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1.  Complete genome sequence of Dehalogenimonas lykanthroporepellens type strain (BL-DC-9T) and comparison to “Dehalococcoides” strains 
Standards in Genomic Sciences  2012;6(2):251-264.
Dehalogenimonas lykanthroporepellens is the type species of the genus Dehalogenimonas, which belongs to a deeply branching lineage within the phylum Chloroflexi. This strictly anaerobic, mesophilic, non spore-forming, Gram-negative staining bacterium was first isolated from chlorinated solvent contaminated groundwater at a Superfund site located near Baton Rouge, Louisiana, USA. D. lykanthroporepellens was of interest for genome sequencing for two reasons: (a) an unusual ability to couple growth with reductive dechlorination of environmentally important polychlorinated aliphatic alkanes and (b) a phylogenetic position that is distant from previously sequenced bacteria. The 1,686,510 bp circular chromosome of strain BL-DC-9T contains 1,720 predicted protein coding genes, 47 tRNA genes, a single large subunit rRNA (23S-5S) locus, and a single, orphan, small subunit rRNA (16S) locus.
PMCID: PMC3387798  PMID: 22768368
reductive dechlorination; groundwater; strictly anaerobic; hydrogen utilization; contamination; Chloroflexi
2.  Characterization of a Dehalobacter Coculture That Dechlorinates 1,2-Dichloroethane to Ethene and Identification of the Putative Reductive Dehalogenase Gene▿  
Dehalobacter and “Dehalococcoides” spp. were previously shown to be involved in the biotransformation of 1,1,2-trichloroethane (1,1,2-TCA) and 1,2-dichloroethane (1,2-DCA) to ethene in a mixed anaerobic enrichment culture. Here we report the further enrichment and characterization of a Dehalobacter sp. from this mixed culture in coculture with an Acetobacterium sp. Through a series of serial transfers and dilutions with acetate, H2, and 1,2-DCA, a stable coculture of Acetobacterium and Dehalobacter spp. was obtained, where Dehalobacter grew during dechlorination. The isolated Acetobacterium strain did not dechlorinate 1,2-DCA. Quantitative PCR with specific primers showed that Dehalobacter cells did not grow in the absence of a chlorinated electron acceptor and that the growth yield with 1,2-DCA was 6.9 (±0.7) × 107 16S rRNA gene copies/μmol 1,2-DCA degraded. PCR with degenerate primers targeting reductive dehalogenase genes detected three distinct Dehalobacter/Desulfitobacterium-type sequences in the mixed-parent culture, but only one of these was present in the 1,2-DCA-H2 coculture. Reverse transcriptase PCR revealed the transcription of this dehalogenase gene specifically during the dechlorination of 1,2-DCA. The 1,2-DCA-H2 coculture could dechlorinate 1,2-DCA but not 1,1,2-TCA, nor could it dechlorinate chlorinated ethenes. As a collective, the genus Dehalobacter has been show to dechlorinate many diverse compounds, but individual species seem to each have a narrow substrate range.
PMCID: PMC2681677  PMID: 19270140
3.  Growth of Dehalobacter and Dehalococcoides spp. during Degradation of Chlorinated Ethanes 
Mixed anaerobic microbial subcultures enriched from a multilayered aquifer at a former chlorinated solvent disposal facility in West Louisiana were examined to determine the organism(s) involved in the dechlorination of the toxic compounds 1,2-dichloroethane (1,2-DCA) and 1,1,2-trichloroethane (1,1,2-TCA) to ethene. Sequences phylogenetically related to Dehalobacter and Dehalococcoides, two genera of anaerobic bacteria that are known to respire with chlorinated ethenes, were detected through cloning of bacterial 16S rRNA genes. Denaturing gradient gel electrophoresis analysis of 16S rRNA gene fragments after starvation and subsequent reamendment of culture with 1,2-DCA showed that the Dehalobacter sp. grew during the dichloroelimination of 1,2-DCA to ethene, implicating this organism in degradation of 1,2-DCA in these cultures. Species-specific real-time quantitative PCR was further used to monitor proliferation of Dehalobacter and Dehalococcoides during the degradation of chlorinated ethanes and showed that in fact both microorganisms grew simultaneously during the degradation of 1,2-DCA. Conversely, Dehalobacter grew during the dichloroelimination of 1,1,2-TCA to vinyl chloride (VC) but not during the subsequent reductive dechlorination of VC to ethene, whereas Dehalococcoides grew only during the reductive dechlorination of VC but not during the dichloroelimination of 1,1,2-TCA. This demonstrated that in mixed cultures containing multiple dechlorinating microorganisms, these organisms can have either competitive or complementary dechlorination activities, depending on the chloro-organic substrate.
