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2012 | Book

Environmental Protection Strategies for Sustainable Development

Editors: Abdul Malik, Elisabeth Grohmann

Publisher: Springer Netherlands

Book Series : Strategies for Sustainability


About this book

The environment of our planet is degrading at an alarming rate because of non-sustainable urbanization, industrialization and agriculture. Unsustainable trends in relation to climate change and energy use, threats to public health, poverty and social exclusion, demographic pressure and ageing, management of natural resources, biodiversity loss, land use and transport still persist and new challenges are arising. Since these negative trends bring about a sense of urgency, short term action is required, whilst maintaining a longer term perspective. The main challenge is to gradually change our current unsustainable consumption and production patterns and the nonintegrated approach to policy-making.

This book covers the broad area including potential of rhizospheric microorganisms in the sustainable plant development in anthropogenic polluted soils, bioremediation of pesticides from soil and waste water, toxic metals from soil, biological treatment of pulp and paper industry wastewater, sustainable solutions for agro processing waste management, solid waste management on climate change and human health, environmental impact of dyes and its remediation. Various methods for genotoxicity testing of environmental pollutants are also discussed and chapters on molecular detection of resistance and transfer genes in the environmental samples, biofilm formation by the environmental bacteria, biochemical attributes to assess soil ecosystem sustainability, application of rhizobacteria in biotechnology, role of peroxidases as a tool for the decolorization and removal of dyes and potential of biopesticides in sustainable agriculture.

It offers a unique treatment of the subject, linking various protection strategies for sustainable development, describing the inter-relationships between the laboratory and field eco-toxicologist, the biotechnology consultant, environmental engineers and different international environmental regulatory and protection agencies.

Table of Contents

Chapter 1. Environmental Protection Strategies: An Overview
Environment protection and sustainability are harmonious and sustainability can be achieved by protecting our natural resources. This chapter presents an overview of the different types of problems affecting the environment and recent advances in environmental protection strategies. The role and potential of rhizospheric microorganisms in plant growth in disturbed soils is presented. Agro-industrial wastes and municipal solid wastes management options are discussed; the various sustainable solutions are also highlighted. The health effects of dyes and their different remedial treatment process and also the potential of peroxidases for treatment of dyes are discussed. The resistance and transfer genes in microorganisms and their molecular detection methods are explained along with the ability of environmental bacteria to form biofilms. The biochemical attributes for the assessment of soil ecosystem sustainability and the various methods involved in genotoxicity testing of environmental pollutants are summarized. Pesticides bioremediation strategies from soil and wastewater and the biodegradation of cyanobacteria and their toxins are outlined. The cause of Alfalfa damping off and the characterization of the causal agent are discussed. The significance of biochemical compounds derived from legumes and rhizobacteria (rhizodeposits) with potential in biotechnology are explained. The pulp and paper industry is a big sector and generates large amounts of wastewater; the treatment processes are briefly presented. The contamination of shooting range soils with heavy metals is a matter of concern and the remediation processes are discussed. The chapter ends with the role of biopesticides in sustainable agriculture. Thus, whole work concluded the ill effects of different types of pollution and the waste generated by human activities in the environment. Current trends involved in the remediation and the technologies used for this purpose are presented in detail.
