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Indian J Exp Biol. 2006 Aug;44(8):618-26.

Toxicity assessment and microbial degradation of azo dyes.

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Department of Genetics, Centre for Excellence in Genomic Sciences, School of Biological Sciences, Madurai Kamaraj University, India.


Toxic effluents containing azo dyes are discharged from various industries and they adversely affect water resources, soil fertility, aquatic organisms and ecosystem integrity. They pose toxicity (lethal effect, genotoxicity, mutagenicity and carcinogenicity) to aquatic organisms (fish, algae, bacteria, etc.) as well as animals. They are not readily degradable under natural conditions and are typically not removed from waste water by conventional waste water treatment systems. Benzidine based dyes have long been recognized as a human urinary bladder carcinogen and tumorigenic in a variety of laboratory animals. Several microorganisms have been found to decolourize, transform and even to completely mineralize azo dyes. A mixed culture of two Pseudomonas strains efficiently degraded mixture of 3-chlorobenzoate (3-CBA) and phenol/cresols. Azoreductases of different microorganisms are useful for the development of biodegradation systems as they catalyze reductive cleavage of azo groups (-N=N-) under mild conditions. In this review, toxic impacts of dyeing factory effluents on plants, fishes, and environment, and plausible bioremediation strategies for removal of azo dyes have been discussed.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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