PMCID: PMC1352275  PMID: 16391074
4.  A 1,1,1-Trichloroethane-Degrading Anaerobic Mixed Microbial Culture Enhances Biotransformation of Mixtures of Chlorinated Ethenes and Ethanes▿  
Applied and Environmental Microbiology  2006;72(12):7849-7856.
1,1,1-Trichloroethane (1,1,1-TCA) is a common groundwater pollutant as a result of improper disposal and accidental spills. It is often found as a cocontaminant with trichloroethene (TCE) and inhibits some TCE-degrading microorganisms. 1,1,1-TCA removal is therefore required for effective bioremediation of sites contaminated with mixed chlorinated organics. This study characterized MS, a 1,1,1-TCA-degrading, anaerobic, mixed microbial culture derived from a 1,1,1-TCA-contaminated site in the northeastern United States. MS reductively dechlorinated 1,1,1-TCA to 1,1-dichloroethane (1,1-DCA) and then to monochloroethane (CA) but not further. Cloning of bacterial 16S rRNA genes revealed among other organisms the presence of a Dehalobacter sp. and a Desulfovibrio sp., which are both phylogenetically related to known dehalorespiring strains. Monitoring of these populations with species-specific quantitative PCR during degradation of 1,1,1-TCA and 1,1-DCA showed that Dehalobacter proliferated during dechlorination. Dehalobacter growth was dechlorination dependent, whereas Desulfovibrio growth was dechlorination independent. Experiments were also performed to test whether MS could enhance TCE degradation in the presence of inhibiting levels of 1,1,1-TCA. Dechlorination of cis-dichloroethene (cDCE) and vinyl chloride (VC) in KB-1, a chloroethene-degrading culture used for bioaugmentation, was inhibited with 1,1,1-TCA present. When KB-1 and MS were coinoculated, degradation of cDCE and VC to ethene proceeded as soon as the 1,1,1-TCA was dechlorinated to 1,1-DCA by MS. This demonstrated the potential application of the MS and KB-1 cultures for cobioaugmentation of sites cocontaminated with 1,1,1-TCA and TCE.
PMCID: PMC1694251  PMID: 17056695
5.  Discovery of a trans-Dichloroethene-Respiring Dehalogenimonas Species in the 1,1,2,2-Tetrachloroethane-Dechlorinating WBC-2 Consortium 
Applied and Environmental Microbiology  2012;78(15):5280-5287.
The WBC-2 consortium is an organohalide-respiring anaerobic microbial enrichment culture capable of dechlorinating 1,1,2,2-tetrachloroethane (TeCA) to ethene. In the WBC-2 culture, TeCA is first transformed to trans-dichloroethene (tDCE) by dichloroelimination; tDCE is subsequently transformed to vinyl chloride (VC) and then to ethene by hydrogenolysis. Analysis of 16S rRNA gene clone libraries from culture DNA revealed sequences from three putative dechlorinating organisms belonging to Dehalococcoides, Dehalobacter, and Dehalogenimonas genera. Quantitative PCR primers were designed for each of these sequences, and their abundance was quantified in enrichment cultures over time. These data revealed that complete dechlorination of TeCA to ethene involves all three organisms. Dehalobacter spp. grew during the dihaloelimination of TeCA to tDCE, while Dehalococcoides and Dehalogenimonas spp. grew during hydrogenolysis of tDCE to ethene. This is the first time a genus other than Dehalococcoides has been implicated in dechlorination of tDCE to VC.
PMCID: PMC3416446  PMID: 22635995
6.  Stereoselective Microbial Dehalorespiration with Vicinal Dichlorinated Alkanes 
The suspected carcinogen 1,2-dichloroethane (1,2-DCA) is the most abundant chlorinated C2 groundwater pollutant on earth. However, a reductive in situ detoxification technology for this compound does not exist. Although anaerobic dehalorespiring bacteria are known to catalyze several dechlorination steps in the reductive-degradation pathway of chlorinated ethenes and ethanes, no appropriate isolates that selectively and metabolically convert them into completely dechlorinated end products in defined growth media have been reported. Here we report on the isolation of Desulfitobacterium dichloroeliminans strain DCA1, a nutritionally defined anaerobic dehalorespiring bacterium that selectively converts 1,2-dichloroethane and all possible vicinal dichloropropanes and -butanes into completely dechlorinated end products. Menaquinone was identified as an essential cofactor for growth of strain DCA1 in pure culture. Strain DCA1 converts chiral chlorosubstrates, revealing the presence of a stereoselective dehalogenase that exclusively catalyzes an energy-conserving anti mechanistic dichloroelimination. Unlike any known dehalorespiring isolate, strain DCA1 does not carry out reductive hydrogenolysis reactions but rather exclusively dichloroeliminates its substrates. This unique dehalorespiratory biochemistry has shown promising application possibilities for bioremediation purposes and fine-chemical synthesis.
