Extensive use of synthetic dyes and their subsequent release in industrial wastewater is a growing environmental problem. These dyes are recalcitrant in nature, and some dyes are also well established to be potentially carcinogenic and mutagenic as well as genotoxic. Research efforts have been devoted to develop new, low-cost, and eco-friendly treatments capable of reducing and even eliminating synthetic dye compounds from the environment. Enzymatic approach has attracted much interest recently in the decolorization of textile and other industrially important dyes from wastewater as an alternative strategy to conventional chemical, physical, and biological treatments, which pose serious limitations. In this chapter, the accumulated research data on the potential of the oxidoreductive enzymes—high redox potential peroxidases (lignin peroxidase [LiP], EC 220.127.116.11; manganese peroxidase [MnP], EC 18.104.22.168; dye decolorizing peroxidase [DyP], EC 22.214.171.124; and versatile peroxidases [VP], EC 126.96.36.199), laccases (benzenediol–oxygen oxidoreductase, EC 188.8.131.52), polyphenol oxidases (EC 184.108.40.206), and azoreductases (azobenzene reductases, EC 220.127.116.11)—that have been exploited in the decolorization and degradation of synthetic dyes are presented. An overview of enzyme technology, including the importance of redox mediators for enhanced range of substrates and efficiency of degradation, current biodegradation applications, and suggestions to overcome the limitations to these proteins’ large scale and efficient use, is made. Different strategies currently being used and future prospects for the potential use of genetic engineering techniques to improve the performance of these oxidoreductases in terms of stability, selectivity, and catalytic activity in dye bioremediation technologies are also explored.
Part of the book: Advances in Bioremediation of Wastewater and Polluted Soil