Dehalogenimonas spp. couple growth to dichloroelimination of a variety of vicinally chlorinated ethanes including 1,2-DCA, 1,1,2-TCA, 1,1,2,2-TeCA and chlorinated propanes such as 1,2-DCP and 1,2,3-TCP (Dillehay et al. 2014; Moe et al. 2009).

Therefore, Microbial Insights (MI) recommends CENSUS® qPCR or QuantArray® quantification of Dehalogenimonas spp. to evaluate the potential for anaerobic biodegradation at sites impacted by chlorinated ethanes or chlorinated propanes.

In addition to Dehalogenimonas, MI recommends quantification of Dehalococcoides, vinyl chloride reductase genes, and Dehalobacter spp. at chlorinated ethane sites. As with Dehalogenimonas, Dehalobacter spp. can utilize chlorinated ethanes as growth supporting electron acceptors. Quantification of Dehalococcoides and functional genes is recommended at chlorinated ethane sites because biodegradation of 1,1,2,2-tetrachloroethane and 1,1,2-trichloroethane by Dehalogenimonas and Dehalobacter spp. proceeds by dichloroelimination producing dichloroethene (cis- and trans-DCE) and vinyl chloride as shown below (Moe et al. 2009; Yan et al. 2009).

Although described in the literature as “novel Chloroflexi” as recently as 2009 (Yan et al. 2009), Microbial Insights has been performing qPCR quantification of Dehalogenimonas spp. in environmental samples since 2011. The ability to use a wide range of chlorinated alkanes as electron acceptors makes Dehalogenimonas spp. particularly interesting. Moreover, analysis of the Microbial Insights Database suggests that Dehalogenimonas are not only versatile but also robust halorespiring bacteria. Although there detection frequency is comparable to those of Dehalococcoides and Dehalobacter spp., median concentrations are more than an order of magnitude greater than other halorespiring bacteria.


Dillehay, J.L., K.S. Bowman, J. Yan, F.A. Rainey, and W.M. Moe. 2014. Substrate interactions in dehalogenation of 1,2-dichloroethane, 1,2-dichloropropane, and 1,1,2-trichloroethane mixtures by Dehalogenimonas spp. Biodegradation 25 no. 2: 301-312.

Moe, W.M., J. Yan, M.F. Nobre, M.S. da Costa, and F.A. Rainey. 2009. Dehalogenimonas lykanthroporepellens gen. nov., sp. nov., a reductively dehalogenating bacterium isolated from chlorinated solvent-contaminated groundwater. International Journal of Systematic and Evolutionary Microbiology 59 no. 11: 2692-2697.

Yan, J., B.A. Rash, F.A. Rainey, and W.M. Moe. 2009. Isolation of novel bacteria within the Chloroflexi capable of reductive dechlorination of 1,2,3-trichloropropane. Environmental Microbiology 11 no. 4: 833-843.