Journal of industrial microbiology & biotechnology

Isolation and characterization of tetrachloroethylene- and cis-1,2-dichloroethylene-dechlorinating propionibacteria.

PMID 21437617


Two rapidly growing propionibacteria that could reductively dechlorinate tetrachloroethylene (PCE) and cis-1,2-dichloroethylene (cis-DCE) to ethylene were isolated from environmental sediments. Metabolic characterization and partial sequence analysis of their 16S rRNA genes showed that the new isolates, designated as strains Propionibacterium sp. HK-1 and Propionibacterium sp. HK-3, did not match any known PCE- or cis-DCE-degrading bacteria. Both strains dechlorinated relatively high concentrations of PCE (0.3 mM) and cis-DCE (0.52 mM) under anaerobic conditions without accumulating toxic intermediates during incubation. Cell-free extracts of both strains catalyzed PCE and cis-DCE dechlorination; degradation was accelerated by the addition of various electron donors. PCE dehalogenase from strain HK-1 was mediated by a corrinoid protein, since the dehalogenase was inactivated by propyl iodide only after reduction by titanium citrate. The amounts of chloride ions (0.094 and 0.103 mM) released after PCE (0.026 mM) and cis-DCE (0.05 mM) dehalogenation using the cell-free enzyme extracts of both strains, HK-1 and HK-3, were stoichiometrically similar (91 and 100%), indicating that PCE and cis-DCE were fully dechlorinated. Radiotracer studies with [1,2-¹⁴C] PCE and [1,2-¹⁴C] cis-DCE indicated that ethylene was the terminal product; partial conversion to ethylene was observed. Various chlorinated aliphatic compounds (PCE, trichloroethylene, cis-DCE, trans-1,2-dichloroethylene, 1,1-dichloroethylene, 1,1-dichloroethane, 1,2-dichloroethane, 1,2-dichloropropane, 1,1,2-trichloroethane, and vinyl chloride) were degraded by cell-free extracts of strain HK-1.