Microorganisms give life to the soil and provide a variety of ecosystem
services to plants. Soil bacteria are the strongest candidates for determining soil health.
Bacterial communities are important for the health and productivity of soil ecosystems.
Therefore, we must have a thorough knowledge of the diversity, habitat, and ecosystem
functioning of bacteria. In this chapter, we will discuss the functional, metabolic, and
phylogenetic diversity of soil bacteria and highlight the role of bacteria in the cycling
of major biological elements (C, N, P, and S), detoxification of common soil pollutants,
disease suppression, and soil aggregation. This chapter also underlines the use of soil
bacteria as indicators of soil health. We have concluded the chapter by taking note of
the present agricultural practices that call for concern regarding the natural soil
microflora and steps to return biological activity to the soil.
Keywords: Bioremediation, Disease suppression, Nutrient cycling, Soil health.