Dyes and dyestuffs find use in a wide range of industries but are of primary importance to textile manufacturing. Wastewater from the textile industry can contain a variety of polluting substances including dyes. Increasingly, environmental legislation is being imposed to control the release of dyes, in particular azo-based compounds, into the environment. The ability of microorganisms to decolourise and metabolise dyes has long been known, and the use of bioremediation based technologies for treating textile wastewater has attracted interest. Within this review, we investigate the mechanisms by which diverse categories of microorganisms, such as the white-rot fungi and anaerobic bacterial consortia, bring about the degradation of dyestuffs.
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