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Appl Environ Microbiol. 2009 Jul;75(13):4516-24. doi: 10.1128/AEM.00102-09. Epub 2009 May 8.

"Dehalococcoides" sp. strain CBDB1 extensively dechlorinates the commercial polychlorinated biphenyl mixture aroclor 1260.

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Helmholtz Centre for Environmental Research-UFZ, Leipzig, Germany.


"Dehalococcoides" sp. strain CBDB1 in pure culture dechlorinates a wide range of PCB congeners with three to eight chlorine substituents. Congener-specific high-resolution gas chromatography revealed that CBDB1 extensively dechlorinated both Aroclor 1248 and Aroclor 1260 after four months of incubation. For example, 16 congeners comprising 67.3% of the total PCBs in Aroclor 1260 were decreased by 64%. We confirmed the dechlorination of 43 different PCB congeners. The most prominent dechlorination products were 2,3',5-chlorinated biphenyl (25-3-CB) and 24-3-CB from Aroclor 1248 and 235-25-CB, 25-25-CB, 24-25-CB, and 235-236-CB from Aroclor 1260. Strain CBDB1 removed flanked para chlorines from 3,4-, 2,4,5-, and 3,4,5-chlorophenyl rings, primarily para chlorines from 2,3,4,5-chlorophenyl rings, primarily meta chlorines from 2,3,4- and 2,3,4,6-chlorophenyl rings, and either meta or para chlorines from 2,3,4,5,6-chlorophenyl rings. The site of attack on the 2,3,4-chorophenyl ring was heavily influenced by the chlorine configuration on the opposite ring. This dechlorination pattern matches PCB Process H dechlorination, which was previously observed in situ both in the Acushnet Estuary (New Bedford, MA) and in parts of the Hudson River (New York). Accordingly, we propose that Dehalococcoides bacteria similar to CBDB1 are potential agents of Process H PCB dechlorination in the environment. This is the first time that a complex naturally occurring PCB dechlorination pattern has been reproduced in the laboratory using a single bacterial strain.

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