Proteogenomics of the novel Dehalobacterium formicoaceticum strain EZ94 highlights a key role of methyltransferases during anaerobic dichloromethane degradation

Kenneth Wasmund, Alba Trueba-Santiso, Teresa Vicent, Lorenz Adrian, Stéphane Vuilleumier, Ernest Marco-Urrea

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

32 Downloads (Pure)


Dichloromethane (DCM, methylene chloride) is a toxic, high-volume industrial pollutant of long-standing. Anaerobic biodegradation is crucial for its removal from contaminated environments, yet prevailing mechanisms remain unresolved, especially concerning dehalogenation. In this study, we obtained an assembled genome of a novel DCM-degrading strain, Dehalobacterium formicoaceticum strain EZ94, from a stable DCM-degrading consortium, and we analyzed its proteome during degradation of DCM. A gene cluster recently predicted to play a major role in anaerobic DCM catabolism (the mec cassette) was found. Methyltransferases and other proteins encoded by the mec cassette were among the most abundant proteins produced, suggesting their involvement in DCM catabolism. Reductive dehalogenases were not detected. Genes and corresponding proteins for a complete Wood-Ljungdahl pathway, which could enable further metabolism of DCM carbon, were also found. Unlike for the anaerobic DCM degrader “Ca. F. warabiya,” no genes for metabolism of the quaternary amines choline and glycine betaine were identified. This work provides independent and supporting evidence that mec-associated methyltransferases are key to anaerobic DCM metabolism.

Original languageEnglish
Number of pages11
JournalEnvironmental Science and Pollution Research
Early online date10 Jun 2023
Publication statusEarly online - 10 Jun 2023


  • anaerobic dichloromethane degradation
  • Dehalobacterium
  • methyltransferases
  • shotgun proteomics
  • Wood-Ljungdahl pathway

Cite this