Microbial dehalogenation of organohalides in marine and estuarine environments

Giulio Zanaroli, Andrea Negroni, Max M. Häggblom, Fabio Fava

Research output: Contribution to journalReview article

55 Scopus citations


Marine sediments are the ultimate sink and a major entry way into the food chain for many highly halogenated and strongly hydrophobic organic pollutants, such as polychlorinated biphenyls (PCBs), polychlorinated dibenzo-. p-dioxins (PCDDs), polybrominated diphenylethers (PBDEs) and 1,1,1-trichloro-2,2-bis(. p-chlorophenyl)ethane (DDT). Microbial reductive dehalogenation in anaerobic sediments can transform these contaminants into less toxic and more easily biodegradable products. Although little is still known about the diversity of respiratory dehalogenating bacteria and their catabolic genes in marine habitats, the occurrence of dehalogenation under actual site conditions has been reported. This suggests that the activity of dehalogenating microbes may contribute, if properly stimulated, to the in situ bioremediation of marine and estuarine contaminated sediments.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)287-295
Number of pages9
JournalCurrent Opinion in Biotechnology
StatePublished - Jun 1 2015

All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • Biotechnology
  • Bioengineering
  • Biomedical Engineering

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