From rivers to marine environments: A constantly evolving microbial community within the plastisphere



Delacuvellerie A, Ballerini T, Frère L, Matallana-Surget S, Dumontet B & Wattiez R (2022) From rivers to marine environments: A constantly evolving microbial community within the plastisphere. Marine Pollution Bulletin, 179, Art. No.: 113660.

Plastics accumulate in the environment and the Mediterranean Sea is one of the most polluted sea in the world. The plastic surface is rapidly colonized by microorganisms, forming the plastisphere. Our unique sampling supplied 107 plastic pieces from 22 geographical sites from four aquatic ecosystems (river, estuary, harbor and inshore) in the south of France in order to better understand the parameters which influence biofilm composition. In parallel, 48 enrichment cultures were performed to investigate the presence of plastic degrading-bacteria in the plastisphere. In this context, we showed that the most important drivers of microbial community structure were the sampling site followed by the polymer chemical composition. The study of pathogenic genus distribution highlighted that only 11% of our plastic samples contained higher proportions of Vibrio compared to the natural environment. Finally, results of the enrichment cultures showed a selection of hydrocarbon-degrading microorganisms suggesting their potential role in the plastic degradation.

Hydrocarbonoclastic bacteria; Pathogenic bacteria; 16S rRNA amplicon sequencing; Biofilm; Plastic debris

Marine Pollution Bulletin: Volume 179

FundersNERC Natural Environment Research Council
Publication date30/06/2022
Publication date online30/04/2022
Date accepted by journal11/04/2022

People (1)


Dr Sabine Matallana-Surget
Dr Sabine Matallana-Surget

Associate Professor, Biological and Environmental Sciences

Projects (1)