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Bacteria are useful in many ways. Some of them are:

(1) Production of Antibiotics:

Antibiotics are chemical substance used to fight infections in human and animals. Most of the antibiotics are synthesized by bacteria.

Streptomyces species used for the production of Tetracyclines, Actinomycin D

Bacillus species used for the production of Bacitracin.

(2) Production of fermented foods:

They are also used in the fermentation of Idlis, Dosas (savory cake of south Indian origin) and also in the production of Cheese and Yogurt.

Given in the table are a list of Fermented foods and the bacteria used in the fermentation process:

Fermented food product

Fermenting bacteria used


Streptococcus thermophilus, Lactobacillus bulgaricus

Idlis and Dosas

Leuconostoc mesenteroides


Streptococcus spp.

(3) Production of Amino acids and Vitamins:

Bacteria are used in the commercial production of amino acids by fermentation. These include Lactic acid, Ascorbic acid, Acetic acid and Citric acid. These have wide applications in pharmaceutical, food and cosmetic industry.

Bacteria are successfully used in the commercial production of many vitamins such as Riboflavin, Thiamine, Folic acid, Biotin.

(4) Soil fertility:

Microbes enhance the fertility of the soil by fixing atmospheric nitrogen. They act as Biofertilizers.

Examples: Anabaena, Nostoc, Azotobacter, Rhizobium

(5) Production of Biogas

(6) Biodegradation of pollutants

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