Abdul Malik, Mashihur Rahman, Mohd Ikram Ansari, Farhana Masood, Elisabeth Grohmann
2. The Potential of Rhizosphere Microorganisms to Promote the Plant Growth in Disturbed Soils
The significance of rhizosphere microorganisms, especially mycorrhizal fungi and bacteria, in polluted soils can be enormous, since they are able to increase the tolerance of plants against abiotic stress, stimulate plant growth and contribute in this way to an accelerated remediation of disturbed soils. The majority of known higher plant species is associated with mycorrhizal fungi, which can increase the tolerance of plants against abiotic stress, e.g. by an improved nutrient supply or by detoxification of pollutants. Rhizosphere bacteria can strongly promote the growth of plants solely and in interaction with mycorrhizal fungi. They can contribute to the mobilization of nutrients and degradation of organic pollutants. Co-inoculation of plants with mycorrhizal fungi and rhizosphere bacteria is a very promising biotechnological approach for the promotion of plant growth and soil remediation. The application of microbial inoculum for the remediation of disturbed soils was tested with several plant species, e.g., fast growing tree species, but mostly on a small scale. Main reasons for the lack of field applications in a larger scale are the lack of suitable time- and cost-effective strategies for a site-specific selection, preparation and application of microbial inoculum and the strong restriction of information on on-site efficiency of inoculated microbial strains.
This chapter focuses on fundamental and applied aspects of soil microorganisms associated with the rhizosphere of plants at various disturbed sites. Major objectives are to present strategies for the promotion of phytoremediation of disturbed soils with the use of microbial inoculum and to indicate potentials and limitations of such microbial inoculation in the field.
Katarzyna Hrynkiewicz, Christel Baum
Chapter 3. Sustainable Solutions for Agro Processing Waste Management: An Overview
Technological revolution in the field of agriculture has tremendously increased the agriculture production. The net impact by the revolution in agriculture has resulted in fast development on food processing industries all over the world. As a result of this rapid development, significant quantities of agricultural products are subjected to processing to make them suitable for consumption, increased storage stability, improved nutrition and sensory quality. Food industrialization has generated large quantity of food products, provided employment to large number of people and uplifted the economic status, at the same time; it generated waste in huge quantities causing environmental pollution. Pollution has not only scientific aspects but also sociological and economical, causing adverse impacts on human beings and its environment. The food wastes can be classified into different categories, such as crop waste and residues; fruits and vegetables by-products; sugar, starch and confectionary industry by-products; oil industry by-products; grain and legumes by-products; distilleries and breweries by-products. Food industry wastes and by-products are geographically scattered comprising large volume and low nutritional value. Consequently, collection, transportation and processing cost of the by-products can exceed the selling price. If we could produce valuable products from food industry by-products through new scientific and technological methods, these by-products could be converted into products with a higher economic value than the main products. Different ways of utilization of by-products from food processing industry can be mainly classified into five categories, such as source for food/feed ingredients, as a carbon source for growing useful microorganisms, as fertilizer by composting, as a source for direct energy generation/biogas production and as a source for high value-added products. This chapter provides a brief discussion on the utilization of agro-processing wastes as a source of nutrients, phytochemicals, and fermentable substrate.
C. M. Ajila, Satinder K. Brar, M. Verma, U. J. S. Prasada Rao
Chapter 4. Dyes—Environmental Impact and Remediation
Dyes are an important class of synthetic organic compounds used in many industries, especially textiles. Consequently, they have become common industrial environmental pollutants during their synthesis and later during fibre dyeing. Textile industries are facing a challenge in the field of quality and productivity due to the globalization of the world market. As the highly competitive atmosphere and the ecological parameters become more stringent, the prime concern of the textile processors is to be aware of the quality of their products and also the environmental friendliness of the manufacturing processes. This in turn makes it essential for innovations and changes in these processes, and investigations of appropriate and environmentally friendly treatment technologies or their residues. The large-scale production and extensive application of synthetic dyes can cause considerable environmental pollution, making it a serious public concern. Legislation on the limits of colour discharge has become increasingly rigid. There is a considerable urgent need to develop treatment methods that are effective in eliminating dyes from their waste. Physicochemical and biological methods have been studied and applied, although each has its advantages and disadvantages, with the choice being based on the wastewater characteristics, available technology and economic factors. Some industrial-scale wastewater treatment systems are now available; however, these are neither fully effective for complete colour removal nor do they address water recycling.
This chapter outlines the background of dye chemistry, the application areas and the impact of dyeing effluents in the environment. The processes/techniques being implemented and developed for wastewaters remediation are revisited.
