Microbiome composition resulting from different substrates influences trichloroethene dechlorination performance

Wei Yu Chen, Jer Horng Wu

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

10 Citations (Scopus)


Hydrogen-releasing substrates can stimulate the reductive dechlorination of trichloroethene (TCE) mediated by organohalide-respiring bacteria (OHRB) at contaminated sites. However, how the substrate affects microbiome assembly and the accompanying influences on the growth of OHRB and reductive TCE dechlorination remains unclear. We evaluated the effects of microbial community structures and potential functions on the reductive dechlorination of TCE in three anaerobic reactors with acetate, soybean oil, or molasses as the substrate and no cobalamin or amino acid supplementation. The molasses-fed reactor exhibited superior performance and dechlorination of TCE loadings to ethene, and the oil-fed reactor exhibited a high growth rate of the key OHRB, Dehalococcoides. This finding suggests an effect of the substrate on reductive dechlorination and the growth of Dehalococcoides. The three reactors developed distinct microbial community structures and the predicted metagenomes were distinguished on the basis of vitamin and amino acid metabolisms as well as fermentation pathways. In addition to the diversified hydrogen-producing pathways, the molasses-induced microbiome exhibited high potential to synthesize the cobalamin, which may account for its high Dehalococcoides activity and thus effective dechlorination performance. The substrate dependence of microbiomes may provide insight into strategies of exogenous amino acid supplementation to benefit Dehalococcoides growth. This study adds novel insight into the interplay of hydrogen-releasing substrates and OHRB. The results may contribute to the development of tailored and cost-effective management for the reductive dechlorination of chlorinated solvents in bioremediation.

Original languageEnglish
Article number114145
JournalJournal of Environmental Management
Publication statusPublished - 2022 Feb 1

All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • Environmental Engineering
  • Waste Management and Disposal
  • Management, Monitoring, Policy and Law


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