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Decolorization of azo dyes by Shewanella sp. under saline conditions


Wastewaters from textile processing and dye-stuff manufacture industries contain substantial amounts of salts in addition to azo dye residues. To examine salinity effects on dye-degrading bacteria, a study was carried out with four azo dyes in the presence of varying concentrations of NaCl (0–100 g l−1) with a previously isolated bacterium, Shewanella putrefaciens strain AS96. Under static, low oxygen conditions, the bacterium decolorized 100 mg dye l−1 at salt concentrations up to 60 g NaCl l−1. There was an inverse relationship between the velocity of the decolorization reaction and salt concentration over the range between 5 and 60 g NaCl l−1 and at dye concentrations between 100 and 500 mg l−1. The addition of either glucose (C source) or NH4NO3 (N source) to the medium strongly inhibited the decolorization process, while yeast extract (4 g l−1) and Ca(H2PO4)2·H2O (1 g l−1) both enhanced decolorization rates. High-performance liquid chromatography analysis demonstrated the presence of 1-amino-2-naphthol, sulfanilic acid and nitroaniline as the major metabolic products of the azo dyes, which could be further degraded by a shift to aerobic conditions. These findings show that Shewanella could be effective for the treatment of dye-containing industrial effluents containing high concentrations of salt.

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Financial support for this study was provided by the Higher Education Commission, Pakistan. We thank Dr. Sakkyun Han for supplying the S. oneidensis strain JM6.

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Correspondence to David E. Crowley.

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Khalid, A., Arshad, M. & Crowley, D.E. Decolorization of azo dyes by Shewanella sp. under saline conditions. Appl Microbiol Biotechnol 79, 1053–1059 (2008).

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  • Azo dye
  • Decolorization
  • Salinity
  • Nitroaniline
  • Wastewater