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Sample records for ancient dna resolves

  1. Ancient DNA

    PubMed Central

    Willerslev, Eske; Cooper, Alan

    2004-01-01

    In the past two decades, ancient DNA research has progressed from the retrieval of small fragments of mitochondrial DNA from a few late Holocene specimens, to large-scale studies of ancient populations, phenotypically important nuclear loci, and even whole mitochondrial genome sequences of extinct species. However, the field is still regularly marred by erroneous reports, which underestimate the extent of contamination within laboratories and samples themselves. An improved understanding of these processes and the effects of damage on ancient DNA templates has started to provide a more robust basis for research. Recent methodological advances have included the characterization of Pleistocene mammal populations and discoveries of DNA preserved in ancient sediments. Increasingly, ancient genetic information is providing a unique means to test assumptions used in evolutionary and population genetics studies to reconstruct the past. Initial results have revealed surprisingly complex population histories, and indicate that modern phylogeographic studies may give misleading impressions about even the recent evolutionary past. With the advent and uptake of appropriate methodologies, ancient DNA is now positioned to become a powerful tool in biological research and is also evolving new and unexpected uses, such as in the search for extinct or extant life in the deep biosphere and on other planets. PMID:15875564

  2. Ancient DNA Resolves Identity and Phylogeny of New Zealand's Extinct and Living Quail (Coturnix sp.)

    PubMed Central

    Seabrook-Davison, Mark; Huynen, Leon; Lambert, David M.; Brunton, Dianne H.

    2009-01-01

    Background The New Zealand quail, Coturnix novaezealandiae, was widespread throughout New Zealand until its rapid extinction in the 1870's. To date, confusion continues to exist concerning the identity of C. novaezealandiae and its phylogenetic relationship to Coturnix species in neighbouring Australia, two of which, C. ypsilophora and C. pectoralis, were introduced into New Zealand as game birds. The Australian brown quail, C. ypsilophora, was the only species thought to establish with current populations distributed mainly in the northern part of the North Island of New Zealand. Owing to the similarities between C. ypsilophora, C. pectoralis, and C. novaezealandiae, uncertainty has arisen over whether the New Zealand quail is indeed extinct, with suggestions that remnant populations of C. novaezealandiae may have survived on offshore islands. Methodology/Principal Findings Using fresh and historical samples of Coturnix sp. from New Zealand and Australia, DNA analysis of selected mitochondrial regions was carried out to determine phylogenetic relationships and species status. Results show that Coturnix sp. specimens from the New Zealand mainland and offshore island Tiritiri Matangi are not the New Zealand quail but are genetically identical to C. ypsilophora from Australia and can be classified as the same species. Furthermore, cytochrome b and COI barcoding analysis of the New Zealand quail and Australia's C. pectoralis, often confused in museum collections, show that they are indeed separate species that diverged approximately 5 million years ago (mya). Gross morphological analysis of these birds suggests a parallel loss of sustained flight with very little change in other phenotypic characters such as plumage or skeletal structure. Conclusion/Significance Ancient DNA has proved invaluable for the detailed analysis and identification of extinct and morphologically cryptic taxa such as that of quail and can provide insights into the timing of evolutionary changes

  3. Ancient DNA and human history

    PubMed Central

    Slatkin, Montgomery; Racimo, Fernando

    2016-01-01

    We review studies of genomic data obtained by sequencing hominin fossils with particular emphasis on the unique information that ancient DNA (aDNA) can provide about the demographic history of humans and our closest relatives. We concentrate on nuclear genomic sequences that have been published in the past few years. In many cases, particularly in the Arctic, the Americas, and Europe, aDNA has revealed historical demographic patterns in a way that could not be resolved by analyzing present-day genomes alone. Ancient DNA from archaic hominins has revealed a rich history of admixture between early modern humans, Neanderthals, and Denisovans, and has allowed us to disentangle complex selective processes. Information from aDNA studies is nowhere near saturation, and we believe that future aDNA sequences will continue to change our understanding of hominin history. PMID:27274045

  4. Ancient DNA and human history.

    PubMed

    Slatkin, Montgomery; Racimo, Fernando

    2016-06-01

    We review studies of genomic data obtained by sequencing hominin fossils with particular emphasis on the unique information that ancient DNA (aDNA) can provide about the demographic history of humans and our closest relatives. We concentrate on nuclear genomic sequences that have been published in the past few years. In many cases, particularly in the Arctic, the Americas, and Europe, aDNA has revealed historical demographic patterns in a way that could not be resolved by analyzing present-day genomes alone. Ancient DNA from archaic hominins has revealed a rich history of admixture between early modern humans, Neanderthals, and Denisovans, and has allowed us to disentangle complex selective processes. Information from aDNA studies is nowhere near saturation, and we believe that future aDNA sequences will continue to change our understanding of hominin history. PMID:27274045

  5. Ancient dirt DNA

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Willerslev, E.

