The DA-BSWM through the Soil and Water Resources Research Division (SWRRD) recently conducted a two-day training on molecular identification of soil microorganisms using Polymerase Chain Reaction (PCR).  This is a laboratory technique for rapidly amplifying millions to billions of copies of a specific segment of the DNA, which can then be studied in greater detail.

Eleven SWRRD researchers and three (3) Laboratory Services Division (LSD) analysts participated in the said event with Dr. Maria Luisa T. Mason, a Soil Microbiology expert from the Central Luzon State University, as the resource speaker.

The participants were equipped with lectures on the use of molecular markers, principles of PCR and sequence analysis, and hands-on training on the DNA extraction of a cultured bacterial cell using DNA extraction kit. Moreover, they were trained on the preparation of pre-casted gel, electrophoresis, operation of the thermal cycler machine, and actual visualization of the amplified PCR product. Additional topic on the application of biotechnology to agricultural research and guide to primer design through an online tool was also given by the resource speaker.   It is expected that this training will pave the way to the next level identification of the composition and functional diversity of soil microbiome and consequently raise the bar of BSWM’s research outputs in the field of soil microbiology and molecular biology and biotechnology (MBB).