Keyi Guo Alyssa Huang Osanda Lee


Introduction: Plastic waste incineration has increased dramatically in Asia, producing highly toxic by-products such as dioxins. The biomagnification and bioaccumulation of dioxins from the atmosphere to the soil, agriculture, feed, livestock, and finally to humans poses a serious concern for public and environmental health. This study aims to engineer a novel poultry feed additive for detoxification of poultry products.

Methods: The Bacillus subtilis feed probiotic will be created via insertion of a dioxin degradation system from Sphingomonas wittichii and thymine dependent biological containment system. This method is appropriate given that dioxin’s primary form of contact with humans is through ingestion. All experimentations will be done in triplicates and with appropriate control groups.

Results: For the experimental group (recombinant B. subtilis growing on PCDD- and PCDF-contaminated media), an increase in catechol is expected in comparison to the control groups. This will be quantified via liquid chromatography. In addition, a decrease in PCDD and PCDF levels will be expected and measured via mass spectrometry. It is postulated that the chickens will not undergo significant changes after intake of the probiotic in the animal trials. The laboratory observations in measuring biodegradation efficiency are expected to persist into animal trials.

Discussion: Although good combustion practice is the top method for removing dioxins, it is impractical in developing countries due to its costs. Therefore, recombinant bacterial chicken feed probiotic is the most cost effective in terms of removing dioxins from contaminated animal products despite its few limitations.

Conclusion: This study implicates a gap in literature in developing preventative measures for toxic plastic waste disposal by-products which could be mediated through increased research of the application of dioxin-degrading enzymes. Possibilities for further research include examination of dioxin impacted farm animals and the effects of B. subtilis as a probiotic.

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