Aerobic Degradation of Chloroaromatics

  • Dietmar H. PieperEmail author
  • B. González
  • B. Cámara
  • D. Pérez-Pantoja
  • W. Reineke
Reference work entry
Part of the Handbook of Hydrocarbon and Lipid Microbiology book series (HHLM)


Microorganisms are key players in the global carbon cycle. In addition, it appears that most xenobiotic industrial chemicals can be degraded by microorganisms, either by a combination of cometabolic steps or by serving as growth substrate, leading to the mineralization of at least part of the molecule. Here, we present the principles of the microbial aerobic degradation of chloroaromatic compounds. The so-called peripheral sequences of the oxidative degradation of chloroaromatic compounds in aerobic bacteria yield central intermediates with a diphenolic structure such as catechols or hydroxybenzoquinols. These compounds are subsequently cleaved by enzymes that use molecular oxygen and further metabolized by central pathway sequences. The broad variety of mechanisms resulting in dechlorination that occur in these peripheral or central sequences is specifically discussed.


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Copyright information

© Springer Nature Switzerland AG 2019

Authors and Affiliations

  • Dietmar H. Pieper
    • 1
    Email author
  • B. González
    • 2
  • B. Cámara
    • 3
  • D. Pérez-Pantoja
    • 4
  • W. Reineke
    • 5
  1. 1.Microbial Interactions and Processes Research GroupHZI – Helmholtz Centre for Infection ResearchBraunschweigGermany
  2. 2.Facultad de Ingeniería y CienciasUniversidad Adolfo IbáñezSantiagoChile
  3. 3.Laboratorio de Microbiología Molecular y Biotecnología Ambiental, Departamento de Química and Centro de BiotecnologíaUniversidad Técnica Federico Santa MaríaValparaísoChile
  4. 4.Departamento de Bioquímica y Biología Molecular, Facultad de Ciencias BiológicasUniversidad de ConcepciónConcepciónChile
  5. 5.Chemical MicrobiologyBergische Universität WuppertalWuppertalGermany

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