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Anaerobic Biodegradation of 2,4,5-Trichlorophenoxyacetic Acid in Samples from a Methanogenic Aquifer: Stimulation by Short-Chain Organic Acids and Alcohols

By Susan A. Gibson and Joseph M. Suflita


The herbicide 2,4,5-trichlorophenoxyacetic acid (2,4,5-T) was dehalogenated in samples from a methanogenic aquifer to form 2,4- and 2,5-dichlorophenoxyacetic acids as the first detected intermediates. Further incubation of the aquifer slurries resulted in the formation of several intermediates including monochlorophenoxyacetic acids, di- and monochlorophenols, as well as phenol. No transformation of the parent substrate or production of intermediates was detected in autoclaved controls. The pattern of intermediate formation suggested that the anaerobic degradation of 2,4,5-T proceeded by a series of sequential dehalogenation steps with side-chain cleavage reactions occurring at some point before ring cleavage. The addition of short-chain organic acids or alcohols stimulated the onset and rate of 2,4,5-T dehalogenation and decreased the amount of parent substrate still detectable as halogenated intermediates at the end of the experiment. Sulfate addition had the opposite effect on dehalogenation regardless of whether supplemental carbon was added to the aquifer slurries. The inhibitory effect of sulfate on dehalogenation could sometimes be relieved with molybdate, although this effect seemed to be related to the supplemental carbon compound that was used

Topics: Applied Environmental and Public Health Microbiology
Year: 1990
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Provided by: PubMed Central
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