Plastic waste is a large problem in our industrialized world, and it has affected both our health and our ecosystem. With the discovery of the plastic degrading enzymes, PET (Pet hydrolase) and MHET (Mono-(2-hyroxyethyl) terephthalic acid) from the bacteria Ideonella sakaiensis, we have a potential solution for plastic waste. A fusion protein of PETase and MHETase is theoretically capable of breaking down plastic into ethylene glycol and teraphthalate. The transformation of S. cerevisiae with an expression plasmid containing the gene for the PET-MHET fusion protein, will allow the generation of organic fuels, such as ethanol, from the degradation of plastic. PET-MHET will be inserted into our pYES2 plasmid and used to transform S. cerevisiae. Verification of expression and enzymatic activity will follow. Transformed PET-MHET yeast will then be grown in the presence of the plastic to determine levels of degradation.
University / Institution: Salt Lake Community College
Format: In Person
SESSION C (1:45-3:15PM)
Area of Research: Science & Technology
Faculty Mentor: Lane Law