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Decolourisation of Acid Orange 7 recalcitrant auto-oxidation coloured by-products using an acclimatised mixed bacterial culture

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This study focuses on the biodegradation of recalcitrant, coloured compounds resulting from auto-oxidation of Acid Orange 7 (AO7) in a sequential facultative anaerobic–aerobic treatment system. A novel mixed bacterial culture, BAC-ZS, consisting of Brevibacillus panacihumi strain ZB1, Lysinibacillus fusiformis strain ZB2, and Enterococcus faecalis strain ZL bacteria were isolated from environmental samples. The acclimatisation of the mixed culture was carried out in an AO7 decolourised solution. The acclimatised mixed culture showed 98 % decolourisation within 2 h of facultative anaerobic treatment using yeast extract and glucose as co-substrate. Subsequent aerobic post treatment caused auto-oxidation reaction forming dark coloured compounds that reduced the percentage decolourisation to 73 %. Interestingly, further agitations of the mixed culture in the solution over a period of 48 h significantly decolourise the coloured compounds and increased the decolourisation percentage to 90 %. Analyses of the degradation compounds using UV–visible spectrophotometer, Fourier transform infrared spectroscopy (FTIR) and high performance liquid chromatography (HPLC) showed complete degradation of recalcitrant AO7 by the novel BAC-ZS. Phytotoxicity tests using Cucumis sativus confirmed the dye solution after post aerobic treatment were less toxic compared to the parent dye. The quantitative real-time PCR revealed that E. faecalis strain ZL was the dominant strain in the acclimatised mix culture.

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The authors would like to thank Professor Emeritus Dr Gustaf Olsson, Lund University, Sweden for critical reading of an earlier version of the manuscript. The first author (Bay HH) would like to extend her gratitude to Universiti Teknologi Malaysia and the Ministry of Higher Education of Malaysia for awarding her the Zamalah Scholarship. The second author (Lim CK) would like to thank MOSTI, Malaysia for awarding him the National Science Foundation grant. This research is funded by the Fundamental Research Grant Scheme (FRGS) VOT4F018 and Research University Grant (GUP) VOT0H154.

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Correspondence to Zaharah Ibrahim.

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Responsible editor: Robert Duran

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Bay, H.H., Lim, C.K., Kee, T.C. et al. Decolourisation of Acid Orange 7 recalcitrant auto-oxidation coloured by-products using an acclimatised mixed bacterial culture. Environ Sci Pollut Res 21, 3891–3906 (2014).

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  • Brevibacillus panacihumi
  • Lysinibacillus fusiformis
  • Enterococcus faecalis
  • Auto-oxidation
  • Population dynamic
  • Quantitative real-time PCR