Applied Microbiology and Biotechnology, Vol.103, No.16, 6837-6849, 2019
Reductive dechlorination of 1,2-dichloroethane in the presence of chloroethenes and 1,2-dichloropropane as co-contaminants
1,2-Dichloroethane (1,2-DCA) is one of the most abundant manmade chlorinated organic contaminants in the world. Reductive dechlorination of 1,2-DCA by organohalide-respiring bacteria (OHRB) can be impacted by other chlorinated contaminants such as chloroethenes and chloropropanes that can co-exist with 1,2-DCA at contaminated sites. The aim of this study was to evaluate the effect of chloroethenes and 1,2-dichloropropane (1,2-DCP) on 1,2-DCA dechlorination using sediment cultures enriched with 1,2-DCA as the sole chlorinated compound (EA culture) or with 1,2-DCA and tetrachloroethene (PCE) (EB culture), and to model dechlorination kinetics. Both cultures contained Dehalococcoides as most predominated OHRB, and Dehalogenimonas and Geobacter as other known OHRB. In sediment-free enrichments obtained from the EA and EB cultures, dechlorination of 1,2-DCA was inhibited in the presence of the same concentrations of either PCE, vinyl chloride (VC), or 1,2-DCP; however, concurrent dechlorination of dual chlorinated compounds was achieved. In contrast, 1,2-DCA dechlorination completely ceased in the presence of cis-dichloroethene (cDCE) and only occurred after cDCE was fully dechlorinated. In turn, 1,2-DCA did not affect dechlorination of PCE, cDCE, VC, and 1,2-DCP. In sediment-free enrichments obtained from the EA culture, Dehalogenimonas 16S rRNA gene copy numbers decreased 1-3 orders of magnitude likely due to an inhibitory effect of chloroethenes. Dechlorination with and without competitive inhibition fit Michaelis-Menten kinetics and confirmed the inhibitory effect of chloroethenes and 1,2-DCP on 1,2-DCA dechlorination. This study reinforces that the type of chlorinated substrate drives the selection of specific OHRB, and indicates that removal of chloroethenes and in particular cDCE might be necessary before effective removal of 1,2-DCA at sites contaminated with mixed chlorinated solvents.