Exploring additional dehalogenation abilities of DehaloR̂2, a previously characterized, trichloroethene-degrading microbial consortium
DehaloR^2 is a previously characterized, trichloroethene (TCE)-dechlorinating culture and contains bacteria from the known dechlorinating genus, Dehalococcoides. DehaloR^2 was exposed to three anthropogenic contaminants, Triclocarban (TCC), tris(2-chloroethyl) phosphate (TCEP), and 1,1,1-trichloroethane (TCA) and two biogenic-like halogenated compounds, 2,6-dibromophenol (2,6-DBP) and 2,6-dichlorophenol (2,6-DCP). The effects on TCE dechlorination ability due to 2,6-DBP and 2,6-DCP exposures were also investigated. DehaloR^2 did not dechlorinate TCC or TCEP. After initial exposure to TCA, half of the initial TCA was dechlorinated to 1,1-dichloroethane (DCA), however half of the TCA remained by day 100. Subsequent TCA and TCE re-exposure showed no reductive dechlorination activity for both TCA and TCE by 120 days after the re-exposure. It has been hypothesized that the microbial TCE-dechlorinating ability was developed before TCE became abundant in groundwater. This dechlorinating ability would have existed in the microbial metabolism due to previous exposure to biogenic halogenated compounds. After observing the inability of DehaloR^2 to dechlorinate other anthropogenic compounds, DehaloR^2 was then exposed to two naturally occurring halogenated phenols, 2,6-DBP and 2,6-DCP, in the presence and absence of TCE. DehaloR^2 debrominated 2,6-DBP through the intermediate 2-bromophenol (2-BP) to the end product phenol faster in the presence of TCE. DehaloR^2 dechlorinated 2,6-DCP to 2-CP in the absence of TCE; however, 2,6-DCP dechlorination was incomplete in the presence of TCE. Additionally, when 2,6-DBP was present, complete TCE dechlorination to ethene occurred more quickly than when TCE was present without 2,6-DBP. However, when 2,6-DCP was present, TCE dechlorination to ethene had not completed by day 55. The increased dehalogenation rate of 2,6-DBP and TCE when present together compared to conditions containing only 2,6-DBP or only TCE suggests a possible synergistic relationship between 2,6-DBP and TCE, while the decreased dechlorination rate of 2,6-DCP and TCE when present together compared to conditions containing only 2,6-DCP or only TCE suggests an inhibitory effect.