ABSTRACT Polyurethane is a versatile plastic with several industrial applications in the modern life, but it is considered as a very recalcitrant material. Biodegradation of this plastic has been poorly explored, and most of the studies that have been published focus on bacterial enzymes. In this work, some fungi with the capacity of growing with polyurethane foam as nutrient source were isolated from sands contaminated with this plastic and from DIA/UAdeC collection, testing their ability to grow on polyurethane as sole carbon and nitrogen sources and their enzymatic activities were determined in specific media as well as their invasion capacity on polyurethane agar plates. 22 fungal strains demonstrated their capacity of growing on polyurethane. Among the enzymatic activities evaluate, the most common was the urease activity (95% of the strains).Protease, esterase and laccase activities were present in 86%, 50% and 36% respectively. The great ability of the isolated fungal strains to use polyurethane foam as nutrient opens an important opportunity to study at detail the biodegradation of this plastic, with clear implications in cell biology and environmental technology.
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