Widespread Distribution of Dehalococcoides mccartyi in the Houston Ship Channel and Galveston Bay, Texas, Sediments and the Potential for Reductive Dechlorination of PCDD/F in an Estuarine Environment

Anne Sophie Charlotte Hieke, Robin Brinkmeyer, Kevin M. Yeager, Kimberly Schindler, Saijin Zhang, Chen Xu, Patrick Louchouarn, Peter H. Santschi

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

17 Scopus citations

Abstract

Sediments in the Houston Ship Channel and upper Galveston Bay, Texas, USA, are polluted with polychlorinated dibenzo-p-dioxins/furans (PCDD/F; ≤46,000 ng/kg dry weight (wt.)) with 2,3,7,8-tetrachlorodibenzo-p-dioxin (TCDD), the most toxic congener, contributing >50 % of the total toxic equivalents (TEQ) at most locations. We measured PCDD/F concentrations in sediments and evaluated the potential for enhanced in situ biodegradation by surveying for Dehalococcoides mccartyi, an obligate organohalide respiring bacterium. Dehalococcoides spp. (98 % similar to D. mccartyi) and 22 other members of the class Dehalococcoidia were predominant 16S ribosomal RNA (rRNA) phylotypes. Dehalococcoides spp. were also present in the active fraction of the bacterial community. Presence/absence PCR screening detected D. mccartyi in sediment cores and sediment grab samples having at least 1 ng/kg dry wt. TEQ at salinities ranging from 0.6 to 19.5 PSU, indicating that they are widespread in the estuarine environment. Organic carbon-only and organic carbon + sulfate-amended sediment microcosm experiments resulted in ∼60 % reduction of ambient 2,3,7,8-TCDD in just 24 months leading to reductions in total TEQs by 38.4 and 45.0 %, respectively, indicating that 2,3,7,8-TCDD degradation is occurring at appreciable rates.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)630-644
Number of pages15
JournalMarine Biotechnology
Volume18
Issue number6
DOIs
StatePublished - Dec 1 2016

Bibliographical note

Funding Information:
This study was funded by a Texas Seagrant Program award to PHS, RB, and KMY and a Texas Commission on Environmental Quality award to RB. A special thank you to Erik Wright for assistance with DECIPHER. We also thank Dr. Lorenz Adrian for D. mccartyi strain CBDB1 DNA.

Publisher Copyright:
© 2016, Springer Science+Business Media New York.

Keywords

  • Bioremediation
  • Dehalococcoides mccartyi
  • Dioxins
  • Estuary
  • Galveston Bay
  • Houston Ship Channel

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Biotechnology
  • Aquatic Science

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