Modern Soil Microbiology


Author : Jan Dirk Van Elsas

Published in : CRC Press

ISBN : 978-1-4200-1520-1

File Type : pdf

File Size : 29 mb

Language : English


Soil teems with diverse microorganisms, most still unknown yet highly appreciated because of their suspected capacities to produce compounds that are important for biotechnology and medicine. Additionally, soil has an indispensable ecological function, primarily in the anabolic and catabolic cycles of carbon, nitrogen and sulfur, without which the diversity of life forms that have evolved on the planet would likely not have been possible. Given its enormous relevance for bioprospecting and ecosystem functioning, soil microbiology has been termed the “last true scientific frontier” on Earth. Over the last decade, the study of soil microbiology has undergone significant changes, both in the understanding of the diversity and functioning of soil microbial communities and in the methods that are being used to dissect and reconstruct the soil in microbiological terms. In particular, the ever increasing development and use of DNA- or RNA-based molecular detection methods have revolutionized our knowledge of the living soil, as well as the strategies available to analyze it. Several examples of outstanding recent breakthroughs come to mind. For example, we now know that acidobacteria are major constituents of many terrestrial habitats on the planet, although we do not yet fully understand what this means in terms of their function.
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