Microbes in Human Welfare

Energy generation and microbes as biocontrol agents and biofertilizers

  • Biocontrol refers to the use of biological methods for controlling plant disease and pests.
  • For example, Ladybird beetle feeds on aphids, whereas dragonflies prey on mosquitoes similarly Trichoderma biocontrols several plant pathogens.
  • The most widely used microbial pesticides are the strains and subspecies of Bacillus thuringiensis (Bt).
  • Baculoviruses are harmful pathogens that attack insects and other arthropods.
  • Nucleo polyhedral virus is the majority of baculoviruses that are used as biological control agents.
  • Biofertilizers are organisms which enrich the soil by enhancing the availability of nutrients like phosphorous and nitrogen to the crops.
  • Biofertilizers are of three types (i) Nitrogen fixing Cyanobacteria, (ii) N2 fixing bacteria and (iii) Mycorrhiza.
  • Examples of free-living N2 fixing bacteria includes Azotobacter, Clostridium, Beijerinckia etc ;
  • Rhizobium is the most important symbiotic N2 fixing bacteria that form nodules in legume plants. Other examples are R. lupine, R. trifoli , R. meliloti etc.,
  • Mycorrhiza is of two types (i) Ectomycorrhiza and (ii) Endomycorrhiza.
  • Ectomycorrhiza forms mantle one the surface of roots Eg. Basidiomycetes in Oak , Peach, Eucalyptus.
  • Endomycorrhiza possesses hyphal tips into cortical cells and produces swollen vericles (Arbuscules) called as VAM (vesicular arbuscular mycorrhiza) Eg. Glomus.

Watch this video for the topic from 14:52 to 39:02

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