PMCID: PMC194954  PMID: 12957955
7.  Detection and Quantification of Dehalogenimonas and “Dehalococcoides” Populations via PCR-Based Protocols Targeting 16S rRNA Genes▿ †  
Applied and Environmental Microbiology  2009;75(23):7560-7564.
Members of the haloalkane dechlorinating genus Dehalogenimonas are distantly related to “Dehalococcoides” but share high homology in some variable regions of their 16S rRNA gene sequences. In this study, primers and PCR protocols intended to uniquely target Dehalococcoides were reevaluated, and primers and PCR protocols intended to uniquely target Dehalogenimonas were developed and tested. Use of the genus-specific primers revealed the presence of both bacterial groups in groundwater at a Louisiana Superfund site.
PMCID: PMC2786429  PMID: 19820163
8.  Transformations of 1- and 2-carbon halogenated aliphatic organic compounds under methanogenic conditions. 
Several 1- and 2-carbon halogenated aliphatic organic compounds present at low concentrations (less than 100 micrograms/liter) were degraded under methanogenic conditions in batch bacterial cultures and in a continuous-flow methanogenic fixed-film laboratory-scale column. Greater than 90% degradation was observed within a 2-day detention time under continuous-flow methanogenic conditions with acetate as a primary substrate. Carbon-14 measurements indicated that chloroform, carbon tetrachloride, and 1,2-dichloroethane were almost completely oxidized to carbon dioxide, confirming removal by biooxidation. The initial step in the transformations of tetrachloroethylene and 1,1,2,2-tetrachloroethane to nonchlorinated end products appeared to be reductive dechlorination to trichloroethylene and 1,1,2-trichloroethane, respectively. Transformations of the brominated aliphatic compounds appear to be the result of both biological and chemical processes. The data suggest that transformations of halogenated aliphatic compounds can occur under methanogenic conditions in the environment.
PMCID: PMC242452  PMID: 6859849
9.  Purification and characterization of hydrolytic haloalkane dehalogenase from Xanthobacter autotrophicus GJ10. 
Journal of Bacteriology  1985;163(2):635-639.
A new enzyme, haloalkane dehalogenase, was isolated from the 1,2-dichloroethane-utilizing bacterium Xanthobacter autotrophicus GJ10. The purified enzyme catalyzed the hydrolytic dehalogenation of n-halogenated C1 to C4 alkanes, including chlorinated, brominated, and iodinated compounds. The highest activity was found with 1,2-dichloroethane, 1,3-dichloropropane, and 1,2-dibromoethane. The enzyme followed Michaelis-Menten kinetics, and the Km for 1,2-dichloroethane was 1.1 mM. Maximum activity was found at pH 8.2 and 37 degrees C. Thiol reagents such as p-chloromercuribenzoate and iodoacetamide rapidly inhibited the enzyme. The protein consists of a single polypeptide chain of a molecular weight of 36,000, and its amino acid composition and N-terminal sequence are given.
PMCID: PMC219169  PMID: 4019411
10.  Metabolism of volatile chlorinated aliphatic hydrocarbons by Pseudomonas fluorescens. 
Applied and Environmental Microbiology  1988;54(10):2578-2579.
A Pseudomonas fluorescens strain designated PFL12 was isolated from soil and water that were contaminated with various chloroaliphatic hydrocarbons. The isolate was able to metabolize 1,2-dichloroethane, 1,1,2-trichloroethane, 1,2-dichloropropane, 2,2-dichloropropane, and trichloroethylene.
PMCID: PMC204321  PMID: 3144246
11.  Kinetics of biotransformation of 1,1,1-trichloroethane by Clostridium sp. strain TCAIIB. 
Batch experiments were conducted to examine the effects of high concentrations of 1,1,1-trichloroethane (TCA) on the biotransformation of TCA by Clostridium sp. strain TCAIIB. The biotic dehalogenation of TCA to 1,1-dichloroethane by nongrowing cells was measured at 35 degrees C, and the data were used to obtain the kinetic parameters of the Monod relationship half-velocity coefficient Ks (31 microM) and the coefficient of maximum rate of TCA biotransformation (kTCA; 0.28 mumol per mg per day). The yield of biomass decreased with an increase in the TCA concentration, although TCA concentrations up to 750 microM did not completely inhibit bacterial growth. Also, kTCA was higher in the presence of high concentrations of TCA. A mathematical model based on a modified Monod equation was used to describe the biotransformation of TCA. The abiotic transformation of TCA to 1,1-dichloroethene was measured at 35 degrees C, and the first-order formation rate coefficient for 1,1-dichloroethene (ke) was determined to be 0.86 per year.
