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Environ Sci Technol. 2002 Apr 1;36(7):1497-504.

Effects of different quinoid redox mediators on the anaerobic reduction of azo dyes by bacteria.

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Institut für Mikrobiologie, Universität Stuttgart, Germany.


The addition of quinoid redox mediators to anaerobically incubated cultures of various taxonomically different bacterial species resulted in significantly increased reduction rates for the azo dye amaranth. From different quinones tested, generally anthraquinone-2-sulfonate (AQS) and lawsone (2-hydroxy-1,4-naphthoquinone) caused the highest increase in the azoreductase activities. The effects of AQS and lawsone were studied in greater detail with Sphingomonas xenophaga BN6 and Escherichia coli K12. Both strains reduced the quinones under anaerobic conditions with significantly different relative activities. The chemically reduced forms of AQS, lawsone, and different other quinones were assayed for their ability to decolorize amaranth, and a good correlation between the redox potentials of the quinones and the reduction rates of the azo dyes was observed. The addition of AQS or lawsone also increased the ability of unacclimated sewage sludge to reduce azo dyes. Chemically pure lawsone could be replaced by the powdered leaves of the henna plant which contain significant amounts of lawsone.

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