Scientists unlocking the secrets of soil by unravelling its genetic fingerprint. His garden soil has had its ‘DNA’ sequenced in a race against the clock, to highlight both the rapid advances in DNA sequencing technology and its expanding range of uses in biological science.
The data unearthed which microorganisms are in the soil and what they do. This cutting edge soil analysis, known as ‘metagenomics’, is still in its infancy but could offer great benefits for agriculture, helping us to understand how soil works, how climate and farming can affect soil systems, and how to ensure productivity and sustainability.
A truly fascinating technology that will be extremely useful for next generation soil analysis and finding out how different agricultural/horticultural techniques affect the ratios and diversity of the organisms from the soil food web.