Luciana Pereira, Madalena Alves
Chapter 5. Molecular Detection of Resistance and Transfer Genes in Environmental Samples
Horizontal plasmid transfer is the most important means of spreading resistance to antibiotics and heavy metals, as well as virulence genes, to closely and remotely related microorganisms thereby increasing the horizontal gene pool in so diverse habitats such as soils, wastewater, aquifer recharge systems and glacier ice. An overview about the currently used molecular tools to detect and quantify the abundance of antibiotic and heavy metal resistance and transfer genes in aquatic and terrestrial environments is provided. Habitats studied range from nutrient rich environments such as manured agricultural soils to oligotrophic habitats such as drinking water or glaciers in the Antarctic. The state of the art in antibiotic and heavy metal resistance mechanisms and monitoring of conjugative transfer factors to assess the transmissibility of the resistance factors is summarized. The chapter ends with perspectives on emerging new molecular monitoring tools suited to rapid, reliable and high throughput analysis of environmental samples differing in origin and level of pollution.
Elisabeth Grohmann, Karsten Arends
Chapter 6. Key Biochemical Attributes to Assess Soil Ecosystem Sustainability
Soil is not a renewable resource, at least within the human timescale. In general, any anthropic exploitation of soils tends to disturb or divert them from a more “natural” development which, by definition, represents the best comparison term for measuring the relative shift from soil sustainability. The continuous degradation of soil health and quality due to abuse of land potentiality or intensive management occurs since decades. Soil microbiota, being ‘the biological engine of the Earth’, provides pivotal services in the soil ecosystem functioning. Hence, management practices protecting soil microbial diversity and resilience, should be pursued. Besides, any abnormal change in rate of innumerable soil biochemical processes, as mediated by microbial communities, may constitute early and sensitive warning of soil homeostasis alteration and, therefore, diagnoses a possible risk for soil sustainability. Among the vastness of soil biochemical processes and related attributes (bioindicators) potentially able to assess the sustainable use of soils, those related to mineralisation-immobilisation of major nutrients (C and N), including enzyme activity (functioning) and composition (community diversity) of microbial biomass, have paramount importance due to their centrality in soil metabolism. In this chapter we have compared, under various pedoclimates, the impact of different agricultural factors (fertilisation, tillage, etc.) under either intensive and sustainable managements on soil microbial community diversity and functioning by both classical and molecular soil quality indicators, in order to outline the most reliable soil biochemical attributes for assessing risky shifts from soil sustainability.
Vito Armando Laudicina, Paul G. Dennis, Eristanna Palazzolo, Luigi Badalucco
Chapter 7. Methods for Genotoxicity Testing of Environmental Pollutants
Genetic hazard assessment deals with changes in genetic material of organisms, either human or other natural origin. Although considered an important element of the basic mechanisms of evolution, mutations often have a more detrimental effect on individuals and their offspring, and may adversely affect populations. There is consensus about a close association of DNA damage, mutations and the induction of various types of cancer. In eco-genotoxicity, possible effects of mutagenic/genotoxic substances on populations and ecosystems are investigated. Mutagenicity testing has been performed with all types of organisms. For monitoring purposes higher organisms (eukaryotes) are exposed to the environmental compartment “in situ” or in laboratory tests “in vivo”. Mutagenicity represents permanent changes to single genes or chromosomes, while genotoxicity focuses on primary damage of DNA. The bacterial Ames, umuC and SOS chromo assays have been predominantly used. Tests with eukaryotic cells or organisms might be more relevant for human and ecological risk assessment, but generally they are much more time-consuming. Several tests have been developed using the integrity of DNA as a non-specific endpoint of genotoxicity e.g. comet assay, alkaline DNA-elution assay, DNA alkaline unwinding assay, UDS-assay; the comet assay probably the most cost-efficient test among them. Most eukaryotic genotoxicity tests detect macro damage of chromosomes in the visible light microscope following appropriate staining (chromosomal aberration, micronucleus assay, SCE assay). Plants, amphibians, fish and water mussels as well as permanent mammalian cell lines such as V79, CHO or CHL have been used as the test organisms. Newer technologies such as transcriptomics, proteomics and metabolomics provide the opportunity to gain insight into genotoxic mechanisms and also to provide new markers in vitro and in vivo. There is also an increasing number of animal models with relevance to genotoxicity testing. These types of models will undoubtedly have an impact on genotoxicity testing in the future.
