Using enrichment of microbial cultures on PET- and PE-trash, the group around SUN Chaomin isolated marine consortia composed of five types of dominant bacteria and fungi which had a remarkable ability to break down PET and PE waste into pieces within two weeks. Apart from EM, IR, HPLC and mass spec analysis, the team applied transcriptome analysis on the biofilms formed on these plastics, selected candidate enzymes suspected to participate in the degradation of PET and PE by screening, and finally obtained three enzymes from overexpression in E. coli (a putative esterase and two putative hydrolases) that could significantly degrade PE in vitro within 24 hours.

https://www.sciencedirect.com/science/article/pii/S030438942100892X