The broad of this study is to examine the economic importance of bacteria in the environment using Micheal Okpara University of Agriculture (MOUA), Abia State as case study. Survey research design was employed for the study and with aid of purposive sampling sixty (60) student in microbiology department of Micheal Okpara University of Agriculture was selected as the participant of the study. The sources of data collection was both primary and secondary with the application of questionnaires as an instrument to gather the necessary data. The questionnaires were properly completed after being administered and this was a basis by which the primary data were collected. Data was analyzed using simple percentage in frequencies and table. Findings from the study reveal that Bacteria has some economic benefit in agriculture such as: helping in sanitation of nature, helping in fixing atmospheric nitrogen and enables plants to uptake nitrogen,Bacteria is of some economic benefit to pharmaceuticals manufacturing industries. Bacteria helps in the production of Vaccines, Antibiotics, production of Vitamins and curative teas, helps in the production of diary product and useful in wine production and food processing in bakery industries. The study therefore recommends that since Many parasitic bacteria are the causative agents of bacterial diseases. They cause diseases of our economic plants, domesticated animals and man. Hence clinicians and microbiologist should ensure initiation of a method to monitor general metabolic activity of bacteria during drugs production and experiments.
1.1 Background of the Study
Environment is a comprehensive term, which comprises of all the factors which make up the surroundings. The air that one breathes, the land on which one lives, the water one drinks and all the living and non-living things that are part of the surroundings are referred to as the environment1. Environments are components of ecosystems. An ecosystem is a community of micro-organisms and their physical and chemical environment that functions as an ecological unit. The ecosphere or biosphere, organise the entirety of living organisms on Earth and the abiotic surroundings they occupy. It can be divided into atmosphere, hydrosphere and litho-ecosphere to define the shares of the global expense inhabited by living things in air, water and soil environments respectively. The environment has rendered a significant contribution in the evolution of the biological spectrum by the process of natural selection and elimination. The environment has influenced and structured the lives of the individuals since ancient past.
Notably, within the environment, there are presence of micro-organisms. Micro-organisms lives within the habitats of the ecospheres. The habitat is one component of a comprehensive concept of the ecological niche, which includes not only where an organism lives but also the functions it performs. The niche is the functional role of an organism within an ecosystem. Micro-organisms may be autochthonous or indigenous or allochthonous or foreign. Micro-organisms, by their omnipresence, have an influence upon the entire biosphere. They are present in essentially all of the planet's environments, including some of the most extreme, from acidic lakes to the deepest ocean, and from frozen environments to hydrothermal vents. Microorganisms are found in each of the three domains of life: Archaea, Bacteria, and Eukarya2.
Bacteria and their phages are the oldest and most abundant life forms on the planet. Bacteria are single-celled, or simple, organisms. Though small, bacteria are powerful and complex, and they can survive in extreme conditions. Bacteria are also instrumental for understanding fundamental life processes that are required by all organisms, including central metabolism, replication, transcription, translation, protein targeting, assembly and structure of macromolecular complexes, protein folding, stress responses, error correction mechanisms, signal transduction, and developmental programs. These processes are more easily characterized in model bacteria and their phages than in other organisms because microbes provide such tractable experimental systems. The large repertoire of genetic and biochemical tools and data that have been acquired from basic research on bacteria is crucial for dissecting the complex metabolic and regulatory networks that control these processes3. Although we also live in an environment replete with bacteria that can cause a wide variety of human diseases, bacteria have been proven to be of environmental benefit this is because they make possible the continued existence of green plants and therefore of animals because the plants are the only source of food for animals.
1.2 Statement of the problem
Microbes are everywhere in the biosphere, and their presence invariably affects the environment that they are growing in. While some micro organism are harmful to the human and the environment some are of economic importance. Economic importance of any organism refers to the advantages and disadvantages of that organism to nature, the humans and the environment. According to , The effects of microorganisms such as bacteria on their environment can be beneficial or harmful or inapparent with regard to human measure or observation. Bacteria and their phages are the oldest and most abundant life forms on the planet. Bacteria have co-evolved with us and are beneficial for human health. There are over 10 times more bacteria in our bodies than there are human cells, and this natural microbiota is essential for proper development, nutrition, and resistance to disease.Bacteria play important roles in different fields such as agriculture, industry etc4. Coversely, there are very little studies and emphasis about the interactions between bacteria and the environment that influence the delicate ecological equilibrium between humans and microbes and thereby determine the balance between health and disease. Thus these compelled the researcher to delve into this study to examine the economic importance of bacteria in the environment.
1.3 Objective of the study
The broad of this study is to examine the economic importance of bacteria in the environment.Specifically, the study seeks to:
To ascertain if bacteria influences equilibrium between humans and environment.
To determine the role bacteria in agriculture and industry.
To investigate if bacteria is importance in drawing a balance between health and diseases.
1.4 Research Question
Does bacteria influences equilibrium between plant, animals and environment?
What are the role bacteria in agriculture and industry?
Is bacteria of economic importance in drawing a balance between health and disease?
1.5 Significance of the study
Findings of this study will be relevant empirically and practically. The beneficial effects of microbes derive from their metabolic activities in the environment, their associations with plants and animals,and from their use in food production and biotechnological processes. Practically, the result of the study will enlighten scientist on the economic of importance of bacteria in relative field such as clinical sciences, pharmaceuticals, manufacturing industry and environmental biologist. Empirically, findings of this study will contribute to general body of knowledge and serve as a reference material to both scholars and student who wishes to conduct further studies in related field.
1.6 Scope of the study
The scope of this study borders on the economic importance of bacteria in the environment. Other discuss the study will cover includes classification of bacteria, their relative importance to man’s health, to plant and the biosphere. The study will sample microbiology student in Micheal Okpara University of Agriculture, Abia State.
1.7 Limitation of the study
Like in every human endeavour, the researchers encountered slight constraints while carrying out the study. The significant constraint was the scantiness of literature on the discourse of economic importance of bacteria in the environment. Thus much time and organization was required in sourcing for the relevant materials, literature, or information and in the process of data collection. Also the study is limited in sample size and geography covering only microbiology student in Micheal Okpara University of Agriculture, Abia State. Therefore findings of this