A low-cost pipeline for soil microbiome profiling.
ABSTRACT: Common bottlenecks in environmental and crop microbiome studies are the consumable and personnel costs necessary for genomic DNA extraction and sequencing library construction. This is harder for challenging environmental samples such as soil, which is rich in Polymerase Chain Reaction (PCR) inhibitors. To address this, we have established a low-cost genomic DNA extraction method for soil samples. We also present an Illumina-compatible 16S and ITS rRNA gene amplicon library preparation workflow that uses common laboratory equipment. We evaluated the performance of our genomic DNA extraction method against two leading commercial soil genomic DNA kits (MoBio PowerSoil® and MP Biomedicals™ FastDNA™ SPIN) and a recently published non-commercial extraction method by Zou et al. (PLoS Biology, 15, e2003916, 2017). Our benchmarking experiment used four different soil types (coniferous, broad-leafed, and mixed forest plus a standardized cereal crop compost mix) assessing the quality and quantity of the extracted genomic DNA by analyzing sequence variants of 16S V4 and ITS rRNA amplicons. We found that our genomic DNA extraction method compares well to both commercially available genomic DNA extraction kits in DNA quality and quantity. The MoBio PowerSoil® kit, which relies on silica column-based DNA extraction with extensive washing, delivered the cleanest genomic DNA, for example, best A260:A280 and A260:A230 absorbance ratios. The MP Biomedicals™ FastDNA™ SPIN kit, which uses a large amount of binding material, yielded the most genomic DNA. Our method fits between the two commercial kits, producing both good yields and clean genomic DNA with fragment sizes of approximately 10 kb. Comparative analysis of detected amplicon sequence variants shows that our method correlates well with the two commercial kits. Here, we present a low-cost genomic DNA extraction method for soil samples that can be coupled to an Illumina-compatible simple two-step amplicon library construction workflow for 16S V4 and ITS marker genes. Our method delivers high-quality genomic DNA at a fraction of the cost of commercial kits and enables cost-effective, large-scale amplicon sequencing projects. Notably, our extracted gDNA molecules are long enough to be suitable for downstream techniques such as full gene sequencing or even metagenomics shotgun approaches using long reads (PacBio or Nanopore), 10x Genomics linked reads, and Dovetail genomics.
Project description:A robust DNA extraction method is important to identify the majority of microorganisms present in environmental microbial communities and to enable a consistent comparison between different studies. Here, 15 manual and four automated commercial DNA extraction kits were evaluated for their efficiency to extract DNA from porcine feces and ileal digesta samples. DNA yield, integrity, and purity varied among the different methods. Terminal restriction fragment length polymorphism (T-RFLP) and Illumina amplicon sequencing were used to characterize the diversity and composition of the microbial communities. We also compared phylogenetic profiles of two regions of the 16S rRNA gene, one of the most used region (V1-2) and the V5-6 region. A high correlation between community structures obtained by analyzing both regions was observed at genus and family level for ileum digesta and feces. Based on our findings, we want to recommend the FastDNA(™) SPIN Kit for Soil (MP Biomedical) as a suitable kit for the analyses of porcine gastrointestinal tract samples.
Project description:<h4>Background</h4>Mycobacterium bovis is the aetiological agent of bovine tuberculosis (bTB), an important recrudescent zoonosis, significantly increasing in British herds in recent years. Wildlife reservoirs have been identified for this disease but the mode of transmission to cattle remains unclear. There is evidence that viable M. bovis cells can survive in soil and faeces for over a year.<h4>Methodology/principal findings</h4>We report a multi-operator blinded trial for a rigorous comparison of five DNA extraction methods from a variety of soil and faecal samples to assess recovery of M. bovis via real-time PCR detection. The methods included four commercial kits: the QIAamp Stool Mini kit with a pre-treatment step, the FastDNA® Spin kit, the UltraClean™ and PowerSoil™ soil kits and a published manual method based on phenol:chloroform purification, termed Griffiths. M. bovis BCG Pasteur spiked samples were extracted by four operators and evaluated using a specific real-time PCR assay. A novel inhibition control assay was used alongside spectrophotometric ratios to monitor the level of inhibitory compounds affecting PCR, DNA yield, and purity. There were statistically significant differences in M. bovis detection between methods of extraction and types of environmental samples; no significant differences were observed between operators. Processing times and costs were also evaluated. To improve M. bovis detection further, the two best performing methods, FastDNA® Spin kit and Griffiths, were optimised and the ABI TaqMan environmental PCR Master mix was adopted, leading to improved sensitivities.<h4>Conclusions</h4>M. bovis was successfully detected in all environmental samples; DNA extraction using FastDNA® Spin kit was the most sensitive method with highest recoveries from all soil types tested. For troublesome faecal samples, we have used and recommend an improved assay based on a reduced volume, resulting in detection limits of 4.25×10(5) cells g(-1) using Griffiths and 4.25×10(6) cells g(-1) using FastDNA® Spin kit.
