Soil quality - Method to directly extract DNA from soil samples (ISO 11063:2012)
This International Standard specifies a method for direct DNA extraction from soil samples to analyse the global structure and the abundance of soil bacterial communities using PCR based technologies. This method is mainly dedicated to agricultural and forest soils. This method might not be suitable for soils rich in organic matter (e.g. peat soils) or soils heavily polluted with organic pollutants or heavy metal. The direct extraction of DNA from soil samples provides unique insight into the richness and structure of microbial communities which are key parameters to estimate the biodiversity of soil microbiota. Molecular approaches based on PCR (polymerase chain reaction) amplification of soil DNA constitute a promising domain and may contribute in a near future to the development of routine tools to monitor the microbiota of soil environment. User of the method should be aware that although soil submitted to DNA extraction procedure is sieved thoroughly (2 mm mesh, procedure described in 5.1), plant residues may still remain in soil samples and as a result, traces of plant DNA might contaminate soil DNA extract.