Organohalide-respiring Desulfitobacterium strains are believed to play an important role in the bioremediation and natural attenuation of chlorinated aliphatic and aromatic hydrocarbons. However, several studies have reported that chloroform significantly inhibits microbial reductive dechlorination of chloroethene. In this study, we examined the effect of chloroform on several Desulfitobacterium strains, including ortho-chlorophenol-dechlorinating Desulfitobacterium dehalogenans JW/IU-1 and Desulfitobacterium hafniense DCB-2, and also the chloroethene-dechlorinating strain D. hafniense TCE1. In medium containing 3-chloro-4-hydroxyphenylacetate as an electron acceptor, chloroform inhibited the growth of strains JW/IU-1 and DCB-2. Although chloroform did not directly inhibit dechlorination of 3-chloro-4-hydroxyphenylacetate by resting cells, cells cultivated with chloroform showed decreased dechlorination activity. Moreover, transcription of the gene encoding the reductive dehalogenase CprA decreased significantly in cells cultivated with chloroform. These results indicate that chloroform inhibits the growth and dechlorination activity of strains JW/IU-1 and DCB-2 via inhibition of cprA transcription. In contrast, cultivation of strain TCE1 in the presence of chloroform gave rise to a PceA reductive dehalogenase gene-deletion variant of strain TCE1; a similar phenomenon was observed in our previous study of chloroethene-dechlorinating D. hafniense strain Y51. Our results suggest that chloroform extensively inhibits the dechlorination activity of Desulfitobacterium strains, and that the inhibitory mechanism appears to differ between ortho-chlorophenol dechlorinators and chloroethene dechlorinators.
All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes
- Applied Microbiology and Biotechnology