Potentials of termite mound soil bacteria in ecosystem engineering for sustainable agriculture

  • Ben Jesuorsemwen Enagbonma
  • Olubukola Oluranti BabalolaEmail author
Review Article


The environmental deteriorating effects arising from the misuse of pesticides and chemical fertilizers in agriculture has resulted in the pursuit of eco-friendly means of producing agricultural produce without compromising the safety of the environment. Thus, the purpose of this review is to assess the potential of bacteria in termite mound soil to serve as biofertilizer and biocontrol as a promising tool for sustainable agriculture. This review has been divided into four main sections: termite and termite mound soils, bacterial composition in termite mound soil, the role of bacteria in termite mound soil as biofertilizers, and the role of bacteria in termite mound soil as biocontrol. Some bacteria in termite mound soils have been isolated and characterized by various means, and these bacteria could improve the fertility of the soil and suppress soil borne plant pathogens through the production of antibiotics, nutrient fixation, and other means. These bacteria in termite mound soils could serve as a remarkable means of reducing the reliance on the usage of chemical fertilizers and pesticides in farming, thereby increasing crop yield.


Biofertilizers Chemical fertilizers Environmental safety Food security Organic farming 


Author contributions

B.J.E. wrote the first draft. O.O.B. provided the academic input and thoroughly critiqued the article. Both authors approved the article for publication.

Funding Information

Support to B.J.E.’s Doctoral program was provided by the South Africa’s National Research Foundation/The World Academy of Science African Renaissance grant (UID110909). The National Research Foundation, South Africa for the grant (UID81192) provided support to O.O.B. that has supported research in her lab.

Compliance with ethical standards

Conflict of interest

The authors declare that they have no conflict of interest.


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Copyright information

© Università degli studi di Milano 2019

Authors and Affiliations

  • Ben Jesuorsemwen Enagbonma
    • 1
  • Olubukola Oluranti Babalola
    • 1
    Email author
  1. 1.Food Security and Safety Niche, Faculty of Natural and Agricultural SciencesNorth-West UniversityMmabathoSouth Africa

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