- Azotobacter is a
genus of free-living diazotrophic bacteria whose resting stage is a
cyst. It is primarily found in neutral to alkaline soils, in aquatic
environments, and on some plants. It has several metabolic capabilties,
including atmospheric nitrogen fixation by conversion to ammonia.
Their unique system of three distinct nitrogenase enzymes makes these
bacteria of particular interest to scientists, who may work toward a
better understanding of nitrogen fixation and its role in agriculture.
Azotobacter spp. have the highest metabolic rate of any organisms.
interestingly, contain more DNA than most other bacteria, but their
genome size is typical of most prokaryotes. The reason for this above
average amount of DNA is not known, but it is possibly because the
cells of Azotobacter are larger than those of other bacteria. The DNA
of Azotobacter spp. display many similarities, in terms of gene type
and recognition factors, to the DNA of Escherichia coli. Genetic
information can be transferred between azotobacters or to other
bacteria by way of conjugation or transformation.
Azotobacter is grown on a solid medium free of nitrogen. After some
times (6 months) old growth of Azotobacter is transferred to a fresh
solid medium to renew the growth. This procedure is repeated
periodically so that the culture can be maintained in good condition.
- Azotobacter is
multiplied on a large scale by two ways viz. Fermenter and Shaker. The
fermenter is most automatic and accurate method of multiplication of
any micro-organism. In this method, the medium is taken in a fermenter
and then sterilized. After this pH of the medium is adjusted and 1%
mother culture is added. In order to get an optimum growth of the
Azotobacter required temperature and oxygen supply is adjusted so that
concentrated broth is made. This concentrated broth of the culture is
then mixed with a carrier previously sterilized and bio-fertilizers is
prepared. Depending upon the demand and supply suitable fermenter is
speaking there is more rigour in estimation of bio-fertilizer market
in India, because of the presence of some large producers in
production of bio-fertilizers and comparatively this is more organized
than other green inputs market. Based on the gross cropped area in
India (190 million hectare) and recommended doses of bio-fertilizers,
potential demand is estimated to be about 6,27,000 MT. This demand can
further be segregated into different categories of bio-fertilizer,
such as Rhizobium, Azotobactors, Azospirillium, BGA, and Phosphate
Solubilizer etc. whose demand differ widely.
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