Marine Plastic Debris: A New Surface for Microbial Colonization

Wright, Robyn J. and Erni-Cassola, Gabriel and Zadjelovic, Vinko and Latva, Mira and Christie-Oleza, Joseph A.. (2020) Marine Plastic Debris: A New Surface for Microbial Colonization. Environmental Science and Technology, 54 (19). pp. 11657-11672.

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Official URL: https://edoc.unibas.ch/80988/

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Plastics become rapidly colonized by microbes when released into marine environments. This microbial community-the Plastisphere-has recently sparked a multitude of scientific inquiries and generated a breadth of knowledge, which we bring together in this review. Besides providing a better understanding of community composition and biofilm development in marine ecosystems, we critically discuss current research on plastic biodegradation and the identification of potentially pathogenic "hitchhikers" in the Plastisphere. The Plastisphere is at the interface between the plastic and its surrounding milieu, and thus drives every interaction that this synthetic material has with its environment, from ecotoxicity and new links in marine food webs to the fate of the plastics in the water column. We conclude that research so far has not shown Plastisphere communities to starkly differ from microbial communities on other inert surfaces, which is particularly true for mature biofilm assemblages. Furthermore, despite progress that has been made in this field, we recognize that it is time to take research on plastic-Plastisphere-environment interactions a step further by identifying present gaps in our knowledge and offering our perspective on key aspects to be addressed by future studies: (I) better physical characterization of marine biofilms, (II) inclusion of relevant controls, (III) study of different successional stages, (IV) use of environmentally relevant concentrations of biofouled microplastics, and (V) prioritization of gaining a mechanistic and functional understanding of Plastisphere communities.
Faculties and Departments:05 Faculty of Science
05 Faculty of Science > Departement Umweltwissenschaften
UniBasel Contributors:Erni Cassola, Gabriel
Item Type:Article, refereed
Article Subtype:Research Article
Publisher:American Chemical Society
Note:Publication type according to Uni Basel Research Database: Journal article
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Last Modified:08 Feb 2021 11:10
Deposited On:01 Feb 2021 12:27

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