Plastic Waste – Polystyrene Degradation by Superworms Reported

The abstract of a June 9, 2022, Microbial Genomics article by researchers with Australia The University of Queensland reports that “… we assessed changes in the gut microbiome of superworms (Zophobas morio) reared on bran, polystyrene or under starvation conditions over a 3 weeks period. Superworms on all diets were able to complete their life cycle to pupae and imago, although superworms reared on polystyrene had minimal weight gains, resulting in lower pupation rates compared to bran reared worms … We detected several encoded enzymes with reported polystyrene and styrene degradation abilities … our results provide the first metagenomic insights into the metabolic pathways used by the gut microbiome of superworms to degrade polystyrene. Our results also confirm that superworms can survive on polystyrene feed, but this diet has considerable negative impacts on host gut microbiome diversity and health …” #PlasticWaste #SingleUsePlastic #Polystyrene @UQ_News @MicrobioSoc