Farhana Masood, Reshma Anjum, Masood Ahmad, Abdul Malik
Chapter 8. Trends in Biological Degradation of Cyanobacteria and Toxins
Cyanobacteria are known as blue-green algae, blue-green bacteria, and Cyanophyta. They are present in both toxic and non-toxic forms and it is actually the toxic form which proliferates in the aquatic environment. There are principally two types of toxins (neurotoxin and hepatotoxin) which lead to adverse environmental and human health impacts. Thus, the cyanobacteria and their cyanotoxins must be eliminated from fresh waters (lakes, river) to avoid contamination of drinking water and prevent other environmental adversities. Several treatment methods, such as physical and chemical treatment comprising chlorination, ozonation, photooxidation, activated carbon, and biological treatment including utilization of pure microorganisms such as bacteria, virus, fungi, protozoa, among others have been studied to ensure higher elimination of cyanobacteria. The physico-chemical treatment is the most prevalent and faster than biological treatment. However, this treatment causes the lysis of cyanobacterial cells and releases cyanotoxins and other carcinogenic and mutagenic substances in to the medium. In this context, the biological treatment is an eco-friendly option for removal of cyanobacteria and their toxins present in fresh waters. This mini-review is an attempt to explore different aspects of the research in the field of removal of cyanobacteria. The review presents the ecological aspects of cyanobacteria, physical-chemical treatment methodologies in short, biological treatment of cyanobacteria and cyanotoxins in details as latter are potentially more toxic.
Fatma Gassara, Satinder K. Brar, R. D. Tyagi, R. Y. Surampalli
Chapter 9. Bioremediation of Pesticides from Soil and Wastewater
The rapid increase in demand and development of industrial chemicals, fertilizers, pesticides and pharmaceuticals to sustain and improve quality of life worldwide have resulted in the contamination and high prevalence of these chemicals in air, water and soils, posing a potential threat to the environment. Pesticides are a common hazard around the world, as these chemicals are leaching into soils, groundwater and surface water and creating health concerns in many communities. The persistence of pesticides makes their removal and detoxification a more urgent undertaking. The toxicity or the contamination of pesticides can be reduced by the bioremediation process which involves the use of microbes or plants. Bioremediation technologies have been successfully employed in the field and are gaining more and more importance with increased acceptance of eco-friendly remediation solutions. Owing to complex nature of pesticides, more versatile and robust techniques need to be developed which can produce the desired result in a very cost-effective manner.
Reshma Anjum, Mashihur Rahman, Farhana Masood, Abdul Malik
Chapter 10. Isolation and Characterization of Rhizobacteria Antagonistic to Macrophomina phaseolina (Tassi) Goid., Causal Agent of Alfalfa Damping-Off
Alfalfa (Medicago sativa L.) is affected by several pathogens; however, those that attack crown and roots, such as Macrophomina phaseolina , directly define the longevity or productive period of the plant. Use of microorganisms with biological control capacity constitutes an alternative to chemical products. In this chapter, we have gathered some studies on this subject; in addition, we contribute data from our own researches on in vitro and in vivo antifungal activity of rhizobacteria isolated from alfalfa rhizosphere against the causal agent of damping-off, M. phaseolina. In vitro tests consisted in culturing a bacterium and the pathogen on Potato Dextrose Agar (PDA) medium. In vivo tests were carried out in pots containing soil infested with M. phaseolina sclerotia. Alfalfa seeds were inoculated with each selected isolate (single inoculation treatments) or co-inoculated with Sinorhizobium meliloti strain B399 (mixed inoculation treatment); also, non-inoculated seeds were sown in infested soil (control treatment). Experiments were conducted in a growth chamber for 30 days and the evaluated parameters were: germination percentage, damping-off at 5 and 8 days, number of surviving plants at 15 and 30 days, and number of nodules.
