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Organohalide respiration is an anaerobic bacterial respiratory process that uses halogenated hydrocarbons as terminal electron acceptors during electron transport-based energy conservation. This dechlorination process has triggered considerable interest for detoxification of anthropogenic groundwater contaminants. Organohalide-respiring bacteria have been identified from multiple bacterial phyla, and can be categorized as obligate and non-obligate organohalide respirers. The majority of the currently known organohalide-respiring bacteria carry multiple reductive dehalogenase genes. Analysis of a curated set of reductive dehalogenases reveals that sequence similarity and substrate specificity are generally not correlated, making functional prediction from sequence information difficult. In this article, an orthologue-based classification system for the reductive dehalogenases is proposed to aid integration of new sequencing data and to unify terminology.


Laura A Hug, Farai Maphosa, David Leys, Frank E Löffler, Hauke Smidt, Elizabeth A Edwards, Lorenz Adrian. Overview of organohalide-respiring bacteria and a proposal for a classification system for reductive dehalogenases. Philosophical transactions of the Royal Society of London. Series B, Biological sciences. 2013 Apr 19;368(1616):20120322

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PMID: 23479752

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