Comparison of an assay for Dehalococcoides DNA and a microcosm study in predicting reductive dechlorination of chlorinated ethenes in the field.
The study aims to compare the detection of 16S rRNA gene of Dehalococcoides species and the microcosm study for biotransformation in predicting reductive dechlorination of chlorinated ethenes in ground water at hazardous waste sites. A total of 72 ground water samples were collected from 12 PCE or TCE contaminated sites in the United States. The samples were analyzed and used to construct microcosms in the laboratory. The results showed that the presence of Dehalococcoides DNA was well associated with dechlorination to ethene in the field. Nearly half of the wells where Dehalococcoides DNA was detected had ethene as a dechlorination end product. In comparison, for ground water samples of 16 wells where ethene was detected, ethene was produced in 11 of the corresponding microcosms. For most microcosms, during two years of incubation, dechlorination was less extensive than that observed in the field.