    2007-12-01

    In the past two decades, ancient DNA research has progressed from the retrieval of small fragments of mitochondrial DNA from a few late Holocene specimens, to large-scale studies of ancient populations, phenotypically important nuclear loci, and even whole genomic studies of extinct species. However, the field is still regularly marred by erroneous reports, which underestimate the extent of contamination within laboratories and samples themselves. An improved understanding of these processes and the effects of damage on ancient DNA templates has started to provide a more robust basis for research. Recent methodological advances have included the discoveries of DNA preserved in ancient sediments, coprolites, and fossil ice (Ancient Dirt DNA). These findings promise to make possible the reconstructions of entire ecosystems through time and allow for studies of past population genetics in cases where fossils are rare. The advantages and pitfalls connected to the Ancient Dirt DNA approach will be discussed as will recently obtained data relating to Greenland environmental history, long-term bacterial survival and the first human migration into the Americas.

  6. Ancient human DNA.

    PubMed

    Kirsanow, Karola; Burger, Joachim

    2012-01-20

    The contribution of palaeogenetic data to the study of various aspects of hominin biology and evolution has been significant, and has the potential to increase substantially with the widespread implementation of next generation sequencing techniques. Here we discuss the present state-of-the-art of ancient human DNA analysis and the characteristics of hominin aDNA that make sequence validation particularly complex. A brief overview of the development of anthropological palaeogenetic analysis is given to illustrate the technical challenges motivating recent technological advancements. PMID:22169595

  7. Ancient and modern environmental DNA.

    PubMed

    Pedersen, Mikkel Winther; Overballe-Petersen, Søren; Ermini, Luca; Sarkissian, Clio Der; Haile, James; Hellstrom, Micaela; Spens, Johan; Thomsen, Philip Francis; Bohmann, Kristine; Cappellini, Enrico; Schnell, Ida Bærholm; Wales, Nathan A; Carøe, Christian; Campos, Paula F; Schmidt, Astrid M Z; Gilbert, M Thomas P; Hansen, Anders J; Orlando, Ludovic; Willerslev, Eske

    2015-01-19

    DNA obtained from environmental samples such as sediments, ice or water (environmental DNA, eDNA), represents an important source of information on past and present biodiversity. It has revealed an ancient forest in Greenland, extended by several thousand years the survival dates for mainland woolly mammoth in Alaska, and pushed back the dates for spruce survival in Scandinavian ice-free refugia during the last glaciation. More recently, eDNA was used to uncover the past 50 000 years of vegetation history in the Arctic, revealing massive vegetation turnover at the Pleistocene/Holocene transition, with implications for the extinction of megafauna. Furthermore, eDNA can reflect the biodiversity of extant flora and fauna, both qualitatively and quantitatively, allowing detection of rare species. As such, trace studies of plant and vertebrate DNA in the environment have revolutionized our knowledge of biogeography. However, the approach remains marred by biases related to DNA behaviour in environmental settings, incomplete reference databases and false positive results due to contamination. We provide a review of the field. PMID:25487334

  8. Ancient and modern environmental DNA

    PubMed Central

    Pedersen, Mikkel Winther; Overballe-Petersen, Søren; Ermini, Luca; Sarkissian, Clio Der; Haile, James; Hellstrom, Micaela; Spens, Johan; Thomsen, Philip Francis; Bohmann, Kristine; Cappellini, Enrico; Schnell, Ida Bærholm; Wales, Nathan A.; Carøe, Christian; Campos, Paula F.; Schmidt, Astrid M. Z.; Gilbert, M. Thomas P.; Hansen, Anders J.; Orlando, Ludovic; Willerslev, Eske

