A trichloroethene (TCE)-dechlorinating community (CANAS) maintained in a completely mixed flow reactor was established from a semi-batch enrichment culture (ANAS) and was monitored for 400 days at a low solids retention time (SRT) under electron acceptor limitation. Around 85% of TCE supplied to CANAS (0.13 mmol d-1) was converted to ethene at a rate of 0.1 mmol d-1, with detection of low production rates of vinyl chloride (6.8 × 10-3 mmol d-1) and cis-dichloroethene (2.3 × 10-3 mmol d-1). Two distinct Dehalococcoides mccartyi strains (ANAS1 and ANAS2) were stably maintained at 6.2 ± 2.8 × 108 cells mL-1 and 5.8 ± 1.2 × 108 cells mL-1, respectively. Electron balance analysis showed 107% electron recovery, in which 6.1% were involved in dechlorination. 16 S rRNA amplicon sequencing revealed a structural regime shift between ANAS and CANAS while maintaining robust TCE dechlorination due to similar relative abundances of D. mccartyi and functional redundancy among each functional guild supporting D. mccartyi activity. D. mccartyi transcriptomic analysis identified the genes encoding for ribosomal RNA and the reductive dehalogenases tceA and vcrA as the most expressed genes in CANAS, while hup and vhu were the most critical hydrogenases utilized by D. mccartyi in the community.
Keywords: CMFR; Community structure; Completely mixed flow reactors; Dechlorination; Dehalococcoides; Functional robustness; PCE; Perchloroethene; SRA; SRT; Sequence read archive; Sludge retention time; TCE; TMM; Transcriptomic analysis; Trichloroethene; Trimmed mean of M-values.
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