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Amity Institute of Microbial Technology (AIMT) and Embassy of Italy, New Delhi organized three day Indo-Italian Workshop on "Bacteria and Fungi for Environmental Sustainability" from November 29- December 1, 2010 at Amity University Campus, Sector-125, Noida.
Scientists, Researchers and Scholars from India, Italy and Iran including Prof. Dr. Silvia Perotto- University of Torino, Italy; Prof. (Dr.) Peter Raspor- University of Ljubljana, Slovenia; Prof. (Dr.) Alessandra Zambonelli- University of Bologna, Italy; Dr. Syed Mahmood Farshpour- Iran; Dr. Sabokbar Azar- Islamic Azad University, Iran; Prof. (Dr.) Sudhir Sopori- ICGEB, New Delhi; Prof. (Dr.) Atul Johri- Jawaharlal Nehru University, New Delhi; Dr. Subra Chakraborty- NIPGR, New Delhi and many others participated and presented over 150 papers and breakthrough research works during the Workshop.
The various themes and sub themes that were covered during three day workshop included "Mutualistic Networks and Ecosystem Functions", "Mutualistic Interactions, Ecology and Global Change", "Inter-Kingdom Interactions", "Cellular and Molecular Aspects of Mycorrhizal Fungi, "New Methods in Symbiosis Research, "Microbial Dynamics, Communication and Quorum Sensing", "Bio-detoxification of Degraded Soils", "Interaction of Nanoparticles with Microbes" and "Science and Technology for Tribal Welfare".
Presenting his research paper on "Microbial Protein Mediated One Pot Synthesis of Gold Nanoparticles" during the three day Workshop, Dr. Sujoy K Das- School of Biotechnology, Dublin City University, Dublin Ireland, said that synthesis of metal nanoparticles is an important area of research in Nanoscience and technology as they exhibit unique properties conspicuously different from those of bulk metals due to their unique size and shape. The use of conventional synthetic chemical methods for obtaining metal nanoparticles often raises environmental questions. Thus, there is a constant drive to evolve new methodologies to produce metal nanoparticles in a safer way. Keeping in view the global efforts to reduce hazardous waste generated while obtaining metal nanoparticles, Dr. Sujoy Das has developed a Simple Green Chemical approach (aiming at reducing waste, hazard, risk, energy and cost) for the synthesis of gold nanoparticles via the interaction of choloroauric acid and environmental fungus, Rhizopus Oryzae.
Heavy metal contamination has been on the rise in proportion to the pace of worldwide industrialization, leading to significant health problems and toxic effects on plants and microbial biodiversity. Dr. Ayten Karaca- Ankara University, Faculty of Agriculture, Department of Soil Science, Ankara, Turkey, presented a paper on "Detoxification of Heavy Metals using Plant Growth Promoting Bacteria and Fungi" during the Workshop, in which he has worked on improving the plant growth and development in heavy metal contaminated soils through the addition of plant growth
promoting Rhizobacteria (PGPR) and Arbuscular Mycorrhizal Fungi (AMF). Soil microbes mitigate toxic effects of heavy metals on the plants through secretion of acids, proteins and other chemicals.
The process of interaction between microbes and plants and thereby, the application of plant beneficial fungi to increase yield and reduce the occurrence of fungal diseases is a significant development, which can benefit a plant manifold. Dr. Ajit Varma-Director General, Amity Institute of Microbial Technology (AIMT) and Vice Chairman, Amity Science, Technology and Innovation Foundation (ASTIF), presented his research work on "Molecular Studies on Interaction of Piriformospora Indica and Rhizobacteria" during the Workshop. Prof. Dr. Ajit Varma discovered Mycorrhiza Fungus "Piriformospora Indica" in 1998, which has a multitude of salient features such as it acts as a Plant Promoter, Bio-Fertilizer, Bio-Herbicide, Antioxidants etc. Presenting the research paper, Dr. Varma stressed that in present scenario, friendly microbes as opposed to polluting chemicals will assume an increasingly prominent role in any planned plant growth activity in terms of eco-friendliness.
Dr. Varma, in his research, interacted symbiotic fungus P. Indica having fungicidal property with a number of plants to develop disease free and medicinally important plants. The fungus P. Indica, he found, is able to associate with roots of various plant species and promotes early flowering, better growth and enhances biomass of the plants.
The Workshop concluded with a Round Table Conference, chaired by Prof. (Dr.) Paola Bonfante- University of Turino, Italy; Dr. Lidia Szpyrkowicz- Scientific Attaché, Embassy of Italy, New Delhi; Prof. Dr. Sunil Saran- Sr. Vice Chairman, Amity Science, Technology and Innovation Foundation (ASTIF) and . Dr. Ajit Varma-Director General, Amity Institute of Microbial Technology (AIMT) who summed up the discussions and deliberations which took place during the three day Workshop.
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