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Impact of Microbial Diversity on Environmental Stability

  • Meenakshi Sharma
  • Nidhi Gautam
Conference paper

Abstract

Microbial diversity is the most fundamental component of any ecosystem on Earth. Microorganisms are the most abundant and diverse as they comprise the majority of soil biomass. Microbial community plays a crucial role in ecosystem functioning by controlling biogeochemical cycles of elements essential for life, such as carbon (C) and nitrogen (N). They have great potential in energy conversion and regeneration and will likely be an important component of ecosystem response to climate change. The global climate is changing drastically due to; 1-green house gasses such as CH4-Methane, N2O-Nitrous oxide, CO2-Carbon dioxide, Chlorofluorocarbons (CFCs); 2-organic and inorganic pollutants such as heavy metals, ammonia, cyanide, volatile and halogenated compounds. All are released by different industries viz: textile, leather tanning, plastics, pharmaceuticals etc. More than 3.0 million metric tons of toxic chemicals from over 2,000 industries are annually released into the environment. More than 45,360 metric tons (100 million pounds) of toxic compounds are carcinogens. These contaminants not only increased water and agriculture land contamination but also cause various health-related problems. Most of the physio-chemical methods for detoxifying contaminated sites are expensive and release toxins. Therefore, use of Pollution-Eating Bacteria (PEB) viz; Acinetobacteria, Azospirillum, Bacillus, Proteobacteria, Pseudomonas and Serratia is preferred to improve contaminated sites. Unique soil microorganisms also produce beneficial enzymes which degrade pollutants without leaving any toxic intermediates. Various species of Bacillus, Flavobacterium, Paenibacillus, Pseudomonas, Rhodococcus and Serratia cause partial or complete degradation of harmful pesticides like morpholine, methyl parathion and benizimidazole compounds and have dynamic potential to increase crop yield. Microbes produce beneficial enzymes that solubilize highly insoluble nutrients locked up in soil viz: iron (FeIII) and phosphate complexes (Al, Ca and Fe phosphate). These Plant Growth Promoting Microorganisms (PGPMs) also enhance soil quality. Both biotic and abiotic stresses are responsible for the loss of >40% of agricultural production. Various culturable microbes work as an excellent bio-control agent to protect crops from nutrient stress and plant pathogens such as Aspergillus, Fusarium, Pythium, Phytophthora, Rhizoctonia and Sclerotium. Additionally, Acinetobacter, Arthrobacter, Bacillus, Marinobacter, Microbacterium, Panibacillus and Pseudomonas are used for bioremediation and bioaugmentation technology. The present review paper will help in better understanding of microbial ecology and its crucial role in the detoxification mechanism of polluted sites, and environmental stability.

Keywords

Biofuel Climate change Microbial diversity Pollution-eating bacteria (PEB) Plant growth promoting microorganisms (PGPMs) 

Notes

Conflicts of Interest

The authors declare no conflict of interest.

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Copyright information

© Springer Nature Singapore Pte Ltd. 2018

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Department of BotanyDaulat Ram College, University of DelhiDelhiIndia

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