We developed a method for direct DNA isolation from phyllosphere microbial communities, designated Direct-DIP. This method comprises DNA extraction from non-shredded leaves with benzyl chloride, and DNA purification by gel filtration. Scanning electron microscopy showed that epiphytic microorganisms were completely removed from the leaf surface after benzyl chloride treatment, while microstructures of the leaf were not damaged. Clear DGGE profiles were obtained regardless of the plant species. Shannon diversity indices of DGGE profiles by Direct-DIP were higher than those by a conventional method. Our findings suggest that Direct-DIP is a rapid, simple, and cost-effective method of extracting DNA from phyllosphere microbial communities.
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