Who will clean up the environment from polychlorinated biphenyls?

PCBs are persistent, toxic and carcinogenic organic pollutants whose production was banned in the 80’s. Recently specific bacterial species were shown to degrade these compounds by attacking the bond between the aromatic core and the flanking chlorine atoms. This process, called anaerobic organohalide respiration, could be a possible way for environmental bioremediation. Nevertheless, little is known about the diversity of this bacterial guild and the enzymes which are involved.


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