Cyanobacterial Application as Bio-fertilizers in Rice Fields: Role in Growth Promotion and Crop Productivity
Nitrogen deficiency in rice fields particularly in developing countries is one of the major abiotic constraints which is generally managed by the extensive application of nitrogen fertilizers. Though, the application of chemical fertilizers efficiently increases soil fertility and productivity of the crop; however, ecological and environmental problems are grave concerns for ecosystem and environmental sustainability rendered by the unbalanced use of these chemicals. Instead, application of bio-fertilizers in cultivated fields have been well known for reducing heavy inputs of fertilizers and thereby contributing to environmental sustainability. Cyanobacteria, which have diverse range of species, many with beneficial agro-activities and nitrogen fixation capabilities, can serve as bio-fertilizers in rice fields because of greater dependency of rice crop on fixed nitrogen for its growth and production requirements. This paper focusses on the use of cyanobacteria as potential bio-fertilizer in rice fields and their beneficial roles in promoting growth and productivity of the crop.