Springer Nature is making SARS-CoV-2 and COVID-19 research free. View research | View latest news | Sign up for updates

Autocatalysis in Reactive Black 5 biodecolorization by Rhodopseudomonas palustris W1

  • 232 Accesses

  • 21 Citations


Autocatalysis in biological decolorization of Reactive Black 5 (RB5) by Rhodopseudomonas palustris W1 was investigated in batch assays. An improvement of 1.5-fold in decolorization rate of RB5 was obtained by supplementing decolorization metabolites from 200 mg l−1 RB5. Liquid chromatography-mass spectrometry and cyclic voltammetric analysis revealed that the constituent of dye precursors, from azo bonds breakage, with quinone-like structure and reversible oxidation–reduction activity can be used as redox mediators and was responsible for the catalytic reduction of RB5. The required amount of metabolites for catalytic decolorization was quite small, indicating its possible application in real textile wastewater treatment. Furthermore, decolorization metabolites of RB5 were shown as effective in catalyzing anaerobic decolorization of Direct Yellow 11, an azo dye without autocatalyic activity.

This is a preview of subscription content, log in to check access.

Fig. 1
Fig. 2
Fig. 3
Fig. 4
Fig. 5
Fig. 6
Fig. 7


  1. Albuquerque MGE, Lopes AT, Serralheiro ML, Novais JM, Pinheiro HM (2005) Biological sulphate reduction and redox mediator effects on azo dye decolorization in anaerobic–aerobic sequencing batch reactors. Enz Microbiol Technol 36:790–799

  2. Brown D, Hamburger B (1987) The degradation of dyestuffs. Part III. Investigations of their ultimative biodegradability. Chemosphere 16:1539–1553

  3. Carliell CM, Barclay SJ, Naidoo N, Buckley CA, Mulholland DA, Senior E (1995) Microbial decolourisation of a reactive azo dye under anaerobic conditions. Water SA. 21:61–69

  4. Cervantes FJ, van der Velde S, Lettinga G, Field JA (2000) Competition between methanogenesis and quinone respiration for ecologically important substrates in anaerobic consortia. FEMS Microbiol Ecol 34:161–171

  5. Cervantes FJ, Enríquez JE, Galindo-Petatán E, Arvayo H, Razo-Flores E, Field JA (2007) Biogenic sulphide plays a major role on the riboflavin-mediated decolourisation of azo dyes under sulphate-reducing conditions. Chemosphere 68:1082–1089

  6. Chang JS, Chen BY, Lin YS (2004) Stimulation of bacterial decolorization of an azo dye by extracellular metabolites from Escherichia coli strain NO3. Bioresource Technol 91:243–248

  7. Chinwetkitvanich S, Tuntoolvest M, Panswad T (2000) Anaerobic decolorization of reactive dyebath effluents by a two-stage UASB system with tapioca as co-substrate. Water Res 34:2223–2232

  8. Dos Santos AB, Bisschops IAE, Cervantes FJ, Van Lier JB (2004) Effect of different redox mediators during thermophilic azo dye reduction by anaerobic granular sludge and comparative study between mesophilic (30°C) and thermophilic (55°C) treatments for decolourisation of textile wastewaters. Chemosphere 55:1149–1157

  9. Dos Santos AB, Bisschops IAE, Cervantes FJ, Van Lier JB (2005) The transformation and toxicity of anthraquinone dyes during thermophilic (55°C) and mesophilic (30°C) anaerobic treatments. J Biotechnol 15:345–353

  10. Encinas-Yocupicio AA, Razo-Flores E, Sánchez-Díaz F, dos Santos AB, Field JA, Cervantes FJ (2006) Catalytic effects of different redox mediators on the reductive decolorization of azo dyes. Water Sci Technol 54:165–170

  11. Frijters CTMJ, Vos RH, Scheffer G, Mulder R (2006) Decolorizing and detoxifying textile wastewater, containing both soluble and insoluble dyes, in a full scale combined anaerobic/aerobic system. Water Res 40:1249–1257

  12. Hao OJ, Kim H, Chiang PC (2000) Decolourisation of wastewater. Crit Rev Environ Sci Technol 30:449–505

  13. Hu TL (2001) Kinetics of azoreductase and assessment of toxicity of metabolic products from azo dye by Pseudomonas luteola. Water Sci Technol 43:261–269

  14. Keck A, Klein J, Kudlich M, Stolz A, Knackmuss HJ, Mattes R (1997) Reduction of azo dyes by redox mediators originating in the naphthalenesulfonic acid degradation pathway of Sphingomonas sp. strain BN6. Appl Environ Microbiol 63:3684–3690

