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GS-III :
  • 03 September, 2019

  • Min Read

Genome sequencing of bacteria to help with biocontrol in farming.

GS-III: Genome sequencing of bacteria to help with biocontrol in farming.

Bacteria with antimicrobial properties

  • Scientists in Kerala have completed the whole genome sequencing of a rare bacterium capable of producing antifungal and insecticidal compounds.
  • This has opened up the potential to develop a new line of products for biocontrol applications in agriculture.

Obtained from soil

Researchers isolated some strains of actinomycetes (a kind of hairy bacteria) from the forest soils of the Neyyar wildlife sanctuary, one of the 12 mega diversity centres in the world.

One of the isolates was identified as Streptosporangium nondiastaticum reported to have antimicrobial properties.

  • Helping Biocontrol
  • Bioinformatics analysis showed that the genome contained a plant chitinase, an enzyme capable of degrading fungi and insect exoskeleton.
  • Scientists have cloned the gene and engineered the recombinant protein.
  • The strain can produce metabolites that are toxic to plant pathogens, making it a candidate for biocontrol applications.
  • Across the world, fungal phytopathogens cause significant agricultural crop loss, both in farmlands and post-harvest storage conditions.
  • The use of microorganisms to control phytopathogens and pests offers an important alternative to chemical fungicides and pesticides which result in environmental pollution and development of resistance in fungal pathogens.

Source: The Hindu


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