The pathogen incidence was high in the control treatment, with a low germination rate, high occurrence of damping-off and death of all of the plants at the end of the experiment. Pseudomonas sp. Ch2 performed the best, since singly inoculated seeds reached a germination percentage of 83.3%; in addition, there was no damping-off incidence after 5 and 8 days neither in single inoculation nor in mixed inoculation treatments. The number of surviving plants at 15 days was 9/18 for the Pseudomonas sp. Ch2 treatment and 15/18 for the Pseudomonas sp. Ch2-S. meliloti B399 treatment. At 30 days, the number of surviving plants was 9/18 for both treatments. Pseudomonas sp. Ch2 showed antifungal activity against the alfalfa pathogen M. phaseolina in the in vitro as well as in the in vivo assays.
L. B. Guiñazú, J. A. Andrés, M. Rovera, S. B. Rosas
Chapter 11. Biofilm Formation by Environmental Bacteria
The majority of bacteria in the environment live associated with surfaces, in so called biofilms. Bacterial cells embedded in a biofilm can better withstand environmental stress, such as nutrient deprivation, unphysiological temperatures and pH changes. Within the biofilm they become more resistant to detachment, oxygen radicals, disinfectants, and antibiotics than the individual planktonic cells. In this chapter, the current status of biofilm research is summarized, with focus on the mechanims involved in formation of biofilms, characteristics of bacteria living in biofilms, e.g. the production of extracelluar polymeric substances (EPS) and the intercellular communication via quorum sensing. Detrimental and beneficial effects of microbial biofilms are described, as well as their application in modern biotechnology. An overview about state of the art techniques to analyse complex biofilms is given, as well as a summary on existing and emerging biofilm inhibitors. We developed a continuous upflow biofilm reactor system where mixed species environmental biofilms can form attached to glass beads. Studies on these biofilms by lectin-binding analysis and fluorescence microscopy are described. Experimental systems developed to visualize biofilms by fluorescent labels using confocal laser scanning microscopy (CLSM) and the current strategies in removing or controlling the biofilm are dicussed. The chapter ends with perspectives on the development of new emerging biofilm inhibitors and with an outlook on new promising techniques that will enable analysis of the composition as well as the structure of biofilms in even more detail.
Mohd Ikram Ansari, Katarzyna Schiwon, Abdul Malik, Elisabeth Grohmann
Chapter 12. Biochemical Processes of Rhizobacteria and their Application in Biotechnology
The rhizosphere is a multiple interface between soils, plant roots, microbes and fauna, where different biological components interact strongly. Rhizosphere interactions are based on complex exchanges that take place around plant roots. Beneficial, detrimental and neutral relationships between plant roots and microorganisms are all regulated by complex molecular signalling. Plants exude a variety of organic compounds (e.g. carbohydrates, carboxylic acids, phenolics, amino acids, flavonoids) as well as inorganic ions (protons and other ions) into the rhizosphere which change the chemistry and biology of the root microenvironment. All chemical compounds secreted by plants are collectively named rhizodepositions. In the rhizosphere, bacteria that exert beneficial effects on plant development are referred to as plant growth-promoting rhizobacteria (PGPR) because their application is often associated with increased rates of plant growth. On the other hand, although many technologies have been used in the improvement of stress tolerance in plants, fewer reports have been published on how PGPR can exert tolerance to salt, drought or heavy metals. In addition, the industrial use and technological application of compounds from plants and rhizobacteria are required to be successful in attaining sustainable microbial-based agrotechnologies. Among crops, legumes are a good source of starch, dietary fibre, protein and minerals. It has long been recognized that legumes are functional foods that promote good health and have therapeutic properties. This chapter shows the significance of some biochemical and biological compounds derived from legumes and rhizobacteria with potential in biotechnology.
