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FEMS Microbiol Ecol. 2013 Jan;83(1):176-88. doi: 10.1111/j.1574-6941.2012.01462.x. Epub 2012 Aug 29.

Dehalogenation of diverse halogenated substrates by a highly enriched Dehalococcoides-containing culture derived from the contaminated mega-site in Bitterfeld.

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Department of Isotope Biogeochemistry, Helmholtz Centre for Environmental Research - UFZ, Leipzig, Germany.


An enrichment culture dominated by one type of Dehalococcoides sp. (83% of clones) was characterised. This culture, originally derived from contaminated groundwater from the area of Bitterfeld-Wolfen (Saxony-Anhalt, Germany), dehalogenates chlorinated ethenes to ethene. Further, the culture also dehalogenated vinyl bromide (VB) and 1,2-dichloroethane (DCA) to ethene, 1,2,3,4- and 1,2,3,5-tetrachlorobenzene (TeCB), penta- and hexachlorobenzene (PeCB and HCB) to trichlorobenzenes (TCB), lindane to monochlorobenzene (MCB) and pentachlorophenol (PCP) to 2,3,4,6-tetrachlorophenol (TeCP). Growth was proven by quantitative PCR for all active cultures, except for those with TeCB, lindane and PCP. The growth yields obtained ranged from (2.9 ± 0.7) × 10(7) cells μmol(-1) Br(-) released on VB to (34.8 ± 5.4) × 10(7) cells μmol(-1) Cl(-) released on VC. Genes coding for nine putative reductive dehalogenases, the enzymes that mediate the respiratory process of dehalogenation, were identified. Phylogenetic analysis revealed eight reductive dehalogenases with similar sequences in other Dehalococcoides strains and one unique sequence.

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