Industrial Applications of Soil Microbes

Volume: 1

Role of Soil Microbes in Sustainable Development: Nutrient Transformation, Bioremediation, and Biodeterioration

Author(s): Anurag Singh, Shreya Kapoor, Priya Bhatia, Sanjay Gupta, Nidhi S. Chandra and Vandana Gupta *

Pp: 151-179 (29)

DOI: 10.2174/9789815039955122010014

* (Excluding Mailing and Handling)


Pedogenesis, or the formation of soil, takes decades along with a combination of parent geological material, natural biota, distinct climate, and topography. Soil, which hosts rich functional biodiversity ranging from microbes to higher plants, provides nutrients, anchorage for roots, holds water, and buffers against pollutants. After going through this chapter, readers will be able to appreciate how nature takes care of the nutritional requirements of its dwellers, how these nutrients, in turn, get transformed following the life-death cycle, and the infallible role that soil microbes play in this process. We aim to describe how the enormous but biounavailable nutrient sources, both in the atmosphere (nitrogen) and the earth’s crust (phosphorus, iron, etc.), are made accessible to plants in a multi-step mechanism. Curiosity and concern among mankind have provoked a wide range of scientific developments. Nevertheless, exploitative anthropogenic activities have degraded this vital life-supporting component. All kinds of pollutants and unsustainable agricultural practices over time have deposited harmful and toxic chemicals in the soil, the negative effects of which are being deliberated lately. Soil microbes hold promise in remediating these xenobiotic compounds and providing economically feasible and ecologically safe solutions. In the final section, we provide a brief overview of the ability of microbes to utilize a range of substrates that can prove detrimental to both modern infrastructure and archaeological artifacts. 

Keywords: Bioaugmentation, Carbon cycle, Nitrogen fixation, Wood rotting, Wood staining.

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