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Microbial Applications in Agriculture and the Environment: A Broad Perspective

  • Iqbal Ahmad
  • Mohd Sajjad Ahmad Khan
  • Farrukh Aqil
  • Mahipal SinghEmail author
Chapter

Abstract

Microbial diversity is an important component of the overall global biological diversity. Recent technological advances in exploring microbial diversity have revealed that a large proportion of microorganisms are still undiscovered, and their ecological roles are largely unknown. Careful selection of microbes and intelligent design of test assays are the key steps in developing new technologies for effective utilization of microorganisms for sustainable agriculture, environmental protection, and human and animal health. Several microbial applications are widely known in solving major agricultural (i.e., crop productivity, plant health protection, and soil health maintenance) and environmental issues (i.e., bioremediation of soil and water from organic and inorganic pollutants). Wastewater treatment and recycling of agricultural and industrial wastes are other important uses of microbial technology. It is expected that microbes in combination with developments in electronics, software, digital imaging, and nanotechnology will play a significant role in solving global problems of the twenty-first century, including climate change. These advances are expected to enhance sustainability of agriculture and the environment. This chapter provides an overview of recent trends in microbial exploitation in plant growth promotion and sustainable environment mainly through bioremediation, biodegradation, and biosorption processes. Recent uses and application of microbes such as biosensors, synthesis of nanomaterials, and probiotics are also discussed.

Keywords

Microbial diversity PGPR Degradation of aromatic compounds Heavy metals Probiotics Climate change Biosensors and nanomaterials 

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Copyright information

© Springer Science+Business Media, LLC 2011

Authors and Affiliations

  • Iqbal Ahmad
  • Mohd Sajjad Ahmad Khan
  • Farrukh Aqil
  • Mahipal Singh
    • 1
    Email author
  1. 1.Animal Science DivisionFort Valley State UniversityFort ValleyUSA

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