Project description:Standardization of DNA extraction is a fundamental issue of fidelity and comparability in investigations of environmental microbial communities. Commercial kits for soil or feces are often adopted for studies of activated sludge because of a lack of specific kits, but they have never been evaluated regarding their effectiveness and potential biases based on high throughput sequencing. In this study, seven common DNA extraction kits were evaluated, based on not only yield/purity but also sequencing results, using two activated sludge samples (two sub-samples each, i.e. ethanol-fixed and fresh, as-is). The results indicate that the bead-beating step is necessary for DNA extraction from activated sludge. The two kits without the bead-beating step yielded very low amounts of DNA, and the least abundant operational taxonomic units (OTUs), and significantly underestimated the Gram-positive Actinobacteria, Nitrospirae, Chloroflexi, and Alphaproteobacteria and overestimated Gammaproteobacteria, Deltaproteobacteria, Bacteroidetes, and the rare phyla whose cell walls might have been readily broken. Among the other five kits, FastDNA(@) SPIN Kit for Soil extracted the most and the purest DNA. Although the number of total OTUs obtained using this kit was not the highest, the abundant OTUs and abundance of Actinobacteria demonstrated its efficiency. The three MoBio kits and one ZR kit produced fair results, but had a relatively low DNA yield and/or less Actinobacteria-related sequences. Moreover, the 50 % ethanol fixation increased the DNA yield, but did not change the sequenced microbial community in a significant way. Based on the present study, the FastDNA SPIN kit for Soil is recommended for DNA extraction of activated sludge samples. More importantly, the selection of the DNA extraction kit must be done carefully if the samples contain dominant lysing-resistant groups, such as Actinobacteria and Nitrospirae.
Project description:Culture-independent molecular techniques have advanced the characterization of environmental and human samples including the human milk (HM) bacteriome. However, extraction of high-quality genomic DNA that is representative of the bacterial population in samples is crucial. Lipids removal from HM prior to DNA extraction is common practice, but this may influence the bacterial population detected. The objective of this study was to compare four commercial DNA extraction kits and lipid removal in relation to HM bacterial profiles. Four commercial DNA extraction kits, QIAamp® DNA Microbiome Kit, ZR Fungal/Bacterial DNA MiniPrep™, QIAsymphony DSP DNA Kit and ZymoBIOMICS™ DNA Miniprep Kit, were assessed using milk collected from ten healthy lactating women. The kits were evaluated based on their ability to extract high quantities of pure DNA from HM and how well they extracted DNA from bacterial communities present in a commercial mock microbial community standard spiked into HM. Finally, the kits were evaluated by assessing their extraction repeatability. Bacterial profiles were assessed using Illumina MiSeq sequencing targeting the V4 region of the 16S rRNA gene. The ZR Fungal/Bacterial DNA MiniPrep™ and ZymoBIOMICS™ DNA Miniprep (Zymo Research Corp., Irvine, CA, USA) kits extracted the highest DNA yields with the best purity. DNA extracted using ZR Fungal/Bacterial DNA MiniPrep™ best represented the bacteria in the mock community spiked into HM. In un-spiked HM samples, DNA extracted using the QIAsymphony DSP DNA kit showed statistically significant differences in taxa prevalence from DNA extracted using ZR Fungal/Bacterial DNA MiniPrep™ and ZymoBIOMICS™ DNA Miniprep kits. The only difference between skim and whole milk is observed in bacterial profiles with differing relative abundances of Enhydrobacter and Acinetobacter. DNA extraction, but not lipids removal, substantially influences bacterial profiles detected in HM samples, emphasizing the need for careful selection of a DNA extraction kit to improve DNA recovery from a range of bacterial taxa.
