Jennifer Webb (Ontario) coauthored a paper entitled “Anaerobic Biodegradation of Chloroform and Dichloromethane with a Dehalobacter Enrichment Culture” published in Applied and Environmental Microbiology.

Hao Wang (Clemson University, SC) was the lead author and the coauthors in addition to Jenn included Rong Yu (Synterra, SC), Peter Dollar (Geosyntec Consultants, Ontario) and Prof. David Freedman, Ph.D. (Clemson University, SC).

Jenn is the Research Coordinator at SiREM with more than 17 years of experience in microbiology where she develops new cultures while coordinating R&D collaborations with researchers globally.

Applied and Environmental Microbiology publishes study results that make significant contributions to applied microbial research, basic microbial ecology research, and genetic and molecular investigations of microbial topics of practical value. The journal sheds new light on key microbiological principles, fundamental microbial processes, and basic questions in applied and environmental microbiology.

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 Published Abstract

 Chloroform (CF) and dichloromethane (DCM) are among the more commonly identified chlorinated aliphatic compounds found in contaminated soil and groundwater. Complete dechlorination of CF has been reported under anaerobic conditions by microbes that respire CF to DCM and others that biodegrade DCM. The objectives of this study were to ascertain if a commercially available bioaugmentation enrichment culture (KB-1® Plus CF) uses an oxidative or fermentative pathway for biodegradation of DCM and to determine if the products from DCM biodegradation can support organohalide respiration of CF to DCM in the absence of an exogenous electron donor. In various treatments with the KB-1® Plus CF culture to which 14C-CF was added, the predominant product was 14CO2, indicating that oxidation is the predominant pathway for DCM. Recovery of 14C-DCM when biodegradation was still in progress confirmed that CF first undergoes reductive dechlorination to DCM. 14C-labeled organic acids, including acetate and propionate, were also recovered, suggesting that synthesis of organic acids provides a sink for the electron equivalents from oxidation of DCM. When the biomass was washed to remove organic acids from prior additions of exogenous electron donor and only CF and DCM were added, the culture completely dechlorinated CF. The total amount of DCM added was not sufficient to provide the electron equivalents needed to reduce CF to DCM. Thus, the additional reducing power came via the DCM generated from CF reduction. Nevertheless, the rate of CF consumption was considerably lower compared to that of treatments that received an exogenous electron donor.

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