, Volume 95, Issue 2, pp 331-338
Date: 22 May 2012

Impact of Azotobacter exopolysaccharides on sustainable agriculture

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Recently, increasing attention have lead to search other avenue of biofertilizers with multipurpose activities as a manner of sustainable soil health to improve the plant productivity. Azotobacter have been universally accepted as a major inoculum used in biofertilizer to restore the nitrogen level into cultivated field. Azotobacter is well characterized for their profuse production of exopolysaccharides (EPS). Several reviews on biogenesis and multifunctional role of Azotobacter EPS have been documented with special emphasis on industrial applications. But the impact of Azotobacter EPS in plant growth promotion has not received adequate attention. This review outlines the evidence that demonstrates not only the contribution of Azotobacter EPS in global nutrient cycle but also help to compete successfully in different adverse ecological and edaphic conditions. This also focuses on new insights and concepts of Azotobacter EPS which have positive effects caused by the biofilm formation on overall plant growth promotion with other PGPRs. In addition, their potentials in agricultural improvement are also discussed. Recent data realized that Azotobacter EPS have an immense agro-economical importance including the survivability and maintenance of microbial community in their habitat. This leads us to confirm that the next generation Azotobacter inoculum with high yielding EPS and high nitrogen fixing ability can be utilized to satisfy the future demand of augmented crop production attributed to increase plant growth promoting agents.