Project description:In recent years, 16S rRNA gene amplicon sequencing has been widely adopted for analyzing the microbial communities in drinking water (DW). However, no comprehensive attempts have been made to illuminate the inherent method biases specifically relating to DW communities. In this study, we investigated the impact of DNA extraction and primer choice on the observed microbial community, and furthermore estimated the detection limit of the 16S rRNA gene amplicon sequencing in these experimental settings. Of the two DNA extraction kits investigated, the PowerWater DNA Isolation Kit resulted in higher yield, better reproducibility and more OTUs identified compared to the FastDNA SPIN Kit for Soil, which is also commonly used within DW microbiome research. The use of three separate primer-sets targeting the V1-3, V3-4, and V4 region of the 16S rRNA gene revealed large differences in OTU abundances, with some of the primers unable to detect entire phyla. Estimations of the detection limit were based on bacteria-free water samples (1 L) spiked with Escherichia coli cells in different concentrations [101-106 cells/ml]. E.coli could be detected in all samples, however, samples with ?101 cells/ml had several contaminating OTUs constituting approximately 8% of the read abundances. Based on our findings, we recommend using the PowerWater DNA Isolation Kit for DNA extraction in combination with PCR amplification of the V3-4 or V4 region for DW samples if a broad overview of the microbial community is to be obtained.
Project description:<h4>Introduction</h4>Determining bacterial community structure in fecal samples through DNA sequencing is an important facet of intestinal health research. The impact of different commercially available DNA extraction kits upon bacterial community structures has received relatively little attention. The aim of this study was to analyze bacterial communities in volunteer and inflammatory bowel disease (IBD) patient fecal samples extracted using widely used DNA extraction kits in established gastrointestinal research laboratories.<h4>Methods</h4>Fecal samples from two healthy volunteers (H3 and H4) and two relapsing IBD patients (I1 and I2) were investigated. DNA extraction was undertaken using MoBio Powersoil and MP Biomedicals FastDNA SPIN Kit for Soil DNA extraction kits. PCR amplification for pyrosequencing of bacterial 16S rRNA genes was performed in both laboratories on all samples. Hierarchical clustering of sequencing data was done using the Yue and Clayton similarity coefficient.<h4>Results</h4>DNA extracted using the FastDNA kit and the MoBio kit gave median DNA concentrations of 475 (interquartile range 228-561) and 22 (IQR 9-36) ng/µL respectively (p<0.0001). Hierarchical clustering of sequence data by Yue and Clayton coefficient revealed four clusters. Samples from individuals H3 and I2 clustered by patient; however, samples from patient I1 extracted with the MoBio kit clustered with samples from patient H4 rather than the other I1 samples. Linear modelling on relative abundance of common bacterial families revealed significant differences between kits; samples extracted with MoBio Powersoil showed significantly increased Bacteroidaceae, Ruminococcaceae and Porphyromonadaceae, and lower Enterobacteriaceae, Lachnospiraceae, Clostridiaceae, and Erysipelotrichaceae (p<0.05).<h4>Conclusion</h4>This study demonstrates significant differences in DNA yield and bacterial DNA composition when comparing DNA extracted from the same fecal sample with different extraction kits. This highlights the importance of ensuring that samples in a study are prepared with the same method, and the need for caution when cross-comparing studies that use different methods.