PMCID: PMC184212  PMID: 2729986
12.  A Novel Reductive Dehalogenase, Identified in a Contaminated Groundwater Enrichment Culture and in Desulfitobacterium dichloroeliminans Strain DCA1, Is Linked to Dehalogenation of 1,2-Dichloroethane▿  
A mixed culture dechlorinating 1,2-dichloroethane (1,2-DCA) to ethene was enriched from groundwater that had been subjected to long-term contamination. In the metagenome of the enrichment, a 7-kb reductive dehalogenase (RD) gene cluster sequence was detected by inverse and direct PCR. The RD gene cluster had four open reading frames (ORF) showing 99% nucleotide identity with pceB, pceC, pceT, and orf1 of Dehalobacter restrictus strain DSMZ 9455T, a bacterium able to dechlorinate chlorinated ethenes. However, dcaA, the ORF encoding the catalytic subunit, showed only 94% nucleotide and 90% amino acid identity with pceA of strain DSMZ 9455T. Fifty-three percent of the amino acid differences were localized in two defined regions of the predicted protein. Exposure of the culture to 1,2-DCA and lactate increased the dcaA gene copy number by 2 log units, and under these conditions the dcaA and dcaB genes were actively transcribed. A very similar RD gene cluster with 98% identity in the dcaA gene sequence was identified in Desulfitobacterium dichloroeliminans strain DCA1, the only known isolate that selectively dechlorinates 1,2-DCA but not chlorinated ethenes. The dcaA gene of strain DCA1 possesses the same amino acid motifs as the new dcaA gene. Southern hybridization using total genomic DNA of strain DCA1 with dcaA gene-specific and dcaB- and pceB-targeting probes indicated the presence of two identical or highly similar dehalogenase gene clusters. In conclusion, these data suggest that the newly described RDs are specifically adapted to 1,2-DCA dechlorination.
PMCID: PMC1892866  PMID: 17351102
13.  Monooxygenase-Mediated 1,2-Dichloroethane Degradation by Pseudomonas sp. Strain DCA1 
A bacterial strain, designated Pseudomonas sp. strain DCA1, was isolated from a 1,2-dichloroethane (DCA)-degrading biofilm. Strain DCA1 utilizes DCA as the sole carbon and energy source and does not require additional organic nutrients, such as vitamins, for optimal growth. The affinity of strain DCA1 for DCA is very high, with a Km value below the detection limit of 0.5 μM. Instead of a hydrolytic dehalogenation, as in other DCA utilizers, the first step in DCA degradation in strain DCA1 is an oxidation reaction. Oxygen and NAD(P)H are required for this initial step. Propene was converted to 1,2-epoxypropane by DCA-grown cells and competitively inhibited DCA degradation. We concluded that a monooxygenase is responsible for the first step in DCA degradation in strain DCA1. Oxidation of DCA probably results in the formation of the unstable intermediate 1,2-dichloroethanol, which spontaneously releases chloride, yielding chloroacetaldehyde. The DCA degradation pathway in strain DCA1 proceeds from chloroacetaldehyde via chloroacetic acid and presumably glycolic acid, which is similar to degradation routes observed in other DCA-utilizing bacteria.
PMCID: PMC91363  PMID: 10347028
14.  Methyl-coenzyme M reductase of Methanobacterium thermoautotrophicum delta H catalyzes the reductive dechlorination of 1,2-dichloroethane to ethylene and chloroethane. 
Journal of Bacteriology  1992;174(13):4435-4443.
