"Kate Orman" <korman at zipworld.com.au> wrote in message
news:8qpidi$30l$1 at zipperii.zip.com.au...
> I hope you'll forgive this intrusion - I'm a science fiction writer and a
> former microbiology student, racking my brains to remember something one
> of my lecturers once said! Apparently there's a particular soil microbe
> which gives soil its characteristic smell. I'd like to mention it in a
> story I'm writing, but I can't remember the organism's name for the life
> of me, and my research hasn't turned it up. I'd be most grateful for any
The soil smell comes mostly from the actinomycetes, the most common genera
of which are Streptomyces, Streptoverticillium, Actinomyces and Nocardia.
Don't -think- I've missed any really common ones.