Enterococcus faecalis and Vibrio harveyicolonize low-density polyethylene and biodegradable plastics under marine conditions

Francesca Bandini, Pier Sandro Cocconcelli, Edoardo Puglisi, Giulia Spini, Ilef Hchaichi, Mohamed Banni

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

1 Citation (Scopus)

Abstract

Conventional plastics and bioplastics are known to accumulate in aquatic ecosystems, emerging as new surfaces for biofilm formation and gene exchanges. On the other hand, the fate of non-conventional bioplastics in the marine environment is still unclear. In this study we have measured, by means of crystal violet test and scanning electron microscopy (SEM), the ability of two model bacteria, Vibrio harveyi and Enterococcus faecalis, to form biofilms on low-density polyethylene (PE), polylactic acid (PLA) and starch-based bioplastic (SBB) surfaces. Experiments were conducted in artificial sea water, incubating squares of 3 cm2 of the three plastics with the two model microorganisms and sampling overnight, and at 3 and 6 days. The presence of biofilms on plastic surfaces was detected from day one of incubation and SBB was the material with the highest biofilm formation. E. faecalis formed the thickest biofilm after 3 days with PLA and SBB, but did not remain stable, and after 6 days with PE. The maximum biofilm formation of V. harveyi was obtained overnight with SBB and PE, and after 3 days with PLA. Our data indicate that both plastic and bioplastics support the formation of biofilms of model pathogenic bacteria, highlighting potential concerns for human health.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)N/A-N/A
JournalFEMS MICROBIOLOGY LETTERS
Volume367
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - 2020

Keywords

  • Enterococcus faecalis
  • SEM
  • Vibrio harveyi
  • biofilm
  • marine environment
  • plastic particles

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