A Comparison of Different Protocols for the Extraction of Microbial DNA Inhabiting Synthetic Mars Simulant Soil

Han Wang, Agata Pijl, Binbin Liu, Wieger Wamelink, Gerard W. Korthals, Ohana Y. A. Costa, Eiko E. Kuramae* (Corresponding author)

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journal/periodicalArticleScientificpeer-review

Abstract

Compared with typical Earth soil, Martian soil and Mars simulant soils have distinct properties, including pH > 8.0 and high contents of silicates, iron-rich minerals, sulfates, and metal oxides. This unique soil matrix poses a major challenge for extracting microbial DNA. In particular, mineral adsorption and the generation of destructive hydroxyl radicals through cationic redox cycling may interfere with DNA extraction. This study evaluated different protocols for extracting microbial DNA from Mars Global Simulant (MGS-1), a Mars simulant soil. Two commercial kits were tested: the FastDNA SPIN Kit for soil (“MP kit”) and the DNeasy PowerSoil Pro Kit (“PowerSoil kit”). MGS-1 was incubated with living soil for five weeks, and DNA was extracted from aliquots using the kits. After extraction, the DNA was quantified with a NanoDrop spectrophotometer and used as the template for 16S rRNA gene amplicon sequencing and qPCR. The MP kit was the most efficient, yielding approximately four times more DNA than the PowerSoil kit. DNA extracted using the MP kit with 0.5 g soil resulted in 28,642–37,805 16S rRNA gene sequence reads and 30,380–42,070 16S rRNA gene copies, whereas the 16S rRNA gene could not be amplified from DNA extracted using the PowerSoil kit. We suggest that the FastDNA SPIN Kit is the best option for studying microbial communities in Mars simulant soils.
Original languageEnglish
Article number760
JournalMicroorganisms
Volume12
Issue number4
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - 10 Apr 2024

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