Indexed on: 01 Oct '11Published on: 01 Oct '11Published in: Environmental Science & Technology
Mixtures of chlorinated ethenes and ethanes are often found at contaminated sites. In this study, we undertook a systematic investigation of the inhibitory effects of 1,1,1-trichloroethane (1,1,1-TCA) and 1,1-dichloroethane (1,1-DCA) on chlorinated ethene dechlorination in three distinct Dehalococcoides-containing consortia. To focus on inhibition acting directly on the reductive dehalogenases, dechlorination assays used cell-free extracts prepared from cultures actively dechlorinating trichloroethene (TCE) to ethene. The dechlorination assays were initiated with TCE, cis-1,2-dichloroethene (cDCE), or vinyl chloride (VC) as substrates and either 1,1,1-TCA or 1,1-DCA as potential inhibitors. 1,1,1-TCA inhibited VC dechlorination similarly in cell suspension and cell-free extract assays, implicating an effect on the VC reductases associated with the dechlorination of VC to nontoxic ethene. Concentrations of 1,1,1-TCA in the range of 30-270 μg/L reduced VC dechlorination rates by approximately 50% relative to conditions without 1,1,1-TCA. 1,1,1-TCA also inhibited reductive dehalogenases involved in TCE and cDCE dechlorination. In contrast, 1,1-DCA had no pronounced inhibitory effects on chlorinated ethene reductive dehalogenases, indicating that removal of 1,1,1-TCA via reductive dechlorination to 1,1-DCA is a viable strategy to relieve inhibition.