Cassava Wastewater and Solid Waste Leachate as Cyanogenic Substrates for the Growth of Nitrile and Linamarin-Utilizing Bacteria


  • Adewale Kayode Ogunyemi Department of Microbiology, University of Lagos, Akoka, Lagos, Nigeria.
  • Titilola Aderonke Samuel
  • Mathew Olusoji Ilori
  • Olukayode Oladipo Amund



Cassava wastewater, solid waste leachate, bacterial strains, doubling times, spe-cific growth rates, cyanogenic


The direct discharge of wastewaters containing cyanogenic compounds poses severe health hazards, hence this study aimed to establish the biodegradative potential of nitrile and linamarin utilizing bacterial strains in the degradation of cyanogens in cassava wastewaters (CWW) and solid waste leachates (SWL). Glutaronitrile-utilizing bacterial strains (Bacillus sp. strain WOD8 KX774193 and Corynebacterium sp. strains WOIS2 KX774194) were isolated from solid waste leachates while linamarin-utilizing bacteria strains (Bacillus pumilus strain WOB3 KX774195 and Bacillus pumilus strain WOB7 KX774196) were isolated from cassava wastewaters. They were identified on the basis of morphological and biochemical characteristics, microscopic and 16S rRNA gene sequencing. Microbial growth assessment coupled with pH changes were performed under aerobic batch conditions. Growth was evaluated at intervals (2 days) by the intensity of turbidity (O.D. 600 nm) in CWW and SWL media. The doubling times of strains WOD8 and WOIS2 when grown on CWW and SWL (without supplementing mineral salts medium) were 12.83 and 10.83 d (specific growth rate, µ: 0.054 and 0.064 d-1) and 20.38 and 17.77 d (µ: 0.034 and 0.039 d-1) respectively. Also, strains WOD8 and WOIS2 grew on supplemented CWW and SWL with doubling times of 10.04 and 9.9 d (µ: 0.069 and 0.070 d-1) and 16.12 and 16.12 d (µ: 0.043 and 0.043 d-1) respectively. Similarly, the doubling times of strains WOB3 and WOB7 when grown on CWW and SWL (without supplementing mineral salts medium) were 8.25 and 7.53 d (µ: 0.084 and 0.092 d-1) and 8.66 and 9.90 d (µ: 0.080 and 0.070 d-1) respectively. Whereas, the same strains had doubling times of 6.30 and 5.78 (µ: 0.11 and 0.12 d-1) and 6.30 and 9.24 (µ: 0.11 and 0.075 d-1) respectively when grown on supplemented CWW and SWL. It would appear that CWW has the highest potential as a natural growth substrate than SWL, and its use for biomass production may contribute to a reduction in the overall environmental impact generated by discarding cyanogenic residues.

Author Biography

Adewale Kayode Ogunyemi, Department of Microbiology, University of Lagos, Akoka, Lagos, Nigeria.

Department of Microbiology

Research Fellow/Ph.D Student


Lottermoser B (2010) Mine wastes: Characterization, treatment and environmental impacts. New York, Springer Science & Business Media.

Ubalua AO (2007) Cassava wastes: Treatment options and value addition alternatives. African Journal of Biotechnology 6 (18): 2065 – 2073. doi: 10.5897/AJB2007.000-2319.

Sanni LO, Onadipe OO. Ilona P et al. (2009) Successes and challenges of cassava enterprises in West Africa: A case study of Nigeria, Benin and Sierra Leone, Ibadan, Nigeria. Ibadan, International Institute of Tropical Agriculture (IITA). pp 19.

Dada AD, Abayomi MA (2018) Taking local business to global market: The case for Nigerian cassava processing industry. European Journal of Business and Management 10 (15): 80 – 92.

Bosecker K (1997). Bioleaching: Metal solubilization by microorganisms. FEMS Microbiology Review 20: 591-604.

Brandl H (2001) Microbial leaching of metals. In: Rehm HJ, Reed G (Eds.), Biotechnology, vol. 10. Special processes. Weinheim, Wiley-VCH. pp. 191–224.

Brandl H (2001) Heterotrophic leaching. In: Gadd GM (Ed.), Fungi in bioremediation. Cambridge, Cambridge University Press. pp. 383–423.

Burgstaller W, Schinner F (1993) Leaching metals with fungi. Journal of Biotechnology 27 (2): 91 – 116. doi: 10.1016/0168-1656(93)90101-R.

Blumer C, Haas D (2000) Mechanism, regulation, and ecological role of bacterial cyanide biosynthesis. Archives of Microbiology 173 (3): 170 – 177. doi: 10.1007/s002039900127.

Kremer RJ, Souissi T (2001) Cyanide production by rhizobacteria and potential for suppression of weed seedling growth. Current Microbiology 43 (3): 182 – 186. doi: 10.1007/s002840010284.

Knowles C (1976) Microorganisms and cyanide. Bacteriological Reviews 40 (3): 652 – 680.

Castric PA (1981) The metabolism of hydrogen cyanide by bacteria. In: Vennesland B, Conn EE, Knowles CJ et al. (Eds.), Cyanide in Biology. London, Academic Press. pp. 233–261.

Michaels R, Corpe WA (1965) Cyanide formation by Chromobacterium violaceum. Journal of Bacteriology 89 (1): 106 – 112.

