Diastereoisomer-Specific Biotransformation of Hexabromocyclododecanes by a Mixed Culture Containing Dehalococcoides mccartyi Strain 195

Yin Zhong, Heli Wang, Zhiqiang Yu, Xinhua Geng, Chengyu Chen, Dan Li, Xifen Zhu, Huajun Zhen, Weilin Huang, Donna E. Fennell, Lily Y. Young, Ping’an Peng

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24 Scopus citations


Hexabromocyclododecane (HBCD) stereoisomers may exhibit substantial differences in physicochemical, biological, and toxicological properties. However, there remains a lack of knowledge about stereoisomer-specific toxicity, metabolism, and environmental fate of HBCD. In this study, the biotransformation of (±)α-, (±)β-, and (±)γ-HBCD contained in technical HBCD by a mixed culture containing the organohalide-respiring bacterium Dehalococcoides mccartyi strain 195 was investigated. Results showed that the mixed culture was able to efficiently biotransform the technical HBCD mixture, with 75% of the initial HBCD (∼12 μM) in the growth medium being removed within 42 days. Based on the metabolites analysis, HBCD might be sequentially debrominated via dibromo elimination reaction to form tetrabromocyclododecene, dibromocyclododecadiene, and 1,5,9-cyclododecatriene. The biotransformation of the technical HBCD was likely diastereoisomer-specific. The transformation rates of α-, β-, and γ-HBCD were in the following order: α-HBCD > β-HBCD > γ-HBCD. The enantiomer fractions of (±)α-, (±)β-, and (±)γ-HBCD were maintained at about 0.5 during the 28 days of incubation, indicating a lack of enantioselective biotransformation of these diastereoisomers. Additionally, the amendment of another halogenated substrate tetrachloroethene (PCE), which supports the growth of strain 195, had a negligible impact on the transformation patterns of HBCD diastereoisomers and enantiomers. This study provided new insights into the stereoisomer-specific transformation patterns of HBCD by anaerobic microbes and has important implications for microbial remediation of anoxic environments contaminated by HBCD using the mixed culture containing Dehalococcoides.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Article number1713
JournalFrontiers in Microbiology
StatePublished - Mar 29 2018

All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • Microbiology
  • Microbiology (medical)


  • HBCD
  • anaerobic degradation
  • debromination
  • enantiomers
  • stereoisomer


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