Microbial dechlorination of dioxins in estuarine enrichment cultures: Effects of respiratory conditions and priming compound on community structure and dechlorination patterns

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Marine Environmental Research


The effect of respiratory conditions and priming compound on dechlorination patterns of heptachlorodibenzo-p-dioxins (HpCDD) was investigated using estuarine sediment-eluted cultures in the presence and absence of 20 mM sulfate, and 0.2 μM 2-bromodibenzo-p-dioxin (2-BrDD) as a priming compound. Electron balance calculations based on fatty acid turnover, hydrogen production, and electron acceptor depletion/methane formation indicated that whereas fermentative processes dominated in sulfate-free incubations, sulfate-reduction was predominant in the sulfate-amended incubations. The dechlorination of 1,2,3,4,6,7,8-HpCDD exhibited the following trends: (i) the relative yields of product formation did not exceed 30% and the presence of 2-BrDD increased the yield by up to 10%; (ii) sulfidogenic conditions resulted in a lower 2,3,7,8-tetrachlorodibenzo-p-dioxin (2,3,7,8-TCDD) formation, and the presence of 2-BrDD decreased the formation of 2,3,7,8-TCDD by additional 4-5-fold; (iii) the presence of 2-BrDD effected a predominance in lateral (2,3,7,8 positions) over peri (1,4,6,9 positions)-dechlorination. Denaturing gradient gel electrophoresis (DGGE) banding patterns indicated significant shifts of microbial community structure in response to terminal electron accepting processes as well as to the presence of the priming compound. The latter resulted in a similar community structure independent of dioxin spike, indicating that subsets of populations in the sediment are capable of exploiting the new niche provided by the priming compound.


Biological and Environmental Sciences

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