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Over the past 4 billion years, microorganisms have contributed to shaping the earth and making it more habitable for higher forms of life. They are remarkable in their metabolic diversity and their ability to harvest energy from oxidation and reduction reactions. Research on these microbiological processes has led to the newly evolving fields of geomicrobiology and biogeochemistry, linking the geosphere and the biosphere. This volume of the Soil Biology series provides an overview of the biogeochemical processes and the microorganisms involved, with an emphasis on the industrial applications. Topics treated include aspects such as bioremediation of contaminated environments, biomining, biotechnological applications of extremophiles, subsurface petroleum microbiology, enhanced oil recovery using microbes and their products, metal extraction from soil, soil elemental cycling and plant nutrition.