Coir pith or coir dust, a highly lignocellulisic material, which is produced in enormous quantities as a byproduct of coir fibre extraction industries. High content of lignin in coir pith causes very slow decomposition .coir pith takes decades to decompose there by posing environmental hazard and disposal problem. Pleurotus sajor- caju ,Trichoderma sp,and Aspergillus sp were found to be potent degraders of coir pith. Cellulosic compounds present in coir pith support initial growth of fungus and acts as a co – substrate for lignin degradation. coir waste after biodegradation can be effectively used as manure for increasing yield of crops.
Coir pith is open cell foam; the cells are of almost uniform size and cylindrical in shape. The walls are very thin and empty cavities (lumen) are comparatively large. Average lumen size of the pith is about 50μm.Because of its sponge like structure coir pith helps to retain water and improve aeration. Aspergillus niger sp, Strptomyces sp ,Penicillium sp ,Trichoderma sp and Bacillus sp were found to be the native microflora in the raw coir pith and well composted coir pith. An additional advantage associated with Trichoderma sp is its ability as a biocontrol agent of soil borne fungal diseases.
The most preferred growing medium for plant is soil. For historic reason the farmers are mostly unwilling to switch over from soil to any other growing medium even when conditions demand. Growing environmental awareness throughout the world has triggered a paradigm shift towards designing material compatible with the environment. In developing countries the use of alternate sources to soil for growing plants is catching up. There are a no of organic medium available for commercial as well as indoor plants for the cultivation of many different crop plants .An ideal substitute for soil must have the following properties.