Articles

SOIL MICROBIOLOGY AS A FIELD OF SCIENCE

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Science  05 Oct 1945:
Vol. 102, Issue 2649, pp. 339-344
DOI: 10.1126/science.102.2649.339

Abstract

It can now be definitely recognized that the soil microbiologist is in a position to make important contributions not only to our knowledge of soil processes and plant growth, but also to microbiology, especially microbial physiology, and to the utilization of microorganisms for various industrial, public health and other processes. The soil microbiologist is able to contribute in many ways to man's capacity to survive, by learning to control the activities of injurious microorganisms and by favoring the processes brought about by the beneficial organisms.

The reason why the broader concept "microbiology" rather than the narrower term "bacteriology" has been used throughout this discussion is that the soil microbiologist has often to pay as much attention to the fungi as to the bacteria, and occasionally also to the protozoa, the algae and even the nematodes and other worms, inhabiting the soil in large numbers. Only a recognition of all these lower forms of life and their many interrelationships can help to elucidate this complex and important science.