• Reductive dehalogenation;
  • Dehalorespiration;
  • Chlorophenol;
  • Tetrachloroethene;
  • Corrinoid;
  • Vitamin B12


Within the last few decades, several anaerobic bacteria have been isolated which are able to reductively dechlorinate chlorinated aliphatic and aromatic compounds at catabolic rates. For some of these bacteria, it has been shown that the reductive dechlorination is coupled to energy conservation, a process designated as ‘dehalorespiration’. Somewhat simple respiratory chains seem to be involved that utilize the free energy that could be gained from the exergonic dechlorination reaction quite inefficiently. With one exception, all reductive dehalogenases isolated to date contain a corrinoid and iron–sulfur clusters as cofactors. During the course of the catalytic reaction cycle, the cobalt of the corrinoid is subjected to a change in its redox state. Hence, reductive dechlorination represents a new type of biochemical reaction.