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Endophytic Nitrogen-Fixing Bacteria as Biofertilizer

Publication Date Jan 1, 2012

Abstract

Nitrogen is the most limiting nutritional factor for the growth of plants. Since plants cannot reduce atmospheric N2, they require exogenously fixed nitrogen for growth and development. Atmospheric N2 must be first reduced to ammonia to be used by plants. In practice, chemical N fertilizers are used to provide nitrogen nutrition to plants. However, manufacture and use of N fertilizers are associated with environmental hazards that include release of greenhouse gases at the time of manufacture, as well as contamination of underground and surface water due to leaching out of nitrates. Moreover, manufacture of chemical fertilizers requires non-renewable resources like coal and petroleum products. Excess and continuous use of chemical fertilizers to improve the yield of commercial crops has negative effect on soil fertility and reduces their agricultural sustainability. All these concerns necessitate the search for an alternative strategy that can provide nitrogen nutrition to the plants in an efficient and sustainable manner. Here biological nitrogen fixation has immense potential and can be used as an alternate to chemical fertilizers. Biological nitrogen fixation has been reported to be exclusively carried out by few members of the prokaryotic organisms. Biological nitrogen fixation is a process where atmospheric N2 is reduced to NH3. This process is catalyzed by microbial enzyme nitrogenase. Microorganisms having the capacity to fix atmospheric N2 can be used as efficient biofertilizer.

Concepts

Biological Nitrogen Fixation Atmospheric N2 Endophytic Nitrogen-Fixing Bacteria Use Of Chemical Fertilizers Efficient Biofertilizer Time Of Manufacture Contamination Of Underground Water Petroleum Products Environmental Hazards Contamination Of Surface Water

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No potential conflict of interest was reported by the authors. The conception and design of the study, acquisition of data, analysis and interpretatio...

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