Marine microorganisms for bioplastics production (MARPLAST) | Marinebiotech

Marine microorganisms for bioplastics production (MARPLAST)


The steady increase in microplastic concentration could result in dramatic effects on the vulnerable wildlife of the oceans and marine food supplies. It is therefore of immediate importance to develop novel types of polymeric materials that can be sustainably produced to address these environmental concerns. MARPLAST focuses on
Polyhydroxyalkanoates (PHAs), a class of biodegradable bioplastics which are considered to be feasible replacements for current petroleum-based plastics. PHAs are polymers occurring in nature, produced among others by bacteria, and with properties similar to oil-derived polypropylene and polyesters, rendering them useful as an attractive biodegradable replacement. However, the naturally occurring PHA production pathways are not sufficiently understood, and currently known technologies for production are too costly to allow for a full-scale replacement. MARPLAST aims to develop and provide tools (bacteria, enzymes, and pathways) to enable efficient production of sustainable and biodegradable bioplastics from lowcost unexploited biomass. Focus will be on PHA-producing coldadapted marine bacteria, which have a range of properties that make them especially suitable for industrial applications. MARPLAST will utilize expertise from the Univ of Tromsø (Norway), Univ of Bucharest (Romania) and Umeå University (Sweden) to make important progress and contributions to the transition to a bio-based
European economy.


Dr Arne Smalås, University of Tromsø – the Arctic University of Norway





Arne Smalås

University of Tromsø – the Arctic University of Norway Norway

Knut Irgum

Umeå University Sweden Sweden

Ana-Maria Tanase

University of Bucharest Romania


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