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Information @ a Glance

General
  • 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.
  • Azotobacters, 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.

Production

  • Usually 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 selected.

Market

  • Relatively 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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