The present document specifies a method for direct extraction of DNA from soil samples to analyse the abundance and composition of microbial communities by various techniques of molecular biology including real-time quantitative PCR (qPCR). This method is mainly dedicated to agricultural and forest soils. This method can possibly not be suitable for soils rich in organic matter (e.g. peat soils) or soils heavily polluted with organic pollutants or heavy metals.
The direct extraction of DNA from soil samples provides unique insight into the α- and β-diversity of microbial communities. Next-generation sequencing of amplicons obtained by PCR (polymerase chain reaction) amplification of soil DNA constitutes a promising domain which will in the near future contribute to the development of routine tools to monitor microbial communities in soil environments.