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Open Access Highly Accessed Review

Microbial diversity of vermicompost bacteria that exhibit useful agricultural traits and waste management potential

Jayakumar Pathma and Natarajan Sakthivel*

Author Affiliations

Department of Biotechnology School of Life Sciences, Pondicherry University, Kalapet, Puducherry, 605014, India

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SpringerPlus 2012, 1:26  doi:10.1186/2193-1801-1-26

Published: 4 October 2012

Abstract

Vermicomposting is a non-thermophilic, boioxidative process that involves earthworms and associated microbes. This biological organic waste decomposition process yields the biofertilizer namely the vermicompost. Vermicompost is a finely divided, peat like material with high porosity, good aeration, drainage, water holding capacity, microbial activity, excellent nutrient status and buffering capacity thereby resulting the required physiochemical characters congenial for soil fertility and plant growth. Vermicompost enhances soil biodiversity by promoting the beneficial microbes which inturn enhances plant growth directly by production of plant growth-regulating hormones and enzymes and indirectly by controlling plant pathogens, nematodes and other pests, thereby enhancing plant health and minimizing the yield loss. Due to its innate biological, biochemical and physiochemical properties, vermicompost may be used to promote sustainable agriculture and also for the safe management of agricultural, industrial, domestic and hospital wastes which may otherwise pose serious threat to life and environment.

Keywords:
Vermicompost; Earthworms; Beneficial bacteria; Organic waste management; Pathogen suppression; Plant-growth promotion; Biofertilizer