Efficient metabolic exchange and electron transfer within a syntrophic trichloroethene-degrading coculture of Dehalococcoides mccartyi 195 and Syntrophomonas wolfei. Academic Article uri icon


  • Dehalococcoides mccartyi 195 (strain 195) and Syntrophomonas wolfei were grown in a sustainable syntrophic coculture using butyrate as an electron donor and carbon source and trichloroethene (TCE) as an electron acceptor. The maximum dechlorination rate (9.9 0.1 mol day(-1)) and cell yield [(1.1 0.3) 10(8) cells mol(-1) Cl(-)] of strain 195 maintained in coculture were, respectively, 2.6 and 1.6 times higher than those measured in the pure culture. The strain 195 cell concentration was about 16 times higher than that of S. wolfei in the coculture. Aqueous H2 concentrations ranged from 24 to 180 nM during dechlorination and increased to 350 20 nM when TCE was depleted, resulting in cessation of butyrate fermentation by S. wolfei with a theoretical Gibbs free energy of -13.7 0.2 kJ mol(-1). Carbon monoxide in the coculture was around 0.06 mol per bottle, which was lower than that observed for strain 195 in isolation. The minimum H2 threshold value for TCE dechlorination by strain 195 in the coculture was 0.6 0.1 nM. Cell aggregates during syntrophic growth were observed by scanning electron microscopy. The interspecies distances to achieve H2 fluxes required to support the measured dechlorination rates were predicted using Fick's law and demonstrated the need for aggregation. Filamentous appendages and extracellular polymeric substance (EPS)-like structures were present in the intercellular spaces. The transcriptome of strain 195 during exponential growth in the coculture indicated increased ATP-binding cassette transporter activities compared to the pure culture, while the membrane-bound energy metabolism related genes were expressed at stable levels.

published proceedings

  • Appl Environ Microbiol

altmetric score

  • 1.25

author list (cited authors)

  • Mao, X., Stenuit, B., Polasko, A., & Alvarez-Cohen, L.

citation count

  • 42

complete list of authors

  • Mao, Xinwei||Stenuit, Benoit||Polasko, Alexandra||Alvarez-Cohen, Lisa

editor list (cited editors)

  • Kostka, J. E.

publication date

  • March 2015