Reductive dechlorination of 1,2-dichloroethane (1,2-DCA) to ethylene and chloroethane (CA) by crude cell extracts of Methanobacterium thermoautotrophicum delta H with H2 as the electron donor was stimulated by Mg-ATP. The heterodisulfide of coenzyme M (CoM) and 7-mercaptoheptanoylthreonine phosphate together with Mg-ATP partially inhibited ethylene production but stimulated CA production compared Mg-ATP alone. The pH optimum for the dechlorination was 6.8 (at 60 degrees C). Michaelis-Menten kinetics for initial product formation rates with different 1,2-DCA concentrations indicated the enzymatic character of the dechlorination. Apparent Kms for 1,2-DCA of 89 and 119 microM and Vmaxs of 34 and 20 pmol/min/mg of protein were estimated for ethylene and CA production, respectively. 3-Bromopropanesulfonate, a specific inhibitor for methyl-CoM reductase, completely inhibited dechlorination of 1,2-DCA. Purified methyl-CoM reductase, together with flavin adenine dinucleotide and a crude component A fraction which reduced the nickel of factor F430 in methyl-CoM reductase, converted 1,2-DCA to ethylene and CA with H2 as the electron donor. In this system, methyl-CoM reductase was also able to transform its own inhibitor 2-bromoethanesulfonate to ethylene.
PMCID: PMC206229  PMID: 1624435
15.  Evidence for the involvement of corrinoids and factor F430 in the reductive dechlorination of 1,2-dichloroethane by Methanosarcina barkeri. 
Journal of Bacteriology  1992;174(13):4427-4434.
Cobalamin and the native and diepimeric forms of factor F430 catalyzed the reductive dechlorination of 1,2-dichloroethane (1,2-DCA) to ethylene or chloroethane (CA) in a buffer with Ti(III) citrate as the electron donor. Ethylene was the major product in the cobalamin-catalyzed transformation, and the ratio of ethylene to CA formed was 25:1. Native F430 and 12,13-di-epi-F430 produced ethylene and CA in ratios of about 2:1 and 1:1, respectively. Cobalamin dechlorinated 1,2-DCA much faster than did factor F430. Dechlorination rates by all three catalysts showed a distinct pH dependence, correlated in a linear manner with the catalyst concentration and doubled with a temperature increase of 10 degrees C. Crude and boiled cell extracts of Methanosarcina barkeri also dechlorinated 1,2-DCA to ethylene and CA with Ti(III) citrate as the reductant. The catalytic components in boiled extracts were heat and oxygen stable and had low molecular masses. Fractionation of boiled extracts by a hydrophobic interaction column revealed that part of the dechlorinating components had a hydrophilic and part had a hydrophobic character. These chemical properties of the dechlorinating components and spectral analysis of boiled extracts indicated that corrinoids or factor F430 was responsible for the dechlorinations. The ratios of 3:1 to 7:1 of ethylene and CA formed by cell extracts suggested that both cofactors were concomitantly active.
PMCID: PMC206228  PMID: 1624434
16.  Biotransformation of 1,1,1-trichloroethane, trichloromethane, and tetrachloromethane by a Clostridium sp. 
A gram-positive, strictly anaerobic, motile, endospore-forming rod, tentatively identified as a proteolytic Clostridium sp., was isolated from the effluent of an anaerobic suspended-growth bioreactor. The organism was able to biotransform 1,1,1-trichloroethane, trichloromethane, and tetrachloromethane. 1,1,1-Trichloroethane was completely transformed (greater than or equal to 99.5%) by reductive dehalogenation to 1,1-dichloroethane (30 to 40%) and, presumably by other mechanisms, to acetic acid (7%) and unidentified products. The reductive dehalogenation of tetrachloromethane led to the intermediate trichloromethane, which was further transformed to dichloromethane (8%) and unidentified products. The biotransformation occurred during the exponential growth phase, as well as during the stationary phase. Tetrachlorethene, trichloroethene, 1,1-dichloroethene, chloroethane, 1,1-dichloroethane, and dichloromethane were not biotransformed significantly by the organism.
PMCID: PMC184211  PMID: 2729985
17.  Kinetics of 1,2-Dichloroethane and 1,2-Dibromoethane Biodegradation in Anaerobic Enrichment Cultures 
1,2-Dichloroethane (1,2-DCA) and 1,2-dibromoethane (ethylene dibromide [EDB]) contaminate groundwater at many hazardous waste sites. The objectives of this study were to measure yields, maximum specific growth rates (μ̂), and half-saturation coefficients (KS) in enrichment cultures that use 1,2-DCA and EDB as terminal electron acceptors and lactate as the electron donor and to evaluate if the presence of EDB has an effect on the kinetics of 1,2-DCA dehalogenation and vice versa. Biodegradation was evaluated at the high concentrations found at some industrial sites (>10 mg/liter) and at lower concentrations found at former leaded-gasoline sites (1.9 to 3.7 mg/liter). At higher concentrations, the Dehalococcoides yield was 1 order of magnitude higher when bacteria were grown with 1,2-DCA than when they were grown with EDB, while μ̂'s were similar for the two compounds, ranging from 0.19 to 0.52 day−1 with 1,2-DCA to 0.28 to 0.36 day−1 for EDB. KS was larger for 1,2-DCA (15 to 25 mg/liter) than for EDB (1.8 to 3.7 mg/liter). In treatments that received both compounds, EDB was always consumed first and adversely impacted the kinetics of 1,2-DCA utilization. Furthermore, 1,2-DCA dechlorination was interrupted by the addition of EDB at a concentration 100 times lower than that of the remaining 1,2-DCA; use of 1,2-DCA did not resume until the EDB level decreased close to its maximum contaminant level (MCL). In lower-concentration experiments, the preferential consumption of EDB over 1,2-DCA was confirmed; both compounds were eventually dehalogenated to their respective MCLs (5 μg/liter for 1,2-DCA, 0.05 μg/liter for EDB). The enrichment culture grown with 1,2-DCA has the advantage of a more rapid transition to 1,2-DCA after EDB is consumed.
