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Chloroethene degradation and expression of Dehalococcoides dehalogenase genes in cultures originating from Yangtze sediments

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The anaerobic Dehalococcoides spp. is the only microorganism known to completely dechlorinate the hazardous compounds tetrachloroethene (PCE) or trichloroethene (TCE) via dichloroethene (DCE) and vinyl chloride (VC) to the terminal product, ethene. In this study, growth of Dehalococcoides spp. (DHC) and the expression of DHC dehalogenase genes were demonstrated for Yangtze enrichment cultures. Reductive dechlorination of chloroethenes occurred in Yangtze sediment without the addition of any external auxiliary substrates. All Yangtze enrichment cultures completely dechlorinated PCE and cis-DCE to ethene. To investigate expression of the dehalogenase genes pceA, tceA, vcrA, and bvcA, a protocol for messenger RNA (mRNA) extraction followed by reverse transcription and quantitative PCR analysis was established. During dechlorination, an increase in gene copy numbers of pceA, tceA, and vcrA was observed. However, temporary formation of mRNA was only measured in the case of the dehalogenase genes tceA and vcrA. Comparison of DHC dehalogenase patterns indicated that the Yangtze DHC community does not match any of the previously published enrichment cultures that were obtained from contaminated areas in the USA or Europe.

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The authors gratefully acknowledge financial support from the German Ministry of Education and Research (BMBF, Grant No. 02WT1130). This study is part of the Sino-German Yangtze-Hydro-Project (www.yangtze-project.de). Eva Lüthen is also acknowledged for preparing the sediment microcosm experiments, and Prof. Chaofeng Shen for translation of Chinese publications.

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Correspondence to Andreas Tiehm.

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Responsible editor: Robert Duran

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Kranzioch, I., Ganz, S. & Tiehm, A. Chloroethene degradation and expression of Dehalococcoides dehalogenase genes in cultures originating from Yangtze sediments. Environ Sci Pollut Res 22, 3138–3148 (2015). https://doi.org/10.1007/s11356-014-3574-4

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  • Chloroethenes
  • Dehalococcoides
  • Dehalogenases
  • Yangtze River sediments
  • mRNA
  • Reductive dechlorination