    2015-01-01

    DNA obtained from environmental samples such as sediments, ice or water (environmental DNA, eDNA), represents an important source of information on past and present biodiversity. It has revealed an ancient forest in Greenland, extended by several thousand years the survival dates for mainland woolly mammoth in Alaska, and pushed back the dates for spruce survival in Scandinavian ice-free refugia during the last glaciation. More recently, eDNA was used to uncover the past 50 000 years of vegetation history in the Arctic, revealing massive vegetation turnover at the Pleistocene/Holocene transition, with implications for the extinction of megafauna. Furthermore, eDNA can reflect the biodiversity of extant flora and fauna, both qualitatively and quantitatively, allowing detection of rare species. As such, trace studies of plant and vertebrate DNA in the environment have revolutionized our knowledge of biogeography. However, the approach remains marred by biases related to DNA behaviour in environmental settings, incomplete reference databases and false positive results due to contamination. We provide a review of the field. PMID:25487334

  9. Analysis of Ancient DNA in Microbial Ecology.

    PubMed

    Gorgé, Olivier; Bennett, E Andrew; Massilani, Diyendo; Daligault, Julien; Pruvost, Melanie; Geigl, Eva-Maria; Grange, Thierry

    2016-01-01

    The development of next-generation sequencing has led to a breakthrough in the analysis of ancient genomes, and the subsequent genomic analyses of the skeletal remains of ancient humans have revolutionized the knowledge of the evolution of our species, including the discovery of a new hominin, and demonstrated admixtures with more distantly related archaic populations such as Neandertals and Denisovans. Moreover, it has also yielded novel insights into the evolution of ancient pathogens. The analysis of ancient microbial genomes allows the study of their recent evolution, presently over the last several millennia. These spectacular results have been attained despite the degradation of DNA after the death of the host, which results in very short DNA molecules that become increasingly damaged, only low quantities of which remain. The low quantity of ancient DNA molecules renders their analysis difficult and prone to contamination with modern DNA molecules, in particular via contamination from the reagents used in DNA purification and downstream analysis steps. Finally, the rare ancient molecules are diluted in environmental DNA originating from the soil microorganisms that colonize bones and teeth. Thus, ancient skeletal remains can share DNA profiles with environmental samples and identifying ancient microbial genomes among the more recent, presently poorly characterized, environmental microbiome is particularly challenging. Here, we describe the methods developed and/or in use in our laboratory to produce reliable and reproducible paleogenomic results from ancient skeletal remains that can be used to identify the presence of ancient microbiota. PMID:26791510

  10. Re-inventing ancient human DNA.

    PubMed

    Knapp, Michael; Lalueza-Fox, Carles; Hofreiter, Michael

    2015-01-01

    For a long time, the analysis of ancient human DNA represented one of the most controversial disciplines in an already controversial field of research. Scepticism in this field was only matched by the long-lasting controversy over the authenticity of ancient pathogen DNA. This ambiguous view on ancient human DNA had a dichotomous root. On the one hand, the interest in ancient human DNA is great because such studies touch on the history and evolution of our own species. On the other hand, because these studies are dealing with samples from our own species, results are easily compromised by contamination of the experiments with modern human DNA, which is ubiquitous in the environment. Consequently, some of the most disputed studies published - apart maybe from early reports on million year old dinosaur or amber DNA - reported DNA analyses from human subfossil remains. However, the development of so-called next- or second-generation sequencing (SGS) in 2005 and the technological advances associated with it have generated new confidence in the genetic study of ancient human remains. The ability to sequence shorter DNA fragments than with PCR amplification coupled to traditional Sanger sequencing, along with very high sequencing throughput have both reduced the risk of sequencing modern contamination and provided tools to evaluate the authenticity of DNA sequence data. The field is now rapidly developing, providing unprecedented insights into the evolution of our own species and past human population dynamics as well as the evolution and history of human pathogens and epidemics. Here, we review how recent technological improvements have rapidly transformed ancient human DNA research from a highly controversial subject to a central component of modern anthropological research. We also discuss potential future directions of ancient human DNA research. PMID:25937886

  11. ANIMAL DNA IN PCR REAGENTS PLAGUES ANCIENT DNA RESEARCH

    EPA Science Inventory

    Ancient DNA analysis is becoming widespread. These studies use polymerase chain reaction (PCR) to amplify minute quantities of heavily damaged template. Unusual steps are taken to achieve the sensitivity necessary to detect ancient DNA, including high-cycle PCR amplification targ...

