In the ten years since the publication of Modern Soil Microbiology, the study of soil microbiology has significantly changed, both in the understanding of the diversity and function of soil microbial communities and in research methods. Ideal for students in a variety of disciplines, this second edition provides a cutting-edge examination of a fascinating discipline that encompasses ecology, physiology, genetics, molecular biology, and biotechnology, and makes use of biochemical and biophysical approaches. The chapters cover topics ranging from the fundamental to the applied and describe the use of advanced methods that have provided a great thrust to the discipline of soil microbiology. Using the latest molecular analyses, they integrate principles of soil microbiology with novel insights into the physiology of soil microorganisms. The authors discuss the soil and rhizosphere as habitats for microorganisms, then go on to describe the different microbial groups, their adaptive responses, and their respective processes in interactive and functional terms. The book highlights a range of applied aspects of soil microbiology, including the nature of disease-suppressive soils, the use of biological control agents, biopesticides and bioremediation agents, and the need for correct statistics and experimentation in the analyses of the data obtained from soil systems.