The present study was aimed towards the effective bio-treatment of actual industrial effluent containing as high as 42,000 mg/L COD (chemical oxygen demand), >28,000 ADMI (American Dye Manufacturers Institute) color value and four heavy metals using indigenous developed bacterial consortium TSR. Mineral salt medium supplemented with as low as 0.02% (w/v) yeast extract and glucose was found to remove 70% ADMI, 69% COD and >99% sorption of heavy metals in 24 h from the effluent by consortium TSR. The biodegradation of effluent was monitored by UV–vis light, HPLC (high performance liquid chromatography), HPTLC (high performance thin layer chromotography) and FTIR (Fourier transform infrared spectroscopy) and showed significant differences in spectra of untreated and treated effluent, confirming degradation of the effluent. Induction of intracellular azoreductase (107%) and NADH–DCIP reductase (128%) in addition to extracellular laccase (489%) indicates the vital role of the consortium TSR in the degradation process. Toxicity study of the effluent using Allium cepa by single cell gel electrophoresis showed detoxification of the effluent. Ninety per cent germination of plant seeds, Triticum aestivum and Phaseolus mungo, was achieved after treatment by consortium TSR in contrast to only 20% and 30% germination of the respective plants in case of untreated effluent.

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