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With millions of different bacterial species living in soil, the microbial community is extremely complex, varying at very small scales. Microbe-driven functions are essential for most processes in soil. Thus, a better understanding of this microbial diversity will be invaluable for the management of the various soil functions.
Nucleic Acids and Proteins in Soil combines traditional approaches in soil microbiology and biochemistry with the latest techniques in molecular microbial ecology. Included are methods to analyse the presence and importance of nucleic acids and proteins both inside and outside microbial cells, the horizontal gene transfer which drives bacterial diversity, as well as soil proteomes. Further chapters describe techniques such as PCR, fingerprinting, the challenging use of gene arrays for structural and functional analysis, stable isotope probing to identify in situ metabolic functions, and the use of marker and reporter genes in soil microbial ecology.