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Biodiversity and biotechnological potential of microorganisms from mangrove ecosystems: a review

Thatoi, Hrudayanath, Behera, Bikash Chandra, Mishra, Rashmi Ranjan, Dutta, Sushil Kumar
Annals of microbiology 2013 v.63 no.1 pp. 1-19
gases, insecticides, enzymes, marine ecosystems, phylogeny, vitamins, anthropogenic activities, agriculture, nutrients, functional diversity, immunosuppressive agents, terrestrial ecosystems, genetics, animals, antineoplastic agents, climate, mineralization, biosphere, pollutants, plants (botany), pests, pharmaceutical industry, biological control, wastes, ecological processes and phenomena, medical sciences, plant litter, mangrove forests, biotechnology, microorganisms, anti-infective agents, molecular biology, recycling
Mangrove forests occurring at the interface of terrestrial and marine ecosystems represent a rich biological diversity of plants, animals and microorganisms. Microbes, being an important component of the mangrove environment, not only play a very critical role in creating and maintaining this biosphere but also serve as a source of biotechnologically valuable and important products. By participating in various steps of decomposition and mineralization of leaf litter, microbes make an essential contribution to the productivity of the mangrove ecosystem. They able to recycle nutrients, produce and consume gases that affect global climate, destroy pollutants, treat anthropogenic wastes and can also be used for biological control of plant and animal pests. Microorganisms from mangrove environments are a major source of antimicrobial agents and also produce a wide range of important medicinal compounds, including enzymes, antitumor agents, insecticides, vitamins, immunosuppressants, and immune modulators. However, the phylogenetic and functional description of microbial diversity in mangrove ecosystems has not been addressed to the same extent as for other environments. Even though the mangrove ecosystem is very rich in microbial diversity, less than 5% of species have been described; in many cases neither their ecological role nor their application potential is known. Recently developed technologies in molecular biology and genetics offer great promise to explore the potential of microbial diversity. Hence, the present paper makes an attempt to review the microbial diversity in mangrove ecosystems and explore their potential applications in various fields such as agriculture, pharmaceutical, industrial, environmental and medical sciences.