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Environ Sci Technol. 2004 Aug 15;38(16):4300-3.

Anaerobic microbial reductive dechlorination of tetrachloroethene to predominately trans-1,2-dichloroethene.

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Center for Microbial Ecology, Department of Microbiology and Molecular Genetics, and Institute for Environmental Toxicology, Michigan State University, East Lansing, Michigan 48824-1325, USA.


While most sites and all characterized PCE and TCE dechlorinating anaerobic bacteria produce cis-DCE as the major DCE isomer, significant amounts of trans-DCE are found in the environment. We have obtained microcosms from some sites and enrichment cultures that produce more trans-DCE than cis-DCE. These cultures reductively dechlorinated PCE and TCE to trans-DCE and cis-DCE simultaneously and in a ratio of 3(+/-0.5):1 that was stable through serial transfers with a variety of electron donors and occurred in both methanogenic and nonmethanogenic enrichments. Two sediment-free, nonmethanogenic enrichment cultures produced trans-DCE at rates of up to 2.5 micromol L(-1) day(-1). Dehalococcoides populations were detected in both trans-DCE producing cultures by their 16S rRNA gene sequences, and trans-DCE was produced in the presence of ampicillin. Because trans-DCE can be the major product from PCE and TCE microbial dechlorination, high fractions of trans-DCE at chloroethene-contaminated sites are not necessarily from source contamination.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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