A method for detecting the presence of a microorganism in an environmental sample involves contacting the sample with a supercritical fluid to isolate nucleic acid from the microorganism, then detecting the presence of a particular sequence within the isolated nucleic acid. The nucleic acid may optionally be subjected to further purification.
STATEMENT OF GOVERNMENT SUPPORT
A certain detail of the invention, relating to the use of supercritical CO.sub.2 to isolate DNA from microorganisms in soil, was first tested using funds from the Department of Energy pursuant to Small Business Innovation Research (SBIR) Grant No. DE-FG02-95ER82027.