Industrial Applications of Soil Microbes

Volume: 1

Industrial Aspects of Microbes

Author(s): B.J. Yogesh* and S. Bharathi

Pp: 59-76 (18)

DOI: 10.2174/9789815039955122010007

* (Excluding Mailing and Handling)


This chapter deals with the significance of soil microbes from an industrial perspective. Soil microbes are the most diverse populations to exist on earth, and they are known to have played a prominent role in the development of soil chemistry, soil texture, and soil suitability to sustain plant life. The chapter deals with the significance of cultural techniques for the isolation of desired microbial strains from the soil. The importance of screening techniques for isolates is emphasized, wherein the potential strains are tested for their physiological characteristics that are industrially beneficial. A few criteria are mentioned for judging the soil isolate’s capability to become an industrial strain. The difference between natural isolates and potential industrial strains is discussed. Useful strains are categorized based on their ability to produce primary and secondary metabolites with commercial applications in terms of economic, agricultural, and environmental significance. Industrially important microbes are listed with emphasis on the types of metabolites they produce and their applications. Knowledge of metabolic pathways involved in metabolite production and their regulation in terms of various feedback control systems are discussed. Strain improvement and its role in improving industrial aspects of microbes are highlighted. Bacillus sp. are given their due importance as the most diverse and dynamic forms of bacteria, contributing immensely to our knowledge and being the most beneficial forms of soil microbes. A few metabolites are discussed in detail, with emphasis given to enzymes, microbial polymers, amino acids, solvents, organic acids, and antibiotics. Microbial bioleaching mostly employs bacteria that could help in the recovery of metals from low-grade ores, and industries based on biomining have shown a renewed interest in this economically viable process.

Keywords: Antibiotics, Isolates, Metabolites, Organic acids, Strain selection, Solvents.

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