  12. Ancient DNA analysis of dental calculus.

    PubMed

    Weyrich, Laura S; Dobney, Keith; Cooper, Alan

    2015-02-01

    Dental calculus (calcified tartar or plaque) is today widespread on modern human teeth around the world. A combination of soft starchy foods, changing acidity of the oral environment, genetic pre-disposition, and the absence of dental hygiene all lead to the build-up of microorganisms and food debris on the tooth crown, which eventually calcifies through a complex process of mineralisation. Millions of oral microbes are trapped and preserved within this mineralised matrix, including pathogens associated with the oral cavity and airways, masticated food debris, and other types of extraneous particles that enter the mouth. As a result, archaeologists and anthropologists are increasingly using ancient human dental calculus to explore broad aspects of past human diet and health. Most recently, high-throughput DNA sequencing of ancient dental calculus has provided valuable insights into the evolution of the oral microbiome and shed new light on the impacts of some of the major biocultural transitions on human health throughout history and prehistory. Here, we provide a brief historical overview of archaeological dental calculus research, and discuss the current approaches to ancient DNA sampling and sequencing. Novel applications of ancient DNA from dental calculus are discussed, highlighting the considerable scope of this new research field for evolutionary biology and modern medicine. PMID:25476244

  13. Fossil avian eggshell preserves ancient DNA

    PubMed Central

    Oskam, Charlotte L.; Haile, James; McLay, Emma; Rigby, Paul; Allentoft, Morten E.; Olsen, Maia E.; Bengtsson, Camilla; Miller, Gifford H.; Schwenninger, Jean-Luc; Jacomb, Chris; Walter, Richard; Baynes, Alexander; Dortch, Joe; Parker-Pearson, Michael; Gilbert, M. Thomas P.; Holdaway, Richard N.; Willerslev, Eske; Bunce, Michael

    2010-01-01

    Owing to exceptional biomolecule preservation, fossil avian eggshell has been used extensively in geochronology and palaeodietary studies. Here, we show, to our knowledge, for the first time that fossil eggshell is a previously unrecognized source of ancient DNA (aDNA). We describe the successful isolation and amplification of DNA from fossil eggshell up to 19 ka old. aDNA was successfully characterized from eggshell obtained from New Zealand (extinct moa and ducks), Madagascar (extinct elephant birds) and Australia (emu and owl). Our data demonstrate excellent preservation of the nucleic acids, evidenced by retrieval of both mitochondrial and nuclear DNA from many of the samples. Using confocal microscopy and quantitative PCR, this study critically evaluates approaches to maximize DNA recovery from powdered eggshell. Our quantitative PCR experiments also demonstrate that moa eggshell has approximately 125 times lower bacterial load than bone, making it a highly suitable substrate for high-throughput sequencing approaches. Importantly, the preservation of DNA in Pleistocene eggshell from Australia and Holocene deposits from Madagascar indicates that eggshell is an excellent substrate for the long-term preservation of DNA in warmer climates. The successful recovery of DNA from this substrate has implications in a number of scientific disciplines; most notably archaeology and palaeontology, where genotypes and/or DNA-based species identifications can add significantly to our understanding of diets, environments, past biodiversity and evolutionary processes. PMID:20219731

  14. Ancient dna from pleistocene fossils: Preservation, recovery, and utility of ancient genetic information for quaternary research

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Yang, Hong

    Until recently, recovery and analysis of genetic information encoded in ancient DNA sequences from Pleistocene fossils were impossible. Recent advances in molecular biology offered technical tools to obtain ancient DNA sequences from well-preserved Quaternary fossils and opened the possibilities to directly study genetic changes in fossil species to address various biological and paleontological questions. Ancient DNA studies involving Pleistocene fossil material and ancient DNA degradation and preservation in Quaternary deposits are reviewed. The molecular technology applied to isolate, amplify, and sequence ancient DNA is also presented. Authentication of ancient DNA sequences and technical problems associated with modern and ancient DNA contamination are discussed. As illustrated in recent studies on ancient DNA from proboscideans, it is apparent that fossil DNA sequence data can shed light on many aspects of Quaternary research such as systematics and phylogeny. conservation biology, evolutionary theory, molecular taphonomy, and forensic sciences. Improvement of molecular techniques and a better understanding of DNA degradation during fossilization are likely to build on current strengths and to overcome existing problems, making fossil DNA data a unique source of information for Quaternary scientists.

  15. Amino Acid Racemization and the Preservation of Ancient DNA

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Poinar, Hendrik N.; Hoss, Matthias

    1996-01-01

    The extent of racemization of aspartic acid, alanine, and leucine provides criteria for assessing whether ancient tissue samples contain endogenous DNA. In samples in which the D/L ratio of aspartic acid exceeds 0.08, ancient DNA sequences could not be retrieved. Paleontological finds from which DNA sequences purportedly millions of years old have been reported show extensive racemization, and the amino acids present are mainly contaminates. An exception is the amino acids in some insects preserved in amber.

