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Isotopic and Proteomic Approaches to Dehalococcoides Physiology

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Microbes in the fight against pollution

Chemical pollution poses a serious threat for the environment and adjacent ecosystems. A novel bioremediation method using microbes was proposed by European researchers for environmental sites polluted with halogenated

Climate Change and Environment

Halogenated compounds constitute one of the largest groups of environmental pollutants, partly as a result of their widespread use as biocides, solvents and other industrial chemicals. To overcome the hazardous effects of such compounds, scientists have proposed the use of anaerobic Dehalococcoide bacteria. These are known to exclusively transform halogenated aromatic compounds as part of their life cycle. However, although Dehalococcoides species have been isolated and physiologically described, many aspects of their physiology are still elusive. A central research objective of the EU-funded ‘Isotopic and proteomic approaches to dehalococcoides physiology’ (Ispadehal) project was to describe the physiological capacities of the Dehalococcoides CBDB1strain. This was the first strain to exhibit reductive dehalogenation of chlorinated benzenes and highly toxic chlorinated dioxins. Using isotopic and proteomic technologies, project partners studied the physiology of the CBDB1 strain and showed that it could reduce the toxicity of several other compounds including chlorinated phenols and chlorinated biphenyls. Ispadehal results contributed important insights into the basic physiology of Dehalococcoide bacteria and their potential utilisation as anti-pollutant agents. Implementation of such novel bioremediation strategies holds positive environmental and socioeconomic impacts.

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