Type strains of the purple nonsulfur species Rhodospirillum rubrum, Rhodospirillum photometricum, and Rhodopseudomonas palustris grew phototrophically on a number of two- and three-carbon halocarboxylic acids in the presence of CO2, by reductive dehalogenation and assimilation of the resulting acid. Strains of each of these species were able to grow on chloroacetic, 2-bromopropionic, 2-chloropropionic, and 3-chloropropionic acids at a concentration of 2 mM. Only R. palustris DSM 123 was able to grow on bromoacetic acid and then only at a reduced concentration of 1 mM. R. palustris ATCC 33872 (formerly R. rutila) was unable to grow on any of the substrates tested. The ability of these organisms to utilize halocarboxylic acids indicates that they may have a significant role to play in the removal of these environmental pollutants from illuminated anaerobic habitats such as lakes, waste lagoons, sediments of ditches and ponds, mud, and moist soil.
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