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FEMS Microbiol Ecol. 2007 Aug;61(2):362-71. Epub 2007 Jun 18.

Comparison of anaerobic microbial communities from Estuarine sediments amended with halogenated compounds to enhance dechlorination of 1,2,3,4-tetrachlorodibenzo-p-dioxin.

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Department of Biochemistry and Microbiology & Biotechnology Center for Agriculture and the Environment, The State University of New Jersey, New Brunswick, NJ, USA.


A suite of experiments were conducted to ascertain whether dehalogenation of a model dioxin compound could be stimulated in marine sediments by supplementation with halogenated analogues to enrich for dehalogenating bacteria and if growth by members of the Chloroflexi-like group was associated with dioxin removal. Five halogenated compounds (tetrachlorobenzene, tetrachloroanisole, tetrachlorophenol, tetrachlorobenzoic acid and trichloroacetophenone) were added with 1,2,3,4-tetrachlorodibenzo-p-dioxin (TeCDD) to estuarine sediments from four sites in San Diego Bay and the coast of southern New Jersey to test for dioxin dehalogenation. Most of the halogenated additives were found to stimulate dechlorination of the model dioxin. Molecular analysis of the bacterial population using 16S rRNA and reductive dehalogenase genes indicated that distinct microbial populations were enriched with each halogenated co-amendment. Additionally, Chloroflexi-like ribosomal genes associated with dehalogenation were detected. For example, quantitative real-time PCR analysis of 16S rRNA and reductive dehalogenase gene copy number in the microcosms showed a positive correlation with 1,2,3,4-TeCDD reductive dechlorination in coastal sediments amended with different halogenated additives. These results suggest that specific Chloroflexi-like microorganisms related to Dehalococcoides are involved in 1,2,3,4-TeCDD reductive dechlorination.

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