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Appl Microbiol Biotechnol. 2011 Apr;90(1):361-8. doi: 10.1007/s00253-010-3042-0. Epub 2010 Dec 9.

Frequent concomitant presence of Desulfitobacterium spp. and "Dehalococcoides" spp. in chloroethene-dechlorinating microbial communities.

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Ecole Polytechnique Fédérale de Lausanne, ENAC Laboratory for Environmental Biotechnology, Station 6, CH-1015, Lausanne, Switzerland.


The presence of chloroethene dechlorination activity as well as several bacterial genera containing mainly organohalide-respiring members was investigated in 34 environmental samples from 18 different sites. Cultures inoculated with these environmental samples on tetrachloroethene and amended weekly with a seven organic electron donor mixture resulted in 11 enrichments with cis-DCE, ten with VC, and 11 with ethene as dechlorination end product, and only two where no dechlorination was observed. "Dehalococcoides" spp. and Desulfitobacterium spp. were detected in the majority of the environmental samples independently of the dechlorination end product formed. The concomitant presence of Dehalococcoides spp. and Desulfitobacterium spp. in the majority of the enrichments suggested that chloroethene dechlorination was probably the result of catalysis by at least two organohalide-respiring genera either in parallel or by stepwise catalysis. A more detailed study of one enrichment on cis-DCE suggested that in this culture Desulfitobacterium spp. as well as Dehalococcoides spp. dechlorinated cis-DCE whereas dechlorination of VC was only catalyzed by the latter.

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