The number of potential microbes exploited commercially is scanty irrespective of their high number present in the diverse habitats. In recent years, they have shown successfulness in multifarious areas such as production of industrially viable products, organic chemicals, pharmaceuticals, recovery of metals, improvement and maintenance of environmental quality, and insect and pest control. The Twenty-three articles included here fall under three broad categories, namely, agricultural microbiology, industrial microbiology and bioremediation. The psychrophiles hold many biological secrets such as biochemical limits to macromolecular stability and the blueprints for constructing the stable macromolecules. Lactic acid bacteria are known for their role in the preparation of fermented dairy products. Potential strains for production of lactic acid with emphasis on its fermentation, economics and systematics have been dealt with in greater detail. Biotechnological applications of pectinases in general and alkaline pectinases in particular play an important role in industry. Production, characteristics and applications of microbial alkaline pectinolytic enzymes have been elaborated. Production of ergot alkaloids thrives a novel knowledge. Now-a-days, semi-synthetic ergot alkaloids are widely used as a potential therapeutic agent. Microbial production of glucans, functional organization and their industrial significance have been systematically reviewed. Bioactive exopolysaccharides from mushrooms have gained importance in recent years. Production and characterization of exopolysaccharides and conversion of unsaturated fatty acids into value-added hydroxyl fatty acids by using microorganisms are used in a wide range of industrial products. Enhancing the microbial production of 1,3-propanidial and its application highlights the commercial exploitation of potential microorganisms. Aldehyde and organic acid production by using oxydases and their derivatives advantageous role in industry. Some chapters are devoted to the potential entomopathogenic fungi for management of insect pests, biotechnological applications of fusaria, microbial metabolite-mediated biocontrol of soil-borne plant pathogens, bioremediation of heavy metals, organochlorine and organophosphate pesticides. Bioinoculants apart from being eco-friendly are being used, but reviewers have emphasized the constraints in commercial bioinoculant production and their quality assurance. All the articles of this volume depict the role of microorganisms in agricultural industries. The exploitation of such beneficial microorganisms may improve agricultural systems with economically sound production of human food and animal feed. This volume will certainly help the PG and research students of agricultural microbiology and biotechnology.
In an increasingly interconnected and bioeconomic world, agriculture is one of the vital and extremely complex links; on one hand, it provides food for the world while, on the other hand, it brings considerable environmental degradation. The negative by-products of agriculture have come to the forefront in recent years. As a result, agricultural production has undergone considerable scrutiny resulting in strong consumer movements for sustainable agriculture. However, many countries cannot worry about the environmental aspects when they do not produce enough food to be secure because farmers cannot compete with the artificially low prices of food due to the subsidies from developed countries. However, this trend is unlikely to continue as farm operations in developed countries must increase the amount of inputs, such as fertilizer, to maintain their levels of production. Furthermore, agricultural subsidies are likely to end due to the national debts of many countries. Therefore, it becomes more and more accepted that, for a sustainable agriculture, rural regions and developing countries will have to use local, traditional knowledge. This would support economic development and food security, especially since consumers are increasing demand for sustainably grown food.
Since early times, agriculture has been pivotal to England's economy. This seven-volume, eight-piece set compiled by the economist James E. Thorold Rogers (1823-90), represents the most complete record of produce costs in England between the thirteenth and eighteenth centuries. Drawing on a variety of sources including college archives and the Public Record Office, Rogers documents the fluctuating prices of commodities such as livestock, wheat, hay, wool, textiles and labour in a time of great economic change, when the growing economy of the early middle ages was shaken by famine and the Black Death, and then gradually recovered towards the Agrarian Revolution. Published between 1866 and 1902 (Volume 7 having been edited by Rogers' son and published after his death), the whole work provides the statistical basis for research into English agrarian history, and essays which help to interpret the raw data.
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