Forensic Science, Medicine, and Pathology

, Volume 11, Issue 2, pp 268–272 | Cite as

Residual soil DNA extraction increases the discriminatory power between samples

  • Jennifer M. YoungEmail author
  • Laura S. Weyrich
  • Laurence J. Clarke
  • Alan Cooper
Technical Report


Forensic soil analysis relies on capturing an accurate and reproducible representation of the diversity from limited quantities of soil; however, inefficient DNA extraction can markedly alter the taxonomic abundance. The performance of a standard commercial DNA extraction kit (MOBIO PowerSoil DNA Isolation kit) and three modified protocols of this kit: soil pellet re-extraction (RE); an additional 24-h lysis incubation step at room temperature (RT); and 24-h lysis incubation step at 55 °C (55) were compared using high-throughput sequencing of the internal transcribed spacer I ribosomal DNA. DNA yield was not correlated with fungal diversity and the four DNA extraction methods displayed distinct fungal community profiles for individual samples, with some phyla detected exclusively using the modified methods. Application of a 24 h lysis step will provide a more complete inventory of fungal biodiversity, and re-extraction of the residual soil pellet offers a novel tool for increasing discriminatory power between forensic soil samples.


Soil Forensics Metagenomics DNA extraction High-throughput sequencing 



This work was supported by an ARC Linkage Grant between the University of Adelaide and the Australian Federal Police. We thank Alla Marchuk for collecting the soil samples and members of the Australian Centre for Ancient DNA for helpful comments on previous versions of the manuscript.

Supplementary material

12024_2015_9662_MOESM1_ESM.docx (1.1 mb)
Supplementary material 1 (DOCX 1142 kb)


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Copyright information

© Springer Science+Business Media New York 2015

Authors and Affiliations

  • Jennifer M. Young
    • 1
    Email author
  • Laura S. Weyrich
    • 1
  • Laurence J. Clarke
    • 1
  • Alan Cooper
    • 1
  1. 1.Australian Centre for Ancient DNA, School of Biological SciencesUniversity of AdelaideAdelaideAustralia

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