Genomic and transcriptomic characterisation of Pseudomonas sp. for the production and degradation of plastic monomers.

Nicholas Tucker, Charles Begley

Research output: Contribution to conferenceSpeech


The production of large-volume commodity chemicals for the plastics industry currently relies on dwindling and environmentally damaging petrochemicals. In order to improve the sustainability of this industry, sustainable biocatalytic routes for the production of such chemicals are of critical importance. Styrene, a monoaromatic hydrocarbon utilised in the production of a number of polymers is derived from the petrochemical ethylbenzene. With approximately eight million tonnes produced in 2013 in China alone, and global production and demand increasing annually, microbial routes of production are necessary. Both styrene and ethylbenzene are highly toxic to most bacterial species and higher organisms, limiting the choice of host organism for synthesis. Exploiting a naturally tolerant organism for the synthesis of ethylbenzene or styrene reduces the need for strain development and manipulation in order to increase process productivity/competitiveness. Pseudomonas species are well documented to be highly naturally tolerant to aromatic hydrocarbons including styrene and ethylbenzene. First isolated in Korea, Pseudomonas alkylphenolica is a highly solvent tolerant organism capable of degrading and utilising long chain alkylphenols such as p-cresol as a sole carbon source. In an effort to characterise the variation between our isolate and the geographically disparate Korean strain KL28 we have used Illumina and Nanopore sequencing to produce a high quality, single contig genome of a Scottish isolate of this organism. Furthermore, by examining the global transcriptional responses of the inherently styrene and ethylbenzene tolerant Pseudomonas putida KT2440 to both compounds, we investigated its suitability as a chassis for the biocatalytic production of these toxic compounds.
Original languageEnglish
Publication statusPublished - 28 Apr 2021
EventMicrobiology Society Annual Conference 2021 - Online
Duration: 26 Apr 202130 Apr 2021


ConferenceMicrobiology Society Annual Conference 2021
Internet address


  • Pseudomonas sp.
  • transcriptomic characterisation
  • plastic monomers
  • environmentally damaging petrochemicals


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