Improved Yield of Poly-4-Hydroxybutyrate Bioplastic via Genetic Modification in R. eutropha

Plastics are the prime contributor to the global litter crisis. Every second, a quarter tonne of non-degradable plastics enter the world’s oceans. Despite this, petroleum-based plastic production continues to increase, with more than 300 billion kilograms of virgin plastic produced annually. Our team is slightly altering the metabolism of a strain of bacteria to efficiently mass produce biodegradable plastic from hemp substrate. Unlike other biodegradable plastics, ours has excellent strength and flex characteristics. Further, it readily biodegrades under natural conditions – both on land and in water. Others have demonstrated that this class of material (polyhydroxyalkanoate, PHA) may completely degrade in river water into H2O and CO2 in less than one month. Unlike petro-plastics, PHAs are biocompatible (benign to the human body). TO BE CONT’D

Faculty Supervisor:

Martina Hausner


Spencer Crook


Shepherdess Biotech




Life sciences




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