Pestalotiopsis microspora is a species of endophytic fungus capable of breaking down and digesting polyurethane. Originally identified in fallen foliage of common ivy (Hederae helicis) in Buenos Aires, it also causes leaf spot in Hidcote (Hypericum patulum) shrubs in Japan.
Its polyurethane degradation activity was discovered in the Yasuni National Forest within the Ecuadorian Amazonian rainforest by a group of student researchers led by molecular biochemistry professor Scott Strobel as part of Yale's annual Rainforest Expedition and Laboratory. It's the first fungus species found to be able to subsist on polyurethane in anaerobic conditions. This makes the fungus a potential candidate for bioremediation projects involving large quantities of plastic.
- Jonathan R. Russell; Jeffrey Huang; Pria Anand; Kaury Kucera; Amanda G. Sandoval; Kathleen W. Dantzler; DaShawn Hickman; Justin Jee; Farrah M. Kimovec; David Koppstein; Daniel H. Marks; Paul A. Mittermiller; Salvador Joel Núñez; Marina Santiago; Maria A. Townes; Michael Vishnevetsky; Neely E. Williams; Mario Percy Núñez Vargas; Lori-Ann Boulanger; Carol Bascom-Slack & Scott A. Strobel (15 July 2011). "Biodegradation of Polyester Polyurethane by Endophytic Fungi". Applied and Environmental Microbiology (Washington, DC: American Society for Microbiology) 77 (17): 6076–6084. doi:10.1128/AEM.00521-11. ISSN 1098-5336. PMC 3165411. PMID 21764951. Retrieved 1 February 2012.
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- Zhang, M.; Wu, H.Y.; Tsukiboshi, T.; Okabe, I. (August 2010). "First Report of Pestalotiopsis microspora Causing Leaf Spot of Hidcote (Hypericum patulum) in Japan". Plant Disease 94 (8): 1064. doi:10.1094/PDIS-94-8-1064B.
- Anderson, Stacey (December 15, 2014). "The Plastic-Eating Fungi That Could Solve Our Garbage Problem". Newsweek. Retrieved 2015-10-26.