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Environ Sci Technol. 2006 Jul 15;40(14):4473-80.

A modeling study and implications of competition between Dehalococcoides ethenogenes and other tetrachloroethene-respiring bacteria.

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Department of Biological Resources Engineering, University of Maryland, College Park, Maryland 20742-2315, USA.


Bioaugmentation with cultures containing Dehalococcoides strains that dechlorinate cis-1,2-dichloroethene (cDCE) to ethene is often recommended at sites where indigenous populations dechlorinate tetrachloroethene (PCE) to cDCE. In these cases, Dehalococcoides populations may have to compete with other dehalorespirers for chlorinated ethenes and/or electron donors. A continuous-flow stirred tank reactor model was used to describe the substrate interactions in three conceptual models of competition between PCE-respiring populations under natural attenuation and engineered bioremediation scenarios. Model simulations were used to evaluate the effects of other chlorinated ethene respirers on substrate utilization by, and growth of, a Dehalococcoides strain (Dhc. ethenogenes strain 195) and identify the key factors influencing the outcome of competition among different dehalorespirers. The results suggest that, under natural attenuation conditions, Dhc. ethenogenes is unlikely to be the dominant population if a dehalorespirer that can compete for limiting amounts of reducing equivalents is present. Engineered bioremediation conditions resulted in greater enrichment of Dhc. ethenogenes than of competing dehalorespirers. Under several conditions, Dhc. ethenogenes coexisted with a PCE-to-cDCE (or PCE-to-TCE) dehalorespirer, primarily by functioning as a cDCE- (or TCE)-to-ethene dechlorinating specialist. From a bioremediation standpoint, maintenance of multiple dehalorespiring specialists appears ideal because it may result in the fastest and most extensive chlorinated ethene transformations. Thus, to improve our ability to successfully implement bioremediation, it may be helpful to characterize the indigenous PCE-to-cDCE respiring populations and the nature and distribution of electron donors used by these dehalorespirers at contaminated sites. Further understanding of these interactions requires more accurate information on the kinetics of known dehalorespiring populations.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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