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While in situ chemical oxidation is often used to remediate tetrachloroethene (PCE) contaminated locations, very little is known about its influence on microbial composition and organohalide respiration (OHR) activity. Here, we investigate the impact of oxidation with permanganate on OHR rates, the abundance of organohalide respiring bacteria (OHRB) and reductive dehalogenase (rdh) genes using quantitative PCR, and microbial community composition through sequencing of 16S rRNA genes. A PCE degrading enrichment was repeatedly treated with low (25 µmol), medium (50 µmol), or high (100 µmol) permanganate doses, or no oxidant treatment (biotic control). Low and medium treatments led to higher OHR rates and enrichment of several OHRB and rdh genes, as compared to the biotic control. Improved degradation rates can be attributed to enrichment of (1) OHRB able to also utilize Mn oxides as a terminal electron acceptor and (2) non-dechlorinating community members of the Clostridiales and Deltaproteobacteria possibly supporting OHRB by providing essential co-factors. In contrast, high permanganate treatment disrupted dechlorination beyond cis-dichloroethene and caused at least a 2–4 orders of magnitude reduction in the abundance of all measured OHRB and rdh genes, as compared to the biotic control. High permanganate treatments resulted in a notably divergent microbial community, with increased abundances of organisms affiliated with Campylobacterales and Oceanospirillales capable of dissimilatory Mn reduction, and decreased abundance of presumed supporters of OHRB. Although OTUs classified within the OHR-supportive order Clostridiales and OHRB increased in abundance over the course of 213 days following the final 100 µmol permanganate treatment, only limited regeneration of PCE dechlorination was observed in one of three microcosms, suggesting strong chemical oxidation treatments can irreversibly disrupt OHR. Overall, this detailed investigation into dose-dependent changes of microbial composition and activity due to permanganate treatment provides insight into the mechanisms of OHR stimulation or disruption upon chemical oxidation
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- 1 Finished
UPSOIL: Sustainable Soil Upgrading by Developing Cost-effective, Biogeochemical Remediation Approaches
1/10/09 → 30/09/12
Project: EU research project