Dehalococcoides and general bacterial ecology of differentially trichloroethene dechlorinating flow-through columns


The diversity of Dehalococcoides mccartyi (Dhc) and/or other organohalide respiring or associated microorganisms in parallel, partial, or complete trichloroethene (TCE) dehalogenating systems has not been well described. The composition of Dhc populations and the associated bacterial community that developed over 7.5 years in the top layer (0–10 cm) of eight TCE-fed columns were examined using pyrosequencing. Columns biostimulated with one of three carbon sources, along with non-stimulated controls, developed into complete (ethene production, whey amended), partial (cis-dichloroethene (DCE) and VC, an emulsified oil with nonionic surfactant), limited (\textless5 \% cis-DCE and 95 \% TCE, an emulsified oil), and non- (controls) TCE dehalogenating systems. Bioaugmentation of one column of each treatment with Bachman Road enrichment culture did not change Dhc populations nor the eventual degree of TCE dehalogenation. Pyrosequencing revealed high diversity among Dhc strains. There were 13 OTUs that were represented by more than 1000 sequences each. Cornell group-related populations dominated in complete TCE dehalogenating columns, while Pinellas group related Dhc dominated in all other treatments. General microbial communities varied with biostimulation, and three distinct microbial communities were established: one each for whey, oils, and control treatments. Bacterial genera, including Dehalobacter, Desulfitobacterium, Sulfurospirillum, Desulfuromonas, and Geobacter, all capable of partial TCE dehalogenation, were abundant in the limited and partial TCE dehalogenating systems. Dhc strain diversity was wider than previously reported and their composition within the community varied significantly depending on the nature of the carbon source applied and/or changes in the Dhc associated partners that fostered different biogeochemical conditions across the columns.

Applied Microbiology and Biotechnology, 101:4799-4813