A microwave-based method for nucleic acid isolation from environmental samples

Lett Appl Microbiol. 2001 Jul;33(1):17-20. doi: 10.1046/j.1472-765x.2001.00938.x.


Aims: A simple and rapid method was described for DNA isolation directly from activated sludge or other environmental sources, including soil and sediments.

Methods and results: The present method is based on microwave thermal shock and provides DNA suitable for further analysis. It is also effective for RNA extraction.

Conclusion: The protocol is effective, easy, fast and does not require the use of expensive equipment or reagents.

Significance and impact of the study: The described method can be applied to difficult substrates in environmental microbiology studies.

MeSH terms

  • DNA, Bacterial / isolation & purification*
  • DNA, Fungal / isolation & purification*
  • Environmental Microbiology*
  • Genes, rRNA
  • Geologic Sediments / microbiology
  • Microwaves*
  • RNA, Bacterial / isolation & purification*
  • RNA, Ribosomal, 16S / genetics
  • Sewage / microbiology
  • Soil Microbiology


  • DNA, Bacterial
  • DNA, Fungal
  • RNA, Bacterial
  • RNA, Ribosomal, 16S
  • Sewage