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Frontiers of Environmental Science & Engineering

Front. Environ. Sci. Eng.    2017, Vol. 11 Issue (6) : 2
Development and characterization of an anaerobic microcosm for reductive dechlorination of PCBs
Dawei Liang1(), Shanquan Wang2
1. School of Space and Environment, Beihang University, Beijing 100083, China
2. School of Environmental Science and Engineering, Sun Yat-sen University, Guangzhou 510275, China
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A robust PCB-dechlorinating sediment-free enrichment culture is developed.

This enrichment culture can extensively dechlorinate a PCB mixture Aroclor 1260.

This culture effectively catalyzes major meta-PCBs dechlorination.

This study facilitates the exploration of PCB dechlorinators for bioremediation.

The toxic and recalcitrant polychlorinated biphenyls (PCBs) adversely affect human and biota by bioaccumulation and biomagnification through food chain. In this study, an anaerobic microcosm was developed to extensively dechlorinate hexa- and hepta-CBs in Aroclor 1260. After 4 months of incubation in defined mineral salts medium amended PCBs (70 mmol·L1) and lactate (10 mmol·L1), the culture dechlorinated hexa-CBs from 40.2% to 8.7% and hepta-CBs 33.6% to 11.6%, with dechlorination efficiencies of 78.3% and 65.5%, respectively (all in moL ratio). This dechlorination process led to tetra-CBs (46.4%) as the predominant dechlorination products, followed by penta- (22.1%) and tri-CBs (5.4%). The number of meta chlorines per biphenyl decreased from 2.50 to 1.41. Results of quantitative real-time PCR show that Dehalococcoides cells increased from 2.39 × 105±0.5 × 105 to 4.99 × 107±0.32 × 107 copies mL1 after 120 days of incubation, suggesting that Dehalococcoides play a major role in reductive dechlorination of PCBs. This study could prove the feasibility of anaerobic reductive culture enrichment for the dehalogenation of highly chlorinated PCBs, which is prior to be applied for in situ bioremediation of notorious halogenated compounds.

Keywords Polychlorinated biphenyls (PCBs)      Microbial reductive dechlorination      Dehalococcoides      Pathway     
Corresponding Author(s): Dawei Liang   
Issue Date: 10 May 2017
 Cite this article:   
Dawei Liang,Shanquan Wang. Development and characterization of an anaerobic microcosm for reductive dechlorination of PCBs[J]. Front. Environ. Sci. Eng., 2017, 11(6): 2.
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Dawei Liang
Shanquan Wang
targeting groupreferences
Geo196FGAATATGCTCCTGATTCGeobacter lovleyi[]
Tab.1  PCR primers and probes used in this study for 16S rRNA gene targeted different group of bacteria
Fig.1  PCB dechlorination profile of sediment-free enrichment culture GD1
Fig.2  PCB dechlorination profile of the sediment free enrichment culture GD1 according to the chlorine substitute position
Fig.3  PCB dechlorination pathway in sediment free culture and the mass balance of the dechlorination products and substrates (Cont’d)
speciesaffiliationfragment length/bppopulation
/(clones %)
closest phylogenetic relativesimilarity
GD1-A-1Spirochaetes134114.6Uncultured bacterium clone XJ109 (EF648155)95
GD1-A-2Spirochaetes14432.1Uncultured bacterium clone TANB18 (AY667253)96
GD1-A-3Firmicutes14089.4Uncultured bacterium clone LS4-242 (AB234271)97
GD1-A-5Bacteroidetes13898.3Iron-reducing bacterium clone HN11 (FJ269051)99
GD1-A-6Bacteroidetes13949.4Iron-reducing bacterium clone CL-W2 (DQ677015)99
GD1-A-8Bacteroidetes139010.4Uncultured bacterium clone A-3D (AY953234)99
GD1-A-9d-Proteobacteria14139.4Pelobacter propionicus DSM 2379 (CP000482)98
GD1-A-23Bacteroidetes13903.1Uncultured bacterium clone A25B8 (DQ447181)99
GD1-A-37Synergistetes13743.1Uncultured bacterium clone R2B-12 (FJ167482)98
GD1-A-41d-Proteobacteria14083.1Uncultured bacterium clone B19 (EU234202)99
GD1-B-1Chloroflexi1354aDehalococcoides sp. BAV199.9
Tab.2  Phylogenetic analysis of predominant species in PCB dechlorinating sediment-free enrichment culture GD1 based on 16S rRNA gene sequences
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