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Biodegradation. 2014 Apr;25(2):253-64. doi: 10.1007/s10532-013-9657-y. Epub 2013 Aug 13.

Effect of Fenton reagent shock and recovery periods on anaerobic microbial community structure and degradation of chlorinated aliphatics.

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Department of Civil and Environmental Engineering, University of Auckland, Private Bag 92019, Auckland, New Zealand.


This study investigates the effect of Fenton reagent on the structure and function of a microbial consortium during the anaerobic degradation of hexachloroethane (HCA) and tetrachloroethene (PCE). Anaerobic biodegradation tests of HCA and PCE were performed in batch reactors using an anaerobic microbial consortium that had been exposed to Fenton reagent for durations of 0, 0.04, and 2 days and then allowed to recover for periods of 0, 3, and 7 days. The bacterial community structure was determined using culture-independent methods of 16S rRNA gene sequencing and automated ribosomal intergenic spacer analysis. Larger recovery periods partially restored the microbial community structure; however, the recovery periods did not restore the loss of ability to degrade HCA and PCE in cultures shocked for 0.04 days, and PCE in cultures shocked for 2 days. Overall the exposure to Fenton reagent had an impact on bacterial community structure with downstream effects on HCA and PCE degradation. This study highlights that the impacts of short- and long-term shocks on microbial community structure and function can be correlated using a combination of biodegradation tests and community structure analysis tools.

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