  16. Improving access to endogenous DNA in ancient bones and teeth

    PubMed Central

    Damgaard, Peter B.; Margaryan, Ashot; Schroeder, Hannes; Orlando, Ludovic; Willerslev, Eske; Allentoft, Morten E.

    2015-01-01

    Poor DNA preservation is the most limiting factor in ancient genomic research. In the majority of ancient bones and teeth, endogenous DNA molecules represent a minor fraction of the whole DNA extract, rendering shot-gun sequencing inefficient for obtaining genomic data. Based on ancient human bone samples from temperate and tropical environments, we show that an EDTA-based enzymatic ‘pre-digestion’ of powdered bone increases the proportion of endogenous DNA several fold. By performing the pre-digestion step between 30 min and 6 hours on five bones, we observe an asymptotic increase in endogenous DNA content, with a 2.7-fold average increase reached at 1 hour. We repeat the experiment using a brief pre-digestion (15 or 30 mins) on 21 ancient bones and teeth from a variety of archaeological contexts and observe an improvement in 16 of these. We here advocate the implementation of a brief pre-digestion step as a standard procedure in ancient DNA extractions. Finally, we demonstrate on 14 ancient teeth that by targeting the outer layer of the roots we obtain up to 14 times more endogenous DNA than when using the inner dentine. Our presented methods are likely to increase the proportion of ancient samples that are suitable for genome-scale characterization. PMID:26081994

  17. Next Generation Sequencing of Ancient DNA: Requirements, Strategies and Perspectives

    PubMed Central

    Knapp, Michael; Hofreiter, Michael

    2010-01-01

    The invention of next-generation-sequencing has revolutionized almost all fields of genetics, but few have profited from it as much as the field of ancient DNA research. From its beginnings as an interesting but rather marginal discipline, ancient DNA research is now on its way into the centre of evolutionary biology. In less than a year from its invention next-generation-sequencing had increased the amount of DNA sequence data available from extinct organisms by several orders of magnitude. Ancient DNA research is now not only adding a temporal aspect to evolutionary studies and allowing for the observation of evolution in real time, it also provides important data to help understand the origins of our own species. Here we review progress that has been made in next-generation-sequencing of ancient DNA over the past five years and evaluate sequencing strategies and future directions. PMID:24710043

  18. Ancestry of modern Europeans: contributions of ancient DNA.

    PubMed

    Lacan, Marie; Keyser, Christine; Crubézy, Eric; Ludes, Bertrand

    2013-07-01

    Understanding the peopling history of Europe is crucial to comprehend the origins of modern populations. Of course, the analysis of current genetic data offers several explanations about human migration patterns which occurred on this continent, but it fails to explain precisely the impact of each demographic event. In this context, direct access to the DNA of ancient specimens allows the overcoming of recent demographic phenomena, which probably highly modified the constitution of the current European gene pool. In recent years, several DNA studies have been successfully conducted from ancient human remains thanks to the improvement of molecular techniques. They have brought new fundamental information on the peopling of Europe and allowed us to refine our understanding of European prehistory. In this review, we will detail all the ancient DNA studies performed to date on ancient European DNA from the Middle Paleolithic to the beginning of the protohistoric period. PMID:23052219

  19. Ancient DNA and the tropics: a rodent's tale

    PubMed Central

    Gutiérrez-García, Tania A.; Vázquez-Domínguez, Ella; Arroyo-Cabrales, Joaquín; Kuch, Melanie; Enk, Jacob; King, Christine; Poinar, Hendrik N.

    2014-01-01

    Most genetic studies of Holocene fauna have been performed with ancient samples from dry and cold regions, in which preservation of fossils is facilitated and molecular damage is reduced. Ancient DNA work from tropical regions has been precluded owing to factors that limit DNA preservation (e.g. temperature, hydrolytic damage). We analysed ancient DNA from rodent jawbones identified as Ototylomys phyllotis, found in Holocene and Late Pleistocene stratigraphic layers from Loltún, a humid tropical cave located in the Yucatan peninsula. We extracted DNA and amplified six short overlapping fragments of the cytochrome b gene, totalling 666 bp, which represents an unprecedented success considering tropical ancient DNA samples. We performed genetic, phylogenetic and divergence time analyses, combining sequences from ancient and modern O. phyllotis, in order to assess the ancestry of the Loltún samples. Results show that all ancient samples fall into a unique clade that diverged prior to the divergence of the modern O. phyllotis, supporting it as a distinct Pleistocene form of the Ototylomys genus. Hence, this rodent's tale suggests that the sister group to modern O. phyllotis arose during the Miocene–Pliocene, diversified during the Pleistocene and went extinct in the Holocene. PMID:24899682

