Aims: To characterize the HAA-degrading bacteria in drinking water systems. Methods and Results: Haloacetic acid (HAA)-degrading bacteria were analysed in drinking water systems by cultivation and by a novel application of terminal restriction fragment length polymorphism (tRFLP). Substantial similarities were observed among the tRFLP patterns of dehI and dehII gene fragments in drinking water samples obtained from three different cities (Minneapolis, MN; St Paul, MN; Bucharest, Romania) and from one biologically active granular activated carbon filter (Hershey, PA). The dominant fragment in the tRFLP profiles of dehI genes from the drinking water samples matched the pattern from an Afipia sp. that was previously isolated from drinking water. In contrast, the dominant fragment in the tRFLP profiles of dehII genes did not match any previously characterized dehII gene fragment. PCR cloning was used to characterize this gene fragment, which had <65% nucleotide sequence identity with any previously characterized dehII gene. Conclusions: Afipia spp. are an appropriate model organism for studying the biodegradation of HAAs in drinking water distribution systems as encoded by dehI genes; the organism that harbours the most prominent dehII gene in drinking water has yet to be cultivated and identified. Significance and Impact of the Study: The development of a novel application of tRFLP targeting dehI and dehII genes could be broadly useful in understanding HAA-degrading bacteria in numerous environments.
- Drinking water
- Haloacetic acids