may play a role in mitigating the impact of
our disposable plastic lifestyle, or alternatively, plastic may serve as
a vector for transport of pathogenic microorganisms into marine fauna.
Here, we review current understanding of the microbiology of marine
plastics and highlight future challenges for this emerging research


Marine microbes in the Plastic Age

31. Dezember 2014