Microbial Degradation of Natural Rubber Latex by a novel Species of Bacillus sp. SBS25 isolated from Soil



Bacillus sp. SBS25, a gram positive bacteria isolated from soil was found to be effectivein the biodegradation of natural rubber latex. The products of latex biodegradation were separated from the ether extract by thin layer chromatography. Gas chromatography and mass spectrometry showed the biodegradation of the major compound into three simpler fractions with low molecular weights. This was further confirmed by Fourier transform infrared spectroscopic analysis. A single band in the control at 2856/cm got split into four subunits such as 2805.45, 2774.12, 2692.40 and 2602.50/cm possibly representing C-H- stretching, the formation of carboxylic acids and hydroxyl stretching respectively. Decrease in the total organic carbon of the medium, accumulation of lipids in the bacterial cell and formation of acids in the extract were also observed during the biodegradation of the natural rubber latex.