Project description:<h4>Premise</h4>Within a broader study on leaf fossilization in freshwater environments, a long-term study on the development and microbiome composition of biofilms on the foliage of aquatic plants has been initiated to understand how microbes and biofilms contribute to leaf decay and preservation. Here, water lily leaves are employed as a study model to investigate the relationship between bacterial microbiomes, biodegradation, and fossilization. We compare four DNA extraction kits to reduce biases in interpretation and to identify the most suitable kit for the extraction of DNA from bacteria associated with biofilms on decaying water lily leaves for 16S rRNA amplicon analysis.<h4>Methods</h4>We extracted surface-associated DNA from <i>Nymphaea</i> leaves in early stages of decay at two water depth levels using four commercially available kits to identify the most suitable protocol for bacterial extraction, applying a mock microbial community standard to enable a reliable comparison of the kits.<h4>Results</h4>Kit 4, the FastDNA Spin Kit for Soil, resulted in high DNA concentrations with better quality and yielded the most accurate depiction of the mock community. Comparison of the leaves at two water depths showed no significant differences in community composition.<h4>Discussion</h4>The success of Kit 4 may be attributed to its use of bead beating with a homogenizer, which was more efficient in the lysis of Gram-positive bacteria than the manual vortexing protocols used by the other kits. Our results show that microbial composition on leaves during early decay remains comparable and may change only in later stages of decomposition.
Project description:Molecular characterizations of environmental microbial populations based on recovery and analysis of DNA generally assume efficient or unbiased extraction of DNA from different sample matrices and microbial groups. Appropriate controls to verify this basic assumption are rarely included. Here three different DNA extractions, performed with two commercial kits (FastDNA and UltraClean) and a standard phenol-chloroform method, and two alternative filtration methods (Sterivex and 25-mm-diameter polycarbonate filters) were evaluated, using the addition of Nitrosopumilus maritimus cells to track the recovery of DNA from marine Archaea. After the comparison, a simplified phenol-chloroform extraction method was developed and shown to be significantly superior, in terms of both the recovery and the purity of DNA, to other protocols now generally applied to environmental studies. The simplified and optimized method was used to quantify ammonia-oxidizing Archaea at different depth intervals in a fjord (Hood Canal) by quantitative PCR. The numbers of Archaea increased with depth, often constituting as much as 20% of the total bacterial community.
Project description:An optimized method, based on the coupling of two commercial kits, is described for the extraction of soil nucleic acids, with simultaneous extraction and purification of DNA and RNA following a cascade scheme and avoiding the use of harmful solvents. The protocol canmonitor the variations in the recovery yield of DNA and RNA from soils of various types.The quantitative version of the protocol was obtained by testing the starting soil quantity, the grinding parameters and the final elution volumes, in order to avoid saturation of both kits. •A first soil-crushing step in liquid nitrogen could be added for the assessment of fungal parameters.•The protocol was efficienton different tropical soils, including Andosol, while their high contents of clays, including poorly crystalline clays, and Fe and Al oxides usually make the nucleic acid extraction more difficult.•The RNA recovery yield from the previous tropical soils appeared to correlate better to soil respiration than DNA, which is positively influenced by soil clay content.
Project description:DNA extraction and primer choice have a large effect on the observed community structure in all microbial amplicon sequencing analyses. Although the biases are well known, no comprehensive analysis has been conducted in activated sludge communities. In this study we systematically explored the impact of a number of parameters on the observed microbial community: bead beating intensity, primer choice, extracellular DNA removal, and various PCR settings. In total, 176 samples were subjected to 16S rRNA amplicon sequencing, and selected samples were investigated through metagenomics and metatranscriptomics. Quantitative fluorescence in situ hybridization was used as a DNA extraction-independent method for qualitative comparison. In general, an effect on the observed community was found on all parameters tested, although bead beating and primer choice had the largest effect. The effect of bead beating intensity correlated with cell-wall strength as seen by a large increase in DNA from Gram-positive bacteria (up to 400%). However, significant differences were present at lower phylogenetic levels within the same phylum, suggesting that additional factors are at play. The best primer set based on in silico analysis was found to underestimate a number of important bacterial groups. For 16S rRNA gene analysis in activated sludge we recommend using the FastDNA SPIN Kit for Soil with four times the normal bead beating and V1-3 primers.