, Volume 97, Issue 14, pp 6439-6450

Characterization of four TCE-dechlorinating microbial enrichments grown with different cobalamin stress and methanogenic conditions

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To investigate the important supportive microorganisms responsible for trichloroethene (TCE) bioremediation under specific environmental conditions and their relationship with Dehalococcoides (Dhc), four stable and robust enrichment cultures were generated using contaminated groundwater. Enrichments were maintained under four different conditions exploring two parameters: high and low TCE amendments (resulting in inhibited and uninhibited methanogenic activity, respectively) and with and without vitamin B12 amendment. Lactate was supplied as the electron donor. All enrichments were capable of reductively dechlorinating TCE to vinyl chloride and ethene. The dechlorination rate and ethene generation were higher, and the proportion of electrons used for dechlorination increased when methanogenesis was inhibited. Biologically significant cobalamin biosynthesis was detected in the enrichments without B12 amendment. Comparative genomics using a genus-wide microarray revealed a Dhc genome similar to that of strain 195 in all enrichments, a strain that lacks the major upstream corrin ring biosynthesis pathway. Seven other bacterial operational taxonomic units (OTUs) were detected using clone libraries. OTUs closest to Pelosinus, Dendrosporobacter, and Sporotalea (PDS) were most dominant. The Clostridium-like OTU was most affected by B12 amendment and active methanogenesis. Principal component analysis revealed that active methanogenesis, rather than vitamin B12 limitation, exerted a greater effect on the community structures even though methanogens did not seem to play an essential role in providing corrinoids to Dhc. In contrast, acetogenic bacteria that were abundant in the enrichments, such as PDS and Clostridium sp., may be potential corrinoid providers for Dhc.