PMCID: PMC3568614  PMID: 23263950
18.  Characterization of Desulfitobacterium chlororespirans sp. nov., which grows by coupling the oxidation of lactate to the reductive dechlorination of 3-chloro-4-hydroxybenzoate. 
Applied and Environmental Microbiology  1996;62(10):3800-3808.
Strain Co23, an anaerobic spore-forming microorganism, was enriched and isolated from a compost soil on the basis of its ability to grow with 2,3-dichlorophenol (DCP) as its electron acceptor, ortho chlorines were removed from polysubstituted phenols but not from monohalophenols. Growth by chlororespiration was indicated by a growth yield of 3.24 g of cells per mol of reducing equivalents (as 2[H]) from lactate oxidation to acetate in the presence of 3-chloro-4-hydroxybenzoate but no growth in the absence of the halogenated electron acceptor. Other indicators of chlororespiration were the fraction of electrons from the electron donor used for dechlorination (0.67) and the H2 threshold concentration of < 1.0 ppm. Additional electron donors utilized for reductive dehalogenation were pyruvate, formate, butyrate, crotonate, and H2. Pyruvate supported homoacetogenic growth in the absence of an electron acceptor. Strain Co23 also used sulfite, thiosulfate, and sulfur as electron acceptors for growth, but it did not use sulfate, nitrate or fumarate. The temperature optimum for growth was 37 degrees C; however, the rates of dechlorination were optimum at 45 degrees C and activity persisted to temperatures as high as 55 degrees C. The 16S rRNA sequence was determined, and strain Co23 was found to be related to Desulfitobacterium dehalogenans JW/IU DC1 and Desulfitobacterium strain PCE1, with sequence similarities of 97.2 and 96.8%, respectively. The phylogenetic and physiological properties exhibited by strain Co23 place it into a new species designated Desulfitobacterium chlororespirans.
PMCID: PMC168189  PMID: 8837437
19.  Limited degradation of chlorophenols by anaerobic sludge granules. 
To better understand the fate of chlorophenols treated in upflow anaerobic sludge bed reactors, we examined the ability of sludge granules from such bioreactors to degrade two trichlorophenols and one dichlorophenol in batch incubations under controlled conditions. Biodegradation was primarily limited to two distinct activities, reductive dehalogenation of ortho- and of meta-chlorine substituents. Both 3- and 4-monochlorophenol were persistent degradation products, while 2-monochlorophenol was further degraded. We also examined factors potentially affecting the rate and extent of 2,3,6-trichlorophenol degradation. An initial concentration of up to 1.75 mM (346 mg/liter) was dehalogenated. At that concentration, dehalogenation was partially inhibited but methanogenesis from formate was not. The initial concentration affected both the extent of dehalogenation and which products were detected. The maximum dechlorination rate observed was 1.4 mumol of Cl- h-1 g of volatile suspended solids-1. Dechlorination had a temperature optimum of 50 degrees C, was inhibited by added electron acceptors, and was not appreciably affected by added electron donors. The availability of electron acceptors and electron donors did not affect the extent of chlorophenol degradation. These particular sludge granules do not appear to be capable of mineralizing phenols with meta- or para-chlorine substituents.
