This article is the first in a series that discusses the issue surrounding the molecular studies of soil microbiology. In this first article we cover the basics of soil and why it is one of the most challenging samples to study and how to overcome those challenges. There are major differences impacting soils in regards to the organic content, texture, pH, and where the soil was collected, all playing a role in microbial diversity. Even soils collected at the same location but at different depths in a core can be completely different. These factors and more impact the microbial load and therefore, the yields of DNA and RNA that can be obtained.
This first article covers the basics of soil molecular science. This series of articles will continue to assist soil molecular biologists in obtaining the highest quality and yields of DNA and RNA from any sample.