M. S. Dardanelli, D. B. Medeot, N. S. Paulucci, M. A. Bueno, J. C. Vicario, M. García, N. H. Bensi, A. M. Niebylski
Chapter 13. Pulp and Paper Industry—Manufacturing Process, Wastewater Generation and Treatment
Pulp and paper mills are categorized as a core sector industry and are the fifth largest contributor to industrial water pollution. Pulp and paper production has increased globally and will contribute to increase in the near future. For every tonne of paper produced, these mills generate 220-380 m3 of highly coloured and potentially toxic wastewater. The pulp and paper mill is a major industrial sector utilizing a huge amount of lignocellulosic materials and water during the manufacturing process, and releases chlorinated lignosulphonic acids, chlorinated resin acids, chlorinated phenols and chlorinated hydrocarbons in the effluent. About 500 different chlorinated organic compounds have been identified including chloroform, chlorate, resin acids, chlorinated hydrocarbons, phenols, catechols, guaiacols, furans, dioxins, syringols, vanillins, etc. In wastewater these compounds are estimated collectively as “Adorbable Organic Halides” AOX. This paper is the state of the art review of the manufacturing process, treatability of the pulp and paper mill wastewater and performance of available treatment processes. A comparison of all treatment processes is presented emphasis being made on the treatability studies of AOX.
Saima Badar, Izharul Haq Farooqi
Chapter 14. A Review of Environmental Contamination and Remediation Strategies for Heavy Metals at Shooting Range Soils
Many shooting ranges are contaminated by heavy metals and the used bullets have been known as a primary source. Once the bullets perch on soils, toxic metals such as lead (Pb), copper (Cu), nickel (Ni), antimony (Sb), and zinc (Zn) can be released into the soils and further transformed into available forms threatening the surrounding environment. In this review, we evaluated different sources of waste materials as soil amendments to silize heavy metals in soils. Amendments such as red mud, sugar foam, poultry waste, and dolomitic residue have been used to silize Pb at shooting ranges. Among various amendments, lime-based waste materials such as oyster shell and eggshell can effectively immobilize heavy metals, thereby reducing their bioavailability in soils. The main mechanism of Pb immobilization is closely associated with sorption and precipitation at high soil pH. Calcium aluminate hydrate (CAH) and calcium silicate hydrate (CSH) also can be formed to retain the metals in hardened soils. Overall, the use of lime-based wastes is applicable to immobilize toxic metals at shooting range soils.
Mahtab Ahmad, Sang Soo Lee, Deok Hyun Moon, Jae E. Yang, Yong Sik Ok
Chapter 15. Peroxidases as a Potential Tool for the Decolorization and Removal of Synthetic Dyes from Polluted Water
Environmental pollution by discharge of dye-containing effluents represents a serious ecological problem all over the world. Public demands for colour-free discharges to receiving waters have made decoloration of a variety of industrial wastewater a top priority. The current existing chemical, physical and biological techniques used for the removal of colored pollutants have several drawbacks such as high cost, low efficiency, use of large amounts of chemicals and formation of side toxic products. It has necessitated for the search of alternative procedures such as those based on oxidative enzymes. This approach is believed to be a promising technology since it is cost-effective, environmentally friendly, highly specific and does not produce sludge. Enzymatic transformation of synthetic dyes can be described as the conversion of dye molecules by enzymes into simpler and generally colorless products. Peroxidases have attracted much attention from researchers in last decades due to their ability to oxidize both phenolic and nonphenolic compounds as well as highly recalcitrant environmental pollutants, which makes them a very useful tool for the removal of colored pollutants from industrial effluents. Detailed characterization of the metabolites produced during enzymatic transformation of synthetic dyes as well as ecotoxicity studies is of great significance to examine the effectiveness of the biodegradation processes. However, most reports on the bio-treatment of dyes mainly deal with decoloration and there are few reports on the reduction in toxicity or on the identification of the biodegradation products. In this work an effort has been made to review the literature based on the applications of peroxidases for the removal of colored compounds from wastewater. Peroxidases immobilized on numerous supports have been used to treat dyes in batch as well as in continuous processes. The role of various redox mediators in peroxidase catalyzed dye decolorization has also been discussed in this chapter.
