Crop Biotech Update

Scientists to Sequence, Analyze Soil DNA

September 26, 2012

Scientists from The Genome Analysis Center (TGAC), a research institution based in Norwich, England, will attempt to unlock the secrets of soil by unravelling its genetic fingerprint. The soil samples, which were collected in New Forest, Hampshire will be sequenced within a week or less to reveal genetic data from the microbes they contain. The data will unearth which microorganisms are in the soil and what they do. TGAC scientists will then analyze the DNA and compare the different qualities of different samples.

TGAC explained that by analyzing a soil sample, scientists can discover the DNA sequences of the microorganism that it contains. Some of the sequences act as identification tags for different organisms or functions. Comparing these tags against a database identifies which organisms are in the soil and what they do. This cutting edge technique will use experimental analytical systems and new approaches to test soil samples in a bid to improve people's understanding of the natural processes underground.

For more information, visit http://www.tgac.ac.uk/news/34/68/Chris-Packham-helps-scientists-unearth-soil-s-secret-DNA-to-mark-Biology-Week/.