Industrial Applications of Soil Microbes

Volume: 2

Soil Microflora - A Potential Source of Antibiotics

Author(s): S. Bharathi* and Prajeesh P. Nair

Pp: 102-112 (11)

DOI: 10.2174/9789815050264123020009

* (Excluding Mailing and Handling)


Soil is one of the principal ingredients of the universe, which supports all forms of life directly or indirectly. Soil consists of a mixture of various organic and inorganic matter, fluids, gases, and micro and macro-living systems and acts as a major living medium for a wide group of living organisms. One of the important soil inhabitants are microorganisms. Soil microorganisms can be categorized as bacteria, fungi, actinomycetes, protozoa, algae, and viruses. These microbes have varied features and functions. Most importantly, these microorganisms do not exist in isolation but interact with each other and contribute significantly to overall soil fertility. Many of these organisms have the capacity to produce antimicrobial substances as a defense mechanism to compete with other organisms for their survival and existence. Most of these antimicrobial substances, which are released as metabolites produced during trophophase as well as in idiophase, are medically significant in the treatment of many life-threatening infections in plants and animals. This chapter describes various soil microflora and their roles in the production of different kinds of antimicrobials. The primary goal is to familiarise readers with the various microflora found in soil and their ability to produce anti-microbial components.

Keywords: Actinomycetes, Antibiotics, Bacteria, Fungi, Isolation, Soil micro-flora.

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