Journal of Agricultural Science and Food Research

Journal of Agricultural Science and Food Research
Open Access

ISSN: 2593-9173

+44 1223 790975


Biosafety of Novel Bioinoculants

Selvakumar G, Panneerselvam P and Ganeshamurthy AN

With rapid advances in microbial discovery and inoculant technology, the realm of microbial inoculants has seen a significant shift from the conventional range of microbes viz., Rhizobium, Azospirillum, Azotobacter, etc. to include a wide range of bacterial and fungal genera that colonize the rhizosphere and promote plant growth in a myriad fashion. Such microbial strains with beneficial traits have been included under the umbrella terminologies of Plant Growth Promoting Rhizobacteria (PGPR) and Plant Growth Promoting Rhizofungi (PGRF). While this is definitely a welcome step, it brings along with it a host of pertinent questions, of which the biosafety of the microbial strains used for inoculant formulation is of paramount importance. This rationalization becomes imperative in the present scenario, where the etiology and pathogenesis of several hitherto unknown or lesser known bacterial species are being deciphered, and opportunistic pathogenic properties are being attributed to several commonly occurring environmental microbes. Another issue that needs to be factored in this paradigm is the possible horizontal gene transfer between naturally occurring microbes and the introduced inoculant strains. This assumes significance since horizontal gene transfer amongst organisms plays a larger role in the context of environmental protection and evolving antibiotic resistance. Hence a judicious analysis of the benefits and risks associated with novel microbial inoculants need to be addressed, before its eventual usage. Therefore it is imperative for microbiologist’s agronomists and plant protection scientists to be aware about the latest trends in biosafety, in order to make informed decisions in their day to day work. Hence this article will primarily focus on the need for ensuring the biosafety of the newer bioinoculants, and the relevant regulatory frameworks that are in place internationally.