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Soil Bacteria

  1. David B. Alexander

Published Online: 15 APR 2003

DOI: 10.1002/047126363X.agr352

Encyclopedia of Agrochemicals

Encyclopedia of Agrochemicals

How to Cite

Alexander, D. B. 2003. Soil Bacteria. Encyclopedia of Agrochemicals. .

Author Information

  1. University of Portland, Portland, Oregon

Publication History

  1. Published Online: 15 APR 2003


Bacteria are among the most numerous and ubiquitous of all soil organisms. They are single-celled, prokaryotic microbes whose small size and simple cell structure enable them to grow and adapt rapidly to changing environmental conditions. Bacterial cells consist of a cytoplasmic membrane, nucleoid, ribosomes, and a cell envelope that usually includes a cell wall composed of peptidoglycan. No other group of soil organisms has a greater impact on soil fertility, water and air quality, and on the quality of plant, animal, and human life.


  • soil bacteria;
  • prokaryotic microbes;
  • photoautotrophic bacteria;
  • chemoautotropic bacteria;
  • heterotrophic bacteria;
  • archaea;
  • actinomycetes;
  • anaerobic;
  • bacterial fermentation