Indian Journal of Microbiology

, Volume 49, Issue 1, pp 2–10 | Cite as

Ecology and biotechnological potential of Paenibacillus polymyxa: a minireview

  • Sadhana Lal
  • Silvia Tabacchioni
Review Article


Microbial diversity is a major resource for biotechnological products and processes. Bacteria are the most dominant group of this diversity which produce a wide range of products of industrial significance. Paenibacillus polymyxa (formerly Bacillus polymyxa), a non pathogenic and endospore-forming Bacillus, is one of the most industrially significant facultative anaerobic bacterium. It occurs naturally in soil, rhizosphere and roots of crop plants and in marine sediments. During the last two decades, there has been a growing interest for their ecological and biotechnological importance, despite their limited genomic information. P. polymyxa has a wide range of properties, including nitrogen fixation, plant growth promotion, soil phosphorus solubilisation and production of exopolysaccharides, hydrolytic enzymes, antibiotics, cytokinin. It also helps in bioflocculation and in the enhancement of soil porosity. In addition, it is known to produce optically active 2,3-butanediol (BDL), a potentially valuable chemical compound from a variety of carbohydrates. The present review article aims to provide an overview of the various roles that these microorganisms play in the environment and their biotechnological potential.


Paenibacillus polymyxa Plant growth promotion Biocontrol Flocculation Flotation 


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Copyright information

© Association of Microbiologists of India 2009

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.ENEA C.R. Casaccia, Department of Biotechnologies, Protection of Health and Ecosystems, Plant genetics and Genomics SectionS. Maria di Galeria, RomeItaly

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