Environmental Chemistry Letters

, Volume 15, Issue 3, pp 531–536 | Cite as

Bacillus algicola decolourises more than 95% of some textile azo dyes

  • Pawan Kumar Chukowry
  • Ackmez Mudhoo
  • Sunita J. Santchurn
Original Paper


Textile effluents in natural waters pose environmental health problems if not treated to safe limits. Various bacterial species have the potential to degrade dyes. Here we studied the ability of Bacillus algicola to decolourise red, blue and yellow azo dyes. B. algicola was isolated from soil samples taken from a sanitary landfill site. Isolation and screening were performed using mineral salt medium. Dye-decolourising isolates were assessed in their capacity to decolourise dyes. Experiments were conducted at pH 6, 7 and 8, and 25, 35 and 45 °C. Phytotoxicity of the dyes and biodegradation products was assessed by seed germination tests. Results show that B. algicola gave the highest decolourisation at pH 8.0 and 25 °C in the presence of yeast extract as media supplement. B. algicola degraded the red and blue azo dyes by over 95%. The phytotoxicity results indicated that biodegradation products of the red and blue azo dyes were not toxic. Biodegradation products of the yellow dye were, however, toxic and considerably hindered germination. From these results, we infer that B. algicola has good potential for degrading and decolourising the red and blue test azo dyes.


Azo dyes Bacillus algicola Biodegradation Phytotoxicity 



We thank the technical staff of the Department of Agricultural and Food Science, Faculty of Agriculture, University of Mauritius. We also acknowledge the support received at the landfill. We equally thank the anonymous reviewers for their helpful comments. This work received no grant or financial support.

Compliance with ethical standards

Conflict of interest

The authors declare no conflict of interest.


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Copyright information

© Springer International Publishing Switzerland 2017

Authors and Affiliations

  • Pawan Kumar Chukowry
    • 1
  • Ackmez Mudhoo
    • 2
  • Sunita J. Santchurn
    • 1
  1. 1.Department of Agricultural and Food Science, Faculty of AgricultureUniversity of MauritiusRéduitMauritius
  2. 2.Department of Chemical and Environmental Engineering, Faculty of EngineeringUniversity of MauritiusRéduitMauritius

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