  15. Keck A, Rau J, Reemtsma T, Mattes R, Stolz A, Klein J (2002) Identification of quinoide redox mediators that are formed during the degradation of naphthalene-2-sulphonate by Sphingomonas xenophaga BN6. Appl Environ Microbiol 68:4341–4349

  16. Kudlich M, Keck A, Klein J, Stolz A (1997) Localization of the enzyme system involved in anaerobic reduction of azo dyes by Sphingomonas sp. strain BN6 and effect of artificial redox mediators on the rate of azo dye reduction. Appl Environ Microbiol 63:3691–3694

  17. Lee YH (2004) Pavlostathis S.G. Decolorization and toxicity of reactive anthraquinone textile dyes under methanogenic conditions. Water Res 38:1838–1852

  18. Manu B, Chaudhari S (2003) Decolorization of indigo and azo dyes in semicontinuous reactors with long hydraulic retention time. Process Biochem 38:1213–1221

  19. Méndez-Paz D, Omil F, Lema JM (2005) Anaerobic treatment of azo dye Acid Orange 7 under fed-batch and continuous conditions. Water Res 39:771–778

  20. O’Neill C, Lopez A, Esteves S, Hawkes FR, Hawkes DL, Wilcox S (2000) Azo-dye degradation in an anaerobic–aerobic treatment system operating on simulated textile effluent. Appl Microbiol Biotechnol 53:249–254

  21. Pearce CI, Lloyd JR, Guthrie JT (2003) The removal of colour from textile wastewater using whole bacterial cells: a review. Dyes Pigments 58:179–196

  22. Rau J, Knackmuss HJ, Stolz A (2002) Effects of different quinoid redox mediators on the anaerobic reduction of azo dyes by bacteria. Environ Sci Technol 36:1497–1504

  23. Russ R, Rau J, Stolz A (2000) The function of cytoplasmic flavin reductases in the reduction of azo dyes by bacteria. Appl Environ Microbiol 66:1429–1434

  24. Semdé R, Pierre D, Geuskens G, Devleeschouwer M, Moës AJ (1998) Study of some important factors involved in azo dye derivative reduction by Clostridium perfringens. Int J Pharmac 161:45–54

  25. Şen S, Demirer GN (2003) Anaerobic treatment of real textile wastewater with a fluidized bed reactor. Water Res 37:1868–1878

  26. Shaul GM, Holdsworth TJ, Dempsey CR, Dostal KA (1991) Fate of water soluble azo dyes in the activated sludge process. Chemosphere 22:107–119

  27. Sponza DT, Işik M (2002) Decolorization and azo dye degradation by anaerobic/aerobic sequential process. Enz Microbiol Technol 31:102–110

  28. Supaka N, Juntongjin K, Damronglerd S, Delia ML (2004) Strehaiano P. Microbial decolorization of reactive azo dyes in a sequential anaerobic–aerobic system. Chem Eng J 99:169–176

  29. Van der Zee FP, Lettinga G, Field JA (2000) The role of (auto) catalysis in the mechanism of an anaerobic azo reduction. Water Sci Technol 42:301–308

  30. Van der Zee FP, Lettinga G, Field JA (2001) Azo dye decolourisation by anaerobic by anaerobic granular sludge. Chemosphere 44:1169–1176

  31. Van der Zee FP, Bisschops IAE, Lettinga G, Field JA (2003) Activated carbon as an electron acceptor and redox mediator during the anaerobic biotransformation of azo dyes. Environ Sci Technol 37:402–408

  32. Weisburger JH (2002) Comments on the history and importance of aromatic and heterocyclic amines in public health. Mutat Res 506–507:9–20

Download references


This work was supported by the National Key Basic Research Program of China (973 Program, Grant No. 2004CB418505) and the Foundation for Excellent Youth of Heilongjiang Province of China.

Author information

Correspondence to Dezhi Sun.

Rights and permissions

Reprints and Permissions

About this article

Cite this article

Wang, X., Cheng, X. & Sun, D. Autocatalysis in Reactive Black 5 biodecolorization by Rhodopseudomonas palustris W1. Appl Microbiol Biotechnol 80, 907–915 (2008). https://doi.org/10.1007/s00253-008-1657-1

Download citation


  • Catalytic decolorization
  • Reactive Black 5
  • Redox mediator
  • Rhodopseudomonas palustris