Santoshkumar M, Veeranagouda Y, Kyoung L, Karegoudar TB (2011) Utilization of aliphatic nitrile by Paracoccus sp. SKG isolated from chemical waste samples. International Biodeterioration and Biodegradation 65 (1): 153 – 159. doi: 10.1016/j.ibiod.2010.10.008.

Ahaotu I, Ogueke CC, Owuamanam CI et al. (2011) Protein improvement in gari by the use of pure cultures of microorganisms involved in the natural fermentation process. Pakistan Journal of Biological Sciences 14 (20): 933 – 938. doi: 10.3923/pjbs.2011.933.938.

Oyewole OB (2001) Characteristics and significance of yeast involvement in cassava fermentation for fufu production. International Journal of Food Microbiology 65 (3): 213 – 218. doi: 10.1016/S0168-1605(01)00431-7.

Ogunyemi AK, Samuel TA, Buraimoh OM et al. (2017) In vitro degradation of extracted cassava linamarin by Bacillus species isolated from cassava wastewater. Egyptian Academic Journal of Biological Sciences, G. Microbiology 9 (1): 73 – 83. doi: 10.21608/eajbsg.2017.16465.

Abiona OO, Sanni LO, Bamgbos O (2005) An evaluation of microbial load and cyanide contents of water sources, effluents and peels three cassava processing location. Journal of Food Agriculture and Environment 3 (1): 207 – 208.

Mirizadeh S, Yaghmaei S, Nejad ZG (2014) Biodegradation of cyanide by a new isolated strain under alkaline conditions and optimization by response surface methodology (RSM). Journal of Environmental Health Science and Engineering 12: 85. doi: 10.1186/2052-336X-12-85.

Skowronski B, Strobel GA (1969) Cyanide resistance and cyanide utilization by a strain of Bacillus pumilus. Canadian Journal of Microbiology 15 (1): 93 – 98. doi: 10.1139/m69-014 27.

Sirianuntapiboon S, Chuamkaew C (2007) Packed cage rotating biological contractor system for treatment of cyanide waste water. Bioresource Technology 98 (2): 266 – 272. doi: 10.1016/j.biortech.2006.01.014.

Castric PA, Conn EE (1971) Formation of β-cyanoalanine by O-acetylserine sulfhydrylase. Journal of Bacteriology 108 (1): 132 – 136.

Knowles CJ (1988) Cyanide utilization and degradation by microorganisms. CIBA – Foundation Symposium 140: 3 – 15.

Kunz DA, Wang C, Chen J (1994) Alternative routes of enzymic cyanide metabolism in Pseudomonas fluorescens NCIMB 11764. Microbiology Society 140: 1705 – 1712. doi: 10.1099/13500872-140-7-1705.

Maniyam MN, Sjahrir F, Ibrahim AL et al. (2013) Biodegradation of cyanide by Rhodococcus UKMP-5M. Biologia 68/2: 177 – 185. doi: 10.2478/s11756-013-0158-6.

Siller H, Winter J (1998) Degradation of cyanide in agroindustrial and industrial wastewater in acidification reactor or in a single-step methane reactor by bacteria enriched from soil and peels of cassava. Applied Microbiology and Biotechnology 50 (3): 384 – 389. doi: 10.1007/s002530051309.

Gurbuz F, Ciftci H, Akcil A (2009) Biodegradation of cyanide containing effluents by Scenedesmus obliquus. Journal of Hazardous Materials 162 (1): 74 – 79. doi: 10.1016/j.jhazmat.2008.05.008.

Luque-Almagro VM, Huertas MJ, Martínez-Luque M et al. (2005) Bacterial degradation of cyanide and its metal complexes under alkaline conditions. Applied and Environmental Microbiology 71: 940 – 947. doi: 10.1128/AEM.71.2.940-947.2005.

Adjei MD, Ohta Y (1999) Isolation and characterization of a cyanide utilizing Burkholderia cepacia strain. World Journal of Microbiology and Biotechnology 15 (6): 699 – 704. doi: 10.1023/A:1008924032039.

Dumestre A, Chone T, Portal J et al. (1997) Cyanide degradation under alkaline conditions by a strain of Fusarium solani isolated from contaminated soils. Applied and Environmental Microbiology 63: 2729 – 2734.

Murugan K, Sekar K, Al-Sohaibani S (2012) Detoxification of cyanides in cassava flour by linamarase of Bacillus subtilis KM05 isolated from cassava peel. African Journal of Biotechnology 11 (28): 7232 – 7237. doi: 10.5897/AJB11.8.

Moradkhani M, Yaghmaei S, Nejad ZG (2018) Biodegradation of cyanide under alkaline conditions by a strain of Pseudomonas putida isolated from gold mine soil and optimization of process variables through response surface methodology (RSM). Periodica Polytechnica Chemical Engineering 62 (3): 265 – 273. doi: 10.3311/PPch.10860.

Ezzi MI, Lynch JM (2005) Biodegradation of cyanide by Trichoderma spp. and Fusarium spp. Enzyme and Microbial Technology 36 (7): 849 – 854. doi: 10.1016/j.enzmictec.2004.03.030.

Naveen D, Majumder CB, Mondal P, Shubha D (2011) Biological treatment of cyanide containing wastewater. Research Journal of Chemical Sciences 1 (7): 15 – 21.

Özel YK, Gedikli S, Aytar P et al. (2010) New fungal biomasses for cyanide biodegradation. Journal of Bioscience and Bioengineering 110 (4): 431 – 435. doi: 10.1016/j.jbiosc.2010.04.011.