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Appl Environ Microbiol. 2004 Sep;70(9):5538-45.

Characterization of a highly enriched dehalococcoides-containing culture that grows on vinyl chloride and trichloroethene.

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Department of Chemical Engineering and Applied Chemistry, University of Toronto, 200 College St., Toronto, Ontario M5S 3E5, Canada.


A highly enriched culture that reductively dechlorinates trichloroethene (TCE), cis-1,2-dichloroethene (cDCE), and vinyl chloride (VC) to ethene without methanogenesis is described. The Dehalococcoides strain in this enrichment culture had a yield of (5.6 +/- 1.4) x 10(8) 16S rRNA gene copies/micromol of Cl(-) when grown on VC and hydrogen. Unlike the other VC-degrading cultures described in the literature, strains VS and BAV1, this culture maintained the ability to grow on TCE with a yield of (3.6 +/- 1.3) x 10(8) 16S rRNA gene copies/micromol of Cl(-). The yields on an electron-equivalent basis measured for the culture grown on TCE and on VC were not significantly different, indicating that both substrates supported growth equally well. PCR followed by denaturing gradient gel electrophoresis, cloning, and phylogenetic analyses revealed that this culture contained one Dehalococcoides 16S rRNA gene sequence, designated KB-1/VC, that was identical (over 1,386 bp) to the sequences of previously described organisms FL2 and CBDB1. A second Dehalococcoides sequence found in separate KB-1 enrichment cultures maintained on cDCE, TCE, and tetrachloroethene was no longer present in the VC-H(2) enrichment culture. This second Dehalococcoides sequence was identical to that of BAV1. As neither FL2 nor CBDB1 can dechlorinate VC to ethene in a growth-related fashion, it is clear that current 16S rRNA gene-based analyses do not provide sufficient information to distinguish between metabolically diverse members of the Dehalococcoides group.

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