Objective and Learning Outcome


Microbial mediated transformation of elements in soil, bioremediation and biotechnological approaches are discussed. The students should be able to understand and apply microbiological approaches for crop production and to safeguard the environment.


Course Contents


1.            Rhizosphere: plant-microbes and microbe-microbe interactions


2.            Microbial cycling of elements: macro and micronutrients and heavy metals; agricultural and environmental significance


3.            Biochemistry and biotechnology of BNF; application in agriculture and environment


4.            Carbon nitrogen Phosphorus and sulfur cycles


5.            Plant growth regulators, phytotoxins and siderophores: microbiology and biochemistry


6.            Composting: microbiology and biotechnology; agricultural and environmental application


7.            Microbial metabolism


8.            Bioremediation of contaminated soils: biodegradation and detoxification


9.            Use of stable isotopes in microbiological research


10.        Metabolic and nucleic acid based analysis of soil microbial diversity


11.        Bio-fertilizers: present and future prospects









1.            Isolation of bacteria, actinomycetes and fungi


2.            Enrichment techniques


3.            Organic matter decomposition rates and C:N ratio effect

4.            Inoculation techniques

5.            Biological N2 fixation measurement techniques


Recommended Books:


1.            Barton, L.L. and D.E. Northup. 2011. Microbial Ecology. John Wiley & Sons, Inc., Hoboken, New Jersey, USA.


2.            González, M.B.R. and J. González-López. 2014. Beneficial Plant-microbial Interactions- Ecology and Applications. CRC Press, Taylor & Francis, Boca Ratoon, FL.


3.            Khan, M.S., A. Zaidi, and J. Musarrat (eds.). 2009. Microbial Strategies for Crop Improvement. Springer, NY, USA.


4.            Maier, R.M., I.L. Pepper and C.P. Gerba. 2009. Environmental Microbiology. 2nd Ed. Academic Press Inc., San Diego, CA, USA.

5.            Paul, E.A. (ed.). 2007. Soil Microbiology, Ecology and Biochemistry. 3rd Ed. Elsevier, Oxford, UK.


6.            Pommerville, J.C. 2014. Fundamentals of Microbiology. 10th Ed. Jones & Bartlett learning, Burlington, MA, USA.


7.            Sylvia, D.M., J.J. Fuhrmann, P.G. Hartel, and D.V. Zuberer. 2005. Principles and Applications of Soil Microbiology. Prentice Hall International, NJ, USA.