Phragmites australis are commonly used in constructed wetlands either for domestic sewage or industrial effluents treatment. The aerobic mineralization mechanisms of Acid Orange 7, AO7, in a Vertical Flow Constructed Wetland (VFCW) planted with P. australis suggest that AO7 degradation pathway may involve enzymes like peroxidases (POD), known to degrade some recalcitrant pollutants. In this context, the aim of this study was to evaluate the role of POD extracted from the VFCW P. australis leaves in the decolourization of AO7, which belongs to the very restricted group of bio-degradable azo dyes and is widely used in the textile industry. Leaves' crude extract (CE) was purified by protein fractioning with ammonium sulphate (20–80%). AO7 (0.14 mM) decolourization rate of each CE fraction was determined using hydrogen peroxide (0.2 mM) as a co-substrate. A maximum specific activity of 6.8 × 10−3 μmol QNNM min−1 mg protein−1 was obtained for the 40–60% fraction. The results obtained suggest that P. australis may be a good candidate for the treatment of AO7 contaminated effluents in a VFCW, as very high removal efficiencies were achieved at pilot scale and in vitro studies leading to the decolourization of the dye, suggesting a positive and active role of P. australis in the removal mechanisms within the VFCW. Moreover, some questions were put forward regarding the participation of other important plant enzymes in the degradation process.

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