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Environ Sci Technol. 2008 Jan 15;42(2):416-21.

Correlation of respiratory gene expression levels and pseudo-steady-state PCE respiration rates in Dehalococcoides ethenogenes.

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  • 1Department of Civil and Environmental Engineering, Cornell University, 220 Hollister Hall, Ithaca, New York 14853, USA.

Erratum in

  • Environ Sci Technol. 2008 Jun 1;42(11):4236.


DNA and RNA transcripts, particularly of genes of functional importance in the reductively dechlorinating microbe Dehalococcoides, are increasingly being studied as potential molecular bioindicators of reductive dechlorination. Ideally, mRNA bioindicators would be informative both qualitatively (with respect to dechlorination end point and substrate range) and quantitatively (with respectto activity rates). Here, we examined pseudo-steady-state mRNA levels in Dehalococcoides-containing microcosms continuously fed PCE at various loading rates. We characterized gene transcript abundance of potential Dehalococcoides bioindicators of reductive dechlorination, including 16S rRNA, and genes encoding an annotated formate dehydrogenase (Fdh), the hydrogenase (H2ase) Hup, and the reductive dehalogenases (RDases) TceA, DET1559, PceA, and DET1545. Increases in steady PCE loading rate led to corresponding increases in PCE respiration rate (1.5 +/- 0.1, 2.5 +/- 0.3, 4.8 +/- 0.1, and 9.2 +/- 0.5 micromol/L/hr). We also observed that pseudo-steady-state expression levels of most functional targets increase linearly over PCE respiration rates of 1.5-4.8 micromol/L/hr, with Fdh, Hup, and TceA transcripts increasing by approximately 2 x 10(10) copies per mL of culture for every micromol/L/hr increase in chloroethene respiration rate, and DET1559 and PceAtranscripts increasing by approximately9 x 10(9) copies per mL of culture, butthat increased respiration rates of 9.2 micromol/L/hr did not necessarily lead to corresponding increases in transcript levels.

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