Anaerobic degradation and dehalogenation of chlorosalicylates and salicylate under four reducing conditions

Peter W. Milligan, Max M. Häggblom

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

2 Scopus citations


The anaerobic biodegradability and transformation of the mono-and dichlorinated salicylates (2-hydroxybenzoates) was examined under denitrifying, Fe (III) reducing, sulfate reducing and methanogenic conditions. 3,6-Dichlorosalicylate and 6-chlorosalicylate are anaerobic microbial metabolites of dicamba, a widely used herbicide. Anaerobic microcosms were established with dicamba treated soil from Wyoming, and golf course drainage stream sediments from New Jersey, which were each spiked with salicylate, 3,6-dichlorosalicylate or one of the four monochlorosalicylate isomers. Salicylate was degraded under denitrifying, sulfidogenic and methanogenic conditions. In methanogenic enrichments 5-chlorosalicylate and 3-chlorosalicylate were reductively dehalogenated to salicylate which was then utilized. Dehalogenation of monochlorinated salicylates to salicylate was also observed in denitrifying chlorosalicylate degrading cultures. The study revealed that the position of the chlorine substituent as well as the predominant electron accepting process affect the rate and extent of chlorosalicylate degradation in anoxic environments.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)159-167
Number of pages9
Issue number3
StatePublished - 2001

All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • Environmental Engineering
  • Microbiology
  • Bioengineering
  • Environmental Chemistry
  • Pollution


  • Alternate electron acceptors
  • Anaerobic degradation
  • Chlorinated aromatic compounds
  • Dehalogenation

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