Qayyum Husain, Maroof Husain
Chapter 16. Solid Waste Management Options and their Impacts on Climate Change and Human Health
The recent changes in global climate are believed to be the result of growing anthropogenic greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions; mainly carbon dioxide and methane, resulting from the increased industrial activities over the years. One of the main emission sources that add to the anthropogenic greenhouse gases concentrations in the atmosphere are derived from the processes of solid waste disposal. It can be shown that solid waste has adverse impacts on climate change and human health. The potential for deleterious public health and environmental effects is substantial where waste has been improperly disposed off.
Waste can be categorized predominantly into four sections as: municipal solid waste; agricultural waste; industrial waste; and hazardous waste. The economic growth and urbanization experienced over the past decades in many parts around the world have significantly escalated the quantities of the municipal solid waste. The improper disposal and the uncontrolled dumping of different types of waste have caused long term environmental and health problems, as well as degradation of land resources. Different solid waste management options have recently emerged inter alia including collection, processing, recycling, and disposal of the solid waste in ways that will reduce their harmful effects. This chapter will thoroughly assess the various robust and cost effective management alternatives, with the exception of hazardous waste, such as landfilling, composting, incineration, recycling, and the use of landfill gas (LFG) as a renewable source of energy. The chapter will also address the impacts of these management strategies that are reflected on the environment, the economy, and on human health.
Muna Albanna
Chapter 17. Potential of Biopesticides in Sustainable Agriculture
Sustainable agriculture also aims at increasing the yield of food and fiber crops and reducing the incidence of pests and diseases to such a degree that they do not cause extensive damage to crops. With the advent of chemical pesticides in 1940s, this crisis was resolved to a great extent. But the overdependence on chemical pesticides and eventual uninhibited use of them has caused serious health and environmental problems. This concern has encouraged researchers to look for better alternatives to synthetic pesticides. Biopesticides can make important contribution to sustainable agriculture and help reduce reliance on chemical pesticides. microbial insecticide likeBacillus thuringiensis (Bt) produces a proteinic toxin which induces paralysis of the midgut and brings about cessation in feeding after being ingested by insect pests. Other promising candidates areBeauveria bassiana andMetarrhizium anisopliae. The spores penetrate the host cuticle, once inside the body, producing toxic metabolites called beauvericin (B. bassiana) and destruxins(M. anisopliae) responsible for death of the insects. Baculoviruses (Nuclear Polyhedrosis Virus and Granulosis Virus) are safe to human beings and wildlife, their specificity is very narrow. They do not infect beneficial insects and have capacity to persist in the environment, making them very suitable for use in sustainable agriculture. Semiochemicals: attractants and pheromones, and botanicals are important sources of agrochemicals used for the management of insect pests. They degrade rapidly and therefore, are considered safer than chemical pesticides to the environment.
The market for biopesticides is expanding rapidly: growing at some 10% per year, by the end of 2010 global sales are expected to hit the $1 billion mark and make up 4.2% of the overall pesticides market. Further research and development of biopesticides must be given high priority and public in general and agriculturists in particular will force governments to make policy decisions in reducing the use of chemical pesticides. The present paper describes the detailed discussion on the potential of biopesticides in sustainable agriculture.
M. Shafiq Ansari, Nadeem Ahmad, Fazil Hasan
Environmental Protection Strategies for Sustainable Development
Abdul Malik
Elisabeth Grohmann
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