Microorganisms for agricultural development
By E. Sunil
Senior Research Fellow, AMAAS project,
Kerala Agricultural University, Thrissur
Published by Biology-Online on November 21, 2008
MICROBES are the oldest form of life on earth. These single cell organisms date back more than 3.5 billion years, to a time when the Earth was covered with oceans.
Without microbes, we can't eat or breathe. Thus, understanding microbes is vital to understanding our past and future. Microbes play many roles in the earth's environment, from recycling dead plant and animal matter through the soil, removing carbon dioxide from the atmosphere by photosynthesis in the oceans and fixing nitrogen from the atmosphere to form nitrogenous fertilizer for plants. They play an important role in nutrient recycling, nutrient management, organic matter decomposition and fermentation and in food industry.