Identifying all of the microorganisms in a soil sample used to be so complex and expensive that it was reserved for science, as it were. Only since the introduction of sequencing technology has it been possible to determine the entire soil microbiome swiftly, precisely and inexpensively. Sequencing can reveal the genetic fingerprint of a soil sample – a kind of full blood count, if you like. This is the method we have perfected.

Types of soil analysis

There are three kinds of soil analysis: physical, chemical and biological. The first two are the common ones and they are very useful. But they say nothing about life in the soil, the bacteria, the fungi, the microfauna – the ecosystem. It takes biological analysis to make the picture complete, and that has only recently been made possible.

of the soil

Procedure for the MySoil® soil analysis

[ 01 / 06 ]

Formulating the Question

A MySoil® soil analysis can be undertaken for practically every soil. Let us know in advance what you hope to find out from the analysis. The clearer the objective, the more precise the result will be.

Subject Areas (a selection): / Disease prevention / Nutrient control / Biodiversity analysis / CO2 absorption capacity
[ 02 / 06 ]

Sampling + Mailing

For our analysis we need just one gram of soil. The depth and nature of the soil sample will depend on the objective of the analysis. The sample is placed in a sealable freezer bag and sent to our laboratory in a padded envelope.
[ 03 / 06 ]

Soil Preparation

On receipt of the sample we microscope it and extract the DNA of all the living microorganisms in the soil.
[ 04 / 06 ]

Sequencing or PCR

After quality control the sample is either sequenced using proprietary processes or checked by means of a highly sensitive polymerase chain reaction (PCR) for specific pests or plant diseases.
[ 05 / 06 ]


Once the analysis is completed a report is generated that conveys a comprehensive overview of the organisms identified in the soil sample – in a qualitative (“What is in it?”) and a quantitative (“In what proportions?”) respect. More specific information is also provided in accordance with the objective. The findings are shown in different diagrams and presented simply and understandably for non-scientific customers.
[ 06 / 06 ]

Diagnosis & Recommendation

Starting with the objective and based on the findings of the analysis we and external experts compile a diagnostic report that includes specific recommendations and appropriate measures to be undertaken.

The Analysis in Detail

With the introduction of sequencing technology bacterial species identification has experienced a renaissance on the basis of rDNA that makes it possible to characterize the entire soil microbiome by means of sequencing data.


The soil sample can be taken from:

  • a specific area
  • several neighbouring areas (mapping)
  • two areas that differ in quality (difference analysis)
  • different soil depths in the same area (such as analysis of the rhizobiome or “root world”



In the first step we extract the DNA of all microorganisms in the sample (about 30,000 kinds of bacteria and 1,000 kinds of fungi and microfauna).

On the basis of three different genes the bacteria (16S gene), fungi (ITS gene) and microfauna (18S gene) are identified and quantified by means of DNA sequencing. In these three genes there is a constant region that can be used for copying by means of PCR.

The DNA base sequence of the genes – the specific sequence of the four DNA bases A, C, G and T is determined in a DNA sequencer. This sequence differs for all microorganisms so that we can a) identify qualitatively which microorganisms are present in the soil sample and b) determine quantitatively the proportion of these microorganisms.

[ Qualitatively ]

Identify which microorganisms occur in the soil sample

[ Quantitatively ]

Determine the proportion of the microorganisms



After a thorough bioinformatic and statistical analysis we receive a qualitative and quantitative fingerprint of the soil that is based on the DNA sequences of all organisms in the soil sample.

In this way we can, for example, determine with the Alpha diversity the microbial complexity of the soil sample and with the Beta diversity the difference in quality between the sample and particularly good reference soils.

[ Measured values for this purpose are ]
  • The number and proportion of the different kinds of bacteria
  • The number and proportion of the different kinds of fungi
  • Known metabolic end products of the bacteria and fungi (beneficial or harmful?)
  • The complexity of the soil-loosening micro- and mesofauna (springtails, nematopdes, mites)

The described analysis path is “non-directional”

That is, the analytical pathway described above is unbiased in the sense that we identify all microorganisms in the soil sample in an unbiased manner to obtain a holistic picture of the sample and determine the metabolic processes in the soil on this basis.

Once the microbial complexity of the soil sample has been established functional correlations and soil ecology implications can be inferred.

This website uses cookies. Only use this website if you agree with the privacy policy.