With the exception of autotrophic bacteria, the green, or chlorophyll-bearing, plants are the only living forms on this planet capable of synthesizing organic matter out of inorganic elements and simple compounds.
In the development of antibiotics, the soil microbiological population has contributed more than its share. It is to the soil that the microbiologists came in search of new antibacterial agents.
In learning to utilize antibiotics for the control of human and animal diseases, the medical and veterinary professions have acquired powerful tools for combating infections and epidemics.
Streptomycin belongs to a group of compounds, known as antibiotics, which are produced by microorganisms and which possess the property of inhibiting the growth and even of destroying other microorganisms.
The soil is not a mass of dead debris, merely resulting from the physical and chemical weathering of rocks; it is a more or less homogeneous system which has resulted from the decomposition of plant and animal remains. It is teeming with life.
It has been recognized since the dawn of microbiology that the soil is inhabited by a living microscopic population which is responsible for the numerous reactions that take place in the soil and that affect the life and economy of man in many ways.