Spanish scientists have discovered an unexpected ability of moth larvae to fight plastic.
Large wax moth larvae can break down plastic bags thanks to two enzymes in their saliva. And this conclusion was reached by Spanish scientists from the Center for Biological Research and published their work on this topic in the scientific journal Nature Communications.
The plastic material is reportedly made from polymers that are difficult to break down. It also has a number of supplements that increase its durability, so it can go down for centuries. And biologists accidentally discovered that enzymes in the larvae’s saliva trigger an oxidation reaction within a plastic molecule within a few hours.
Galleria mellonella wax moth larvae are known to be harmful to beekeeping because they feed on wax, honey and sometimes bee larvae.
In 2017, biologist Federica Bertocini covered hives with perforated plastic bags for 40 minutes. And it turns out that the larvae gnaw and dig up the plastic.
In the future, scientists want to make moth caterpillar enzymes that will be used to break down plastic waste.
Source: Komsomolskaya Pravda
Source: Arabic RT