PMCID: PMC195745  PMID: 1637153
20.  Reductive Dechlorination of Chlorinated Ethenes and 1,2-Dichloroethane by “Dehalococcoides ethenogenes” 195 
“Dehalococcoides ethenogenes” 195 can reductively dechlorinate tetrachloroethene (PCE) completely to ethene (ETH). When PCE-grown strain 195 was transferred (2% [vol/vol] inoculum) into growth medium amended with trichloroethene (TCE), cis-dichloroethene (DCE), 1,1-DCE, or 1,2-dichloroethane (DCA) as an electron acceptor, these chlorinated compounds were consumed at increasing rates over time, which indicated that growth occurred. Moreover, the number of cells increased when TCE, 1,1-DCE, or DCA was present. PCE, TCE, 1,1-DCE, and cis-DCE were converted mainly to vinyl chloride (VC) and then to ETH, while DCA was converted to ca. 99% ETH and 1% VC. cis-DCE was used at lower rates than PCE, TCE, 1,1-DCE, or DCA was used. When PCE-grown cultures were transferred to media containing VC or trans-DCE, products accumulated slowly, and there was no increase in the rate, which indicated that these two compounds did not support growth. When the intermediates in PCE dechlorination by strain 195 were monitored, TCE was detected first, followed by cis-DCE. After a lag, VC, 1,1-DCE, and trans-DCE accumulated, which is consistent with the hypothesis that cis-DCE is the precursor of these compounds. Both cis-DCE and 1,1-DCE were eventually consumed, and both of these compounds could be considered intermediates in PCE dechlorination, whereas the small amount of trans-DCE that was produced persisted. Cultures grown on TCE, 1,1-DCE, or DCA could immediately dechlorinate PCE, which indicated that PCE reductive dehalogenase activity was constitutive when these electron acceptors were used.
PMCID: PMC91463  PMID: 10388710
21.  Enhanced reductive dechlorination of polychlorinated biphenyl impacted sediment by bioaugmentation with a dehalorespiring bacterium 
Environmental science & technology  2011;45(20):8772-8779.
Anaerobic reductive dehalogenation of commercial PCBs such as Aroclor 1260 has a critical role of transforming highly chlorinated congeners to less chlorinated congeners that are then susceptible to aerobic degradation. The efficacy of bioaugmentation with the dehalorespiring bacterium “Dehalobium chlorocoercia” DF1 was tested in 2-liter laboratory mesocosms containing sediment contaminated with weathered Aroclor 1260 (1.3 ppm) from Baltimore Harbor, MD. Total penta- and higher chlorinated PCBs decreased by approximately 56% (by mass) in bioaugmented mesocosms after 120 days compared with no activity observed in unamended controls. Bioaugmentation with DF-1 enhanced the dechlorination of doubly flanked chlorines and stimulated the dechlorination of single flanked chlorines as a result of an apparent synergistic effect on the indigenous population. Addition of granulated activated carbon had a slight stimulatory effect indicating that anaerobic reductive dechlorination of PCBs at low concentrations was not inhibited by a high background of inorganic carbon that could affect bioavailability. The total number of dehalorespiring bacteria was reduced by approximately half after 60 days. However, a steady state level was maintained that was greater than the indigenous population of putative dehalorespiring bacteria in untreated sediments and DF1 was maintained within the indigenous population after 120 days. The results of this study demonstrate that bioaugmentation with dehalorespiring bacteria has a stimulatory effect on the dechlorination of weathered PCBs and supports the feasibility of using in situ bioaugmentation as an environmentally less invasive and lower cost alternate to dredging for treatment of PCB impacted sediments.
PMCID: PMC3210572  PMID: 21902247
22.  Biochemical Characterization of a Haloalkane Dehalogenase DadB from Alcanivorax dieselolei B-5 
PLoS ONE  2014;9(2):e89144.
Recently, we found that Alcanivorax bacteria from various marine environments were capable of degrading halogenated alkanes. Genome sequencing of A. dieselolei B-5 revealed two putative haloalkane dehalogenase (HLD) genes, which were supposed to be involved in degradation of halogenated compounds. In this report, we confirm for the first time that the Alcanivorax bacterium encodes a truly functional HLD named DadB. An activity assay with 46 halogenated substrates indicated that DadB possesses broad substrate range and has the highest overall activity among the identified HLDs. DadB prefers brominated substrates; chlorinated alkenes; and the C2-C3 substrates, including the persistent pollutants of 1,2-dichloroethane, 1,2-dichloropropane and 1,2,3-trichloropropane. As DadB displays no detectable activity toward long-chain haloalkanes such as 1-chlorohexadecane and 1-chlorooctadecane, the degradation of them in A. dieselolei B-5 might be attributed to other enzymes. Kinetic constants were determined with 6 substrates. DadB has highest affinity and largest kcat/Km value toward 1,3-dibromopropane (Km = 0.82 mM, kcat/Km = 16.43 mM−1·s−1). DadB aggregates fast in the buffers with pH≤7.0, while keeps stable in monomer form when pH≥7.5. According to homology modeling, DadB has an open active cavity with a large access tunnel, which is supposed important for larger molecules as opposed to C2-C3 substrates. Combined with the results for other HLDs, we deduce that residue I247 plays an important role in substrate selection. These results suggest that DadB and its host, A. dieselolei B-5, are of potential use for biocatalysis and bioremediation applications.
