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Environ Sci Technol. 2007 Apr 1;41(7):2318-23.

Growth of Dehalococcoides strains with chlorophenols as electron acceptors.

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FG Technische Biochemie, Technische Universittät Berlin, Berlin, Germany.


Dehalococcoides strains reductively dechlorinate a wide variety of halogenated compounds including chlorinated benzenes, biphenyls, naphthalenes, dioxins, and ethenes. Recent genome sequencing of the two Dehalococcoides strains CBDB1 and 195 revealed the presence of 32 and 18 reductive dehalogenase homologous genes, respectively, and therefore suggested an even higher dechlorinating potential than previously anticipated. Here, we demonstrate reductive dehalogenation of chlorophenol congeners by Dehalococcoides strains CBDB1 and 195. Strain CBDB1 completely converted 2,3-dichlorophenol, all six trichlorophenols, all three tetrachlorophenols, and pentachlorophenol to lower chlorinated phenols. Observed dechlorination rates in batch cultures with cell numbers of 10(7) mL(-1) amounted up to 35 microM day(-1). Chlorophenols were preferentially dechlorinated in the ortho position, but also doubly flanked and singly flanked meta- or para-chlorine substituents were removed. We used a newly designed computer-assisted direct cell counting protocol and quantitative PCR to demonstrate that strain CBDB1 uses chlorophenols as electron acceptors for respiratory growth. The growth yield of strain CBDB1 with 2,3-dichlorophenol was 7.6 x 10(13) cells per mol of Cl- released, and the growth rate was 0.41 day(-1). For strain 195, fast ortho dechlorination of 2,3-dichlorophenol, 2,3,4-trichlorophenol, and 2,3,6-trichlorophenol was detected, with only the ortho chlorine removed. Because chlorinated phenolic compounds are widely distributed as natural components in anaerobic environments, our results reveal one mode in which the Dehalococcoides species could have survived through earth history.

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