Isolated Enterococcus faecalis YZ 66 strain shows ability to decolorize various industrial dyes among which, it showed complete decolorization and degradation of toxic, sulfonated recalcitrant diazo dye Direct Red 81 (50 mg/L) within 1.5 h of incubation under static anoxic condition. The optimum pH and temperature for decolorization was 7.0 and 40°C, respectively. Significant induction in the activity of intracellular oxidoreductive enzymes suggested its involvement in the decolorization of Direct Red 81. The biodegradation of Direct Red 81 was monitored by UV-Visible, FT-IR spectroscopy and HPLC. The final products were characterized by GC-MS and possible pathway of the degradation of the dye was proposed. The phytotoxicity assay (with respect to plants Sorghum vulgare and Phaseolus mungo) revealed that the degradation of Direct Red 81 produced nontoxic metabolites. Finally E. faecalis was employed to decolorize actual industrial effluent showing decolorization (in terms of ADMI value) with moderate COD and BOD reduction. Moreover the result increases the applicability of the strain for the treatment of industrial wastewaters containing dye pollutants.
Keywords: ABTS; ADMI; Azoreductase; Direct Red 81; Enterococcus faecalis; GC-MS; Lignin peroxidase.