Method for acrylic acid monomer detection with recombinant biosensor cells for enhanced plastic degradation monitoring from water environments

Emmi Puhakka, Ville Santala

Research output: Contribution to journalArticleScientificpeer-review

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Abstract

Plastic debris degrades in the water environments due to various factors such as mechanical stress. Small-sized degradation products, including plastic monomers, are currently monitored using equipment which might be unsuitable for screening. Here, we developed a recombinant whole-cell bacterial biosensor, which could be used for this type of monitoring. The Escherichia coli pBAV1K-ACU-lucFF cells contain a luciferase-based reporter system under the control of acrylic acid specific promoter. The biosensor cells were used to detect acrylic acid monomers from both sterile water and spiked lake water samples, indicating usability with environmental samples. Furthermore, poly(acrylic acid) was incubated in salt water, and the biosensor cells could identify acrylic acid monomers originating from it. Thus, the cells could be used to observe similar processes in the environment. The results show that the bacterial biosensors could complement the current research methods of plastic monomer monitoring in water environments with a potential for higher throughputs.

Original languageEnglish
Article number113568
JournalMARINE POLLUTION BULLETIN
Volume178
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - May 2022
Publication typeA1 Journal article-refereed

Keywords

  • Acrylic acid
  • Biosensor cells
  • Monomer detection
  • Plastic degradation
  • Poly(acrylic acid)
  • Water environments

Publication forum classification

  • Publication forum level 1

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Oceanography
  • Aquatic Science
  • Pollution

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