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MB 505/ ES 505 MICROBIAL ECOLOGY                                                                                 (3L+1P) II

Objective
To provide the modern concepts of microbial ecology of soil and aquatic environments, microbial interactions and biogeochemical cycling

Theory

UNIT I
Microbial community and its development, Organisms : Bacteria, Fungi, Actinomycetes, Algae, Protozoa, Viruses, Geography and micro- environment of microorganisms, Natural selection, Spatial and temporal distribution, Patterns of micro-organisms.

UNIT II
Dispersal, Colonization, Succession and the climax, Interspecific competition, Commensalism, Homeostasis, Parasitism, Predation, Proto-cooperation, Symbiosis, Ammensalism .

UNIT III
Microbiology of water bodies, Effect of micro-organisms on animals and plants, Environmental influences on microorganisms, Effect of temperature, aeration, moisture, osmotic pressure, pH, Energy cycle.

UNIT IV
Transformation of phosphorus, sulphur, iron, manganese, magnesium, copper, mercury and arsenic, Mycorrhizal links with plants and their functioning.

UNIT V
Ecology of microbial corrosion, Microbial plasticity, Relevance to microbial ecology, Modeling, Microbial contribution to climatic change, Molecular approaches for measuring the microbial diversity.

Practicals
Sampling and enumeration techniques for micro-organisms, Effect of environmental variables on nitrification, ammonification and microbial growth, Effect of temperature on bacterial interactions, Isolation of  nucleic acids from environmental samples, Nitrogen transformations, Microbial corrosion and detection of microbial activities, Symbioses amongst micro-organisms, Synergism and antagonism amongst micro-organisms, Estimation of iron oxidizing and reducing bacteria from soil samples, Isolation of thermophilic, mesophilic and psychrophilic microorganisms from soil samples, Isolation of antibiotic synthesizing microorganisms, Enumeration of sulphur oxidizing and reducing bacteria from soil, Enrichment and isolation of phosphate solubilizing microorganisms from phosphorus deficient and ‘P’ sufficient soils, Mineralization of phytins by bacteria and fungi, Estimation of phosphorus solubilizing activity of a bacterium and a fungus using different inert phosphorus sources.

Suggested Readings