Dehalogenation of Chlorinated Ethenes to Ethene by a Novel Isolate, “Candidatus Dehalogenimonas etheniformans” – Applied and Environmental Microbiology (2022)

Chen, G., Murdoch, F. K., Xie, Y., Murdoch, R. W., Cui, Y., Yang, Y., Yan, J., Key, T. A., & Löffler, F. E.

Dehalococcoides mccartyi strains harboring vinyl chloride (VC) reductive dehalogenase (RDase) genes are keystone bacteria for VC detoxification in groundwater aquifers, and bioremediation monitoring regimens focus on D. mccartyi biomarkers. We isolated a novel anaerobic bacterium, “Candidatus Dehalogenimonas etheniformans” strain GP, capable of respiratory dechlorination of VC to ethene. This bacterium couples formate and hydrogen (H2) oxidation to the reduction of trichloroethene (TCE), all dichloroethene (DCE) isomers, and VC with acetate as the carbon source. Cultures that received formate and H2 consumed the two electron donors concomitantly at similar rates. A 16S rRNA gene-targeted quantitative PCR (qPCR) assay measured growth yields of (1.2 + 0.2) x 108; and (1.9 + 0.2) x 108; cells per µmol of VC dechlorinated in cultures with H2 or formate as electron donor, respectively. About 1.5-fold higher cell numbers were measured with qPCR targeting cerA, a single-copy gene encoding a putative VC RDase. A VC dechlorination rate of 215 + 40 µmol L-1 day-1 was measured at 30°C, with about 25% of this activity occurring at 15°C. Increasing NaCl concentrations progressively impacted VC dechlorination rates, and dechlorination ceased at 15 g NaCl L-1. During growth with TCE, all DCE isomers were intermediates. Tetrachloroethene was not dechlorinated and inhibited dechlorination of other chlorinated ethenes. Carbon monoxide formed and accumulated as a metabolic by-product in dechlorinating cultures and impacted reductive dechlorination activity. The isolation of a new Dehalogenimonas species able to effectively dechlorinate toxic chlorinated ethenes to benign ethene expands our understanding of the reductive dechlorination process, with implications for bioremediation and environmental monitoring.

Access Full Publication

Citation

Chen, G., Murdoch, F. K., Xie, Y., Murdoch, R. W., Cui, Y., Yang, Y., Yan, J., Key, T. A., & Löffler, F. E. (2022). Dehalogenation of Chlorinated Ethenes to Ethene by a Novel Isolate, “Candidatus Dehalogenimonas etheniformans”. Applied and Environmental Microbiology. https://doi.org/10.1128/aem.00443-22