, Volume 28, Issue 2–3, pp 219–230 | Cite as

Changes in the microbial community during repeated anaerobic microbial dechlorination of pentachlorophenol

  • Hui Tong
  • Manjia Chen
  • Fangbai Li
  • Chengshuai Liu
  • Changzhong Liao
Original Paper


Pentachlorophenol (PCP) has been widely used as a pesticide in paddy fields and has imposed negative ecological effect on agricultural soil systems, which are in typically anaerobic conditions. In this study, we investigated the effect of repeated additions of PCP to paddy soil on the microbial communities under anoxic conditions. Acetate was added as the carbon source to induce and accelerate cycles of the PCP degradation. A maximum degradation rate occurred at the 11th cycle, which completely transformed 32.3 μM (8.6 mg L−1) PCP in 5 days. Illumina high throughput sequencing of 16S rRNA gene was used to profile the diversity and abundance of microbial communities at each interval and the results showed that the phyla of Bacteroidates, Firmicutes, Proteobacteria, and Euryarchaeota had a dominant presence in the PCP-dechlorinating cultures. Methanosarcina, Syntrophobotulus, Anaeromusa, Zoogloea, Treponema, W22 (family of Cloacamonaceae), and unclassified Cloacamonales were found to be the dominant genera during PCP dechlorination with acetate. The microbial community structure became relatively stable as cycles increased. Treponema, W22, and unclassified Cloacamonales were firstly observed to be associated with PCP dechlorination in the present study. Methanosarcina that have been isolated or identified in PCP dechlorination cultures previously was apparently enriched in the PCP dechlorination cultures. Additionally, the iron-cycling bacteria Syntrophobotulus, Anaeromusa, and Zoogloea were enriched in the PCP dechlorination cultures indicated they were likely to play an important role in PCP dechlorination. These findings increase our understanding for the microbial and geochemical interactions inherent in the transformation of organic contaminants from iron rich soil, and further extend our knowledge of the PCP-transforming microbial communities in anaerobic soil conditions.


Pentachlorophenol Biodegradation Dechlorination Microbial community Paddy soil 



This work was funded by the National Natural Science Foundation of China (41603127, 41420104007, and 41673135), the Guangdong Natural Science Foundation of China (2016A030313780, 2016B020242006 and S2013050014266), Special Fund for Agro-Scientific Research in the Public Interest of China (201503107-4), the Scientific Platform and Innovation Capability Construction Program of GDAS (2016GDASPT-0212), and One Hundred Talents Programme of the Chinese Academy of Sciences.

Compliance with ethical standards

Conflict of interest

The authors declare no competing financial interests.

Supplementary material

10532_2017_9791_MOESM1_ESM.docx (415 kb)
Supplementary material 1 (DOCX 414 kb)


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Copyright information

© Springer Science+Business Media Dordrecht 2017

Authors and Affiliations

  • Hui Tong
    • 1
    • 2
  • Manjia Chen
    • 1
  • Fangbai Li
    • 1
  • Chengshuai Liu
    • 2
  • Changzhong Liao
    • 1
  1. 1.Guangdong Key Laboratory of Integrated Agro-environmental Pollution Control and ManagementGuangdong Institute of Eco-environmental Science & TechnologyGuangzhouPeople’s Republic of China
  2. 2.State Key Laboratory of Environmental Geochemistry, Institute of GeochemistryChinese Academy of SciencesGuiyangPeople’s Republic of China

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