Anaerobic degradation of halogenated phenols by sulfate-reducing consortia

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Sulfidogenic consortia enriched from an estuarine sediment were maintained on either 2-, 3-, or 4-chlorophenol as the only source of carbon and energy for over 5 years. The enrichment culture on 4-chlorophenol was the most active and this consortium was selected for further characterization. Utilization of chlorophenol resulted in sulfate depletion corresponding to the values expected for complete mineralization to CO2. Degradation of 4- chlorophenol was coupled to sulfate reduction, since substrate utilization was dependent on sulfidogenesis and chlorophenol loss did not proceed in the absence of sulfate. Other sulfur oxyanions, sulfite or thiosulfate, also served as electron acceptors for chlorophenol utilization, while carbonate, nitrate, and fumarate did not. The sulfidogenic consortium utilized phenol, 4-bromophenol, and 4-iodophenol in addition to 4-chlorophenol. 4- Fluorophenol, however, did not serve as a substrate. 4-Bromo- and 4- iodophenol were degraded with stoichiometric release of halide, and 4- [14C]bromophenol was mineralized, with 90% of the radiolabel recovered as CO2.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)1546-1550
Number of pages5
JournalApplied and environmental microbiology
Issue number4
StatePublished - 1995

All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • Biotechnology
  • Food Science
  • Applied Microbiology and Biotechnology
  • Ecology


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