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Hoffmann, R. A wiki for the life sciences where authorship matters. Nature Genetics (2008)

Reductive dehalogenation as a respiratory process.

Anaerobic bacteria can reductively dehalogenate aliphatic and aromatic halogenated compounds in a respiratory process. Only a few of these bacteria have been isolated in pure cultures. However, long acclimation periods, substrate specificity, high dehalogenation rates, and the possibility to enrich for the dehalogenation activity by subcultivation in media containing an electron donor indicate that many of the reductive dehalogenations in the environment are catalyzed by specific bacteria. Molecular hydrogen or formate appear to be good electron donors for the enrichment of such organisms. Furthermore, systems have to be employed which supply the cultures with the halogenated compounds beyond their toxicity level. All bacteria that are presently available in pure culture and grow with a halogenated compound as electron acceptor are members of new genera. Based on experimental results with the membrane-impermeable electron mediator methyl viologen, a model of the respiration system of Dehalobacter restrictus, a tetrachloroethene-dechlorinating bacterium, is presented. Further studies of the biochemistry and energetics of respiratory-dehalogenating strains will help to understand the mechanisms involved and perhaps reveal the evolutionary origin of the dehalogenating enzyme systems.[1]


  1. Reductive dehalogenation as a respiratory process. Holliger, C., Schumacher, W. Antonie Van Leeuwenhoek (1994) [Pubmed]
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