A highly purified enrichment culture couples the reductive dechlorination of tetrachloroethene to growth.

C. Holliger, G. Schraa, A.J.M. Stams, A.J.B. Zehnder

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A microscopically pure enrichment culture of a gram-negative anaerobic bacterium, in the present article referred to as PER-K23, was isolated from an anaerobic packed-bed column in which tetrachloroethene (PCE) was reductively transformed to ethane via trichloroethene (TCE), cis-1,2-dichloroethene (cis-1,2-DCE), chloroethene, and ethene. PER-K23 catalyzes the dechlorination of PCE via TCE to cis-1,2-DCE and couples this reductive dechlorination to growth. H2 and formate were the only electron donors that supported growth with PCE or TCE as an electron acceptor. The culture did not grow in the absence of PCE or TCE. Neither O2, NO3-, NO2-, SO4(2-), SO3(2-), S2O3(2-), S, nor CO2 could replace PCE or TCE as an electron acceptor with H2 as an electron donor. Also, organic electron acceptors such as acetoin, acetol, dimethyl sulfoxide, fumarate, and trimethylamine N-oxide and chlorinated ethanes, DCEs, and chloroethene were not utilized. PER-K23 was not able to grow fermentatively on any of the organic compounds tested. Transferring the culture to a rich medium revealed that a contaminant was still present. Dechlorination was optimal between pH 6.8 and 7.6 and a temperature of 25 to 35 degrees C. H2 consumption was paralleled by chloride production, PCE degradation, cis-1,2-DCE formation, and growth of PER-K23. Electron balances showed that all electrons derived from H2 or formate consumption were recovered in dechlorination products and biomass. Exponential growth could be achieved only in gently shaken cultures.(ABSTRACT TRUNCATED AT 250 WORDS)
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)2991-2997
JournalApplied and Environmental Microbiology
Publication statusPublished - 1993


  • chloride
  • chlorinated hydrocarbons
  • ddt
  • development
  • growth
  • hydrocarbons
  • microorganisms
  • organochlorine compounds
  • reduction


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