PMCID: PMC3938430  PMID: 24586552
23.  Carcinogenicity studies on halogenated hydrocarbons. 
A series of halogenated compounds was tested by oral intubation in 200 Osborne-Mendel rats and 200 B6C3F1 mice of both sexes. Carbon tetrachloride, used as a positive control, induced liver and adrenal tumors in mice and neoplastic nodules in the livers of rats. 1,2-Dibromoethane and 1,2-dibromo-3-chloropropane caused stomach tumors with many metastases in both rats and mice. Chloroform, known to cause hepatocellular carcinomas in mice, led in addition to kidney tumors in male rats. 1,2-Dichloroethane was much weaker than the analog, 1,2-dibromoethane, and induced only a few stomach tumors in rats. It increased liver and lung tumors in mice. Most of the compounds, namely, trichloroethylene, 1,1-dichloroethane, 1,1,2-trichloroethane, hexachloroethane, and tetrachloroethylene, increased hepatocellular carcinomas in mice but had little or no action in rats. Iodoform tended to increase thyroid tumors in male rats and hepatocellular carcinomas in male mice. The action of 3-chloropropene was questionable. No tumors could be attributed to 1,1,1-trichloroethane (methyl-chloroform).
PMCID: PMC1475344  PMID: 206428
24.  Abiotic degradation of chlorinated ethanes and ethenes in water 
Chlorinated ethanes and ethenes are among the most frequently detected organic pollutants of water. Their physicochemical properties are such that they can contaminate aquifers for decades. In favourable conditions, they can undergo degradation. In anaerobic conditions, chlorinated solvents can undergo reductive dechlorination.
Degradation pathways
Abiotic dechlorination is usually slower than microbial but abiotic dechlorination is usually complete. In favourable conditions, abiotic reactions bring significant contribution to natural attenuation processes. Abiotic agents that may enhance the reductive dechlorination of chlorinated ethanes and ethenes are zero-valent metals, sulphide minerals or green rusts.
At some sites, permanganate and Fenton’s reagent can be used as remediation tool for oxidation of chlorinated ethanes and ethenes.
Nanoscale iron or bimetallic particles, due to high efficiency in degradation of chlorinated ethanes and ethenes, have gained much interest. They allow for rapid degradation of chlorinated ethanes and ethenes in water phase, but they also give benefit of treating dense non-aqueous phase liquid.
PMCID: PMC3390699  PMID: 22293908
Chlorinated ethanes and ethenes; Reductive dechlorination; Abiotic degradation; DNAPL
25.  Regiospecific dechlorination of pentachlorophenol by dichlorophenol-adapted microorganisms in freshwater, anaerobic sediment slurries. 
The reductive dechlorination of pentachlorophenol (PCP) was investigated in anaerobic sediments that contained nonadapted or 2,4- or 3,4-dichlorophenol (DCP)-adapted microbial communities. Adaptation of sediment communities increased the rate of conversion of 2,4- or 3,4-DCP to monochlorophenols (CPs) and eliminated the lag phase before dechlorination was observed. Both 2,4- and 3,4-DCP-adapted sediment communities dechlorinated the six DCP isomers to CPs. The specificity of chlorine removal from the DCP isomers indicated a preference for ortho-chlorine removal by 2,4-DCP-adapted sediment communities and for para-chlorine removal by 3,4-DCP-adapted sediment communities. Sediment slurries containing nonadapted microbial communities either did not dechlorinate PCP or did so following a lag phase of at least 40 days. Sediment communities adapted to dechlorinate 2,4- or 3,4-DCP dechlorinated PCP without an initial lag phase. The 2,4-DCP-adapted communities initially removed the ortho-chlorine from PCP, whereas the 3,4-DCP-adapted communities initially removed the para-chlorine from PCP. A 1:1 mixture of the adapted sediment communities also dechlorinated PCP without a lag phase. Dechlorination by the mixture was regiospecific, following a para greater than ortho greater than meta order of chlorine removal. Intermediate products of degradation, 2,3,5,6-tetrachlorophenol, 2,3,5-trichlorophenol, 3,5-DCP, 3-CP, and phenol, were identified by a combination of cochromatography (high-pressure liquid chromatography) with standards and gas chromatography-mass spectrometry.
PMCID: PMC183566  PMID: 1768102

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