Indexed on: 13 Oct '01Published on: 13 Oct '01Published in: Journal of Industrial Microbiology & Biotechnology
Anaerobic biodegradation of pentachlorophenol (PCP), in mixtures containing cadmium (Cd), by sulfidogenic (SRB) and methanogenic (MET) enrichment cultures, was studied. Removal of 91-93% of PCP occurred in both SRB- and MET-enriched cultures, in the absence of Cd, within 82 days. The presence of soluble Cd initially decreased the rate of PCP removal by the enrichment cultures, but PCP removal rates improved as the Cd precipitated. GC-MS, 14C-PCP, and 13C-PCP studies confirmed mineralization of PCP by both enrichment cultures, as well as the incorporation of PCP carbon into specific phospholipid fatty acids (PLFAs) of the cell membranes of PCP-degrading anaerobes. This is the first report on anaerobic biodegradation of PCP by SRB- and MET-enriched cultures in the presence, with simultaneous precipitation, of the toxic heavy metal Cd, and of the incorporation of PCP carbons into specific PLFAs of the anaerobic bacterial cells.