The importance of Dehalobacter species in bioremediation as dedicated degraders of chlorinated organics has been well recognized. However, still little is known about Dehalobacter's full genomic repertoires, including the genes involved in dehalogenation. Here we report the first insights into the genome sequence of Dehalobacter sp. E1 that grows in strict co-culture with Sedimentibacter sp. B4. Based on the co-culture metagenome and the genome of strain B4 (4.2 Mbp) we estimate the genome sequence of strain E1 to be 2.6 Mbp. Ten putative reductive dehalogenase homologue (Rdh)-encoding gene clusters were identified. One cluster has a putative tetrachloroethene Rdh-encoding gene cluster, similar to the pceABCT operon previously identified in Dehalobacter restrictus. Metagenome analysis indicated that the inability of strain E1 to synthesize cobalamin, an essential cofactor of reductive dehalogenases, is complemented by Sedimentibacter. The metagenomic exploration described here maps the extensive dechlorinating potential of Dehalobacter, and paves way for elucidation of the interactions with its co-cultured Sedimentibacter.
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