Compounded effects of chlorinated ethene inhibition on ecological interactions and population abundance in a Dehalococcoides - Dehalobacter coculture

Document Type


Publication Date



The development of rational and effective engineered bioremediation approaches for sites contaminated with chlorinated solvents requires a fundamental understanding of the factors limiting the in situ activity of dehalorespiring bacteria. Frequently, multiple dehalorespiring bacteria are present at contaminated sites, particularly when bioaugmentation is applied. The ecological interactions between different dehalorespiring populations can - along with hydrodynamic and other environmental factors - affect their activity and thus the rates and extent of dehalorespiration. An integrated experimental and modeling approach was used to evaluate the ecological interactions between two hydrogenotrophic, dehalorespiring strains. A dual Monod model of dehalorespiration provided a good fit to the chlorinated ethene concentrations measured in a coculture of Dehalococcoides mccartyi 195 and Dehalobacter restrictus growing on tetrachloroethene (PCE) and excess H2 in a continuous-flow reactor. Inhibition of dehalorespiration by chlorinated ethenes was previously observed in cultures containing Dehalococcoides or Dehalobacter strains. Therefore, inhibition coefficients were estimated for Dhc. mccartyi 195 and Dhb. restrictus. The inhibition effects of PCE and TCE on VC dechlorination by Dhc. mccartyi 195, and of VC on PCE and TCE dechlorination by Dhb. restrictus, were compounded when these strains were grown in coculture, and dehalorespiring population abundance and survival could be accurately predicted only by incorporating these complex interactions into the dual Monod model. © 2013 American Chemical Society.

Publication Title

Environmental Science and Technology