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Title: Plastic-microbe interaction in the marine environment: research methods and opportunities
Authors: Koh, Jonas Zhi Xiang
Bairoliya, Sakcham
Cho, Zin Thida
Cao, Bin
Keywords: Engineering::Environmental engineering
Issue Date: 2023
Source: Koh, J. Z. X., Bairoliya, S., Cho, Z. T. & Cao, B. (2023). Plastic-microbe interaction in the marine environment: research methods and opportunities. Environment International, 171, 107716-.
Project: NRF-NERC-SEAP-2020-02 
Journal: Environment International 
Abstract: Approximately 9 million metric tons of plastics enters the ocean annually, and once in the marine environment, plastic surfaces can be quickly colonised by marine microorganisms, forming a biofilm. Studies on plastic debris-biofilm associations, known as plastisphere, have increased exponentially within the last few years. In this review, we first briefly summarise methods and techniques used in exploring plastic-microbe interactions. Then we highlight research gaps and provide future research opportunities for marine plastisphere studies, especially, on plastic characterisation and standardised biodegradation tests, the fate of "environmentally friendly" plastics, and plastisphere of coastal habitats. Located in the tropics, Southeast Asian (SEA) countries are significant contributors to marine plastic debris. However, plastisphere studies in this region are lacking and therefore, we discuss how the unique environmental conditions in the SEA seas may affect plastic-microbe interaction and why there is an imperative need to conduct plastisphere studies in SEA marine environments. Finally, we also highlight the lack of understanding of the pathogenicity and ecotoxicological effects of plastisphere on marine ecosystems.
ISSN: 0160-4120
DOI: 10.1016/j.envint.2022.107716
Schools: School of Civil and Environmental Engineering 
Research Centres: Singapore Centre for Environmental Life Sciences and Engineering (SCELSE) 
Rights: © 2022 The Authors. Published by Elsevier Ltd. This is an open access article under the CC BY-NC-ND license (
Fulltext Permission: open
Fulltext Availability: With Fulltext
Appears in Collections:CEE Journal Articles
SCELSE Journal Articles

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