© 2016 Elsevier B.V. Biodegradation of dichloromethane (DCM) under reducing conditions is of major concern due to its widespread detection in contaminated groundwaters. Here, we report an anaerobic enrichment culture derived from a membrane bioreactor operating in an industrial wastewater treatment plant, capable of fermenting DCM and the brominated analogue dibromomethane (DBM). Comparative analysis of bacterial 16S rDNA-DGGE profiles from fresh liquid medium inoculated with single colonies picked from serial dilution-to-extinction agar vials showed that cultures degrading DCM contained a predominant band belonging to Dehalobacterium, however this band was absent in cultures unable to degrade DCM. Analysis of the microbial composition of the enrichment by bacterial 16S rRNA gene amplicon paired-end sequencing confirmed the presence of Dehalobacterium together with three additional phylotypes belonging to Acetobacterium, Desulfovibrio, and Wolinella, representing all four operational taxonomic units > 99.9% of the retrieved sequences. The carbon isotopic fractionation (ε) determined for DCM degradation in this culture was − 27 ± 2‰. This value differs from the ε previously reported for the DCM-fermentative bacteria Dehalobacter (− 15.5 ± 1.5‰) but they are both significantly different from those reported for facultative methylotrophic organisms (ranging from − 45 to − 61‰). This significant difference in the ε allows differentiating between hydrolytic transformation of DCM via glutathione-dependent dehalogenases and fermentation pathway. Capsule The carbon isotopic fractionation of dichloromethane by an enriched Dehalobacterium-containing culture has significant potential to monitor biodegradation of DCM in groundwaters.
- Dense non-aqueous phase liquid
- Isotopic fractionation
- Methylene chloride