  20. Partial uracil-DNA-glycosylase treatment for screening of ancient DNA.

    PubMed

    Rohland, Nadin; Harney, Eadaoin; Mallick, Swapan; Nordenfelt, Susanne; Reich, David

    2015-01-19

    The challenge of sequencing ancient DNA has led to the development of specialized laboratory protocols that have focused on reducing contamination and maximizing the number of molecules that are extracted from ancient remains. Despite the fact that success in ancient DNA studies is typically obtained by screening many samples to identify a promising subset, ancient DNA protocols have not, in general, focused on reducing the time required to screen samples. We present an adaptation of a popular ancient library preparation method that makes screening more efficient. First, the DNA extract is treated using a protocol that causes characteristic ancient DNA damage to be restricted to the terminal nucleotides, while nearly eliminating it in the interior of the DNA molecules, allowing a single library to be used both to test for ancient DNA authenticity and to carry out population genetic analysis. Second, the DNA molecules are ligated to a unique pair of barcodes, which eliminates undetected cross-contamination from this step onwards. Third, the barcoded library molecules include incomplete adapters of short length that can increase the specificity of hybridization-based genomic target enrichment. The adapters are completed just before sequencing, so the same DNA library can be used in multiple experiments, and the sequences distinguished. We demonstrate this protocol on 60 ancient human samples. PMID:25487342

  1. DNA in ancient bone - where is it located and how should we extract it?

    PubMed

    Campos, Paula F; Craig, Oliver E; Turner-Walker, Gordon; Peacock, Elizabeth; Willerslev, Eske; Gilbert, M Thomas P

    2012-01-20

    Despite the widespread use of bones in ancient DNA (aDNA) studies, relatively little concrete information exists in regard to how the DNA in mineralised collagen degrades, or where it survives in the material's architecture. While, at the macrostructural level, physical exclusion of microbes and other external contaminants may be an important feature, and, at the ultrastructural level, the adsorption of DNA to hydroxyapatite and/or binding of DNA to Type I collagen may stabilise the DNA, the relative contribution of each, and what other factors may be relevant, are unclear. There is considerable variation in the quality of DNA retrieved from bones and teeth. This is in part due to various environmental factors such as temperature, proximity to free water or oxygen, pH, salt content, and exposure to radiation, all of which increase the rate of DNA decay. For example, bone specimens from sites at high latitudes usually yield better quality DNA than samples from temperate regions, which in turn yield better results than samples from tropical regions. However, this is not always the case, and rates of success of DNA recovery from apparently similar sites are often strikingly different. The question arises as to whether this may be due to post-collection preservation or just an artefact of the extraction methods used in these different studies? In an attempt to resolve these questions, we examine the efficacy of DNA extraction methods, and the quality and quantity of DNA recovered from both artificially degraded, and genuinely ancient, but well preserved, bones. In doing so we offer hypotheses relevant to the DNA degradation process itself, and to where and how the DNA is actually preserved in ancient bone. PMID:21855309

  2. New insights on single-stranded versus double-stranded DNA library preparation for ancient DNA.

    PubMed

    Wales, Nathan; Carøe, Christian; Sandoval-Velasco, Marcela; Gamba, Cristina; Barnett, Ross; Samaniego, José Alfredo; Madrigal, Jazmín Ramos; Orlando, Ludovic; Gilbert, M Thomas P

    2015-12-01

    An innovative single-stranded DNA (ssDNA) library preparation method has sparked great interest among ancient DNA (aDNA) researchers, especially after reports of endogenous DNA content increases >20-fold in some samples. To investigate the behavior of this method, we generated ssDNA and conventional double-stranded DNA (dsDNA) libraries from 23 ancient and historic plant and animal specimens. We found ssDNA library preparation substantially increased endogenous content when dsDNA libraries contained <3% endogenous DNA, but this enrichment is less pronounced when dsDNA preparations successfully recover short endogenous DNA fragments (mean size < 70 bp). Our findings can help researchers determine when to utilize the time- and resource-intensive ssDNA library preparation method. PMID:26651516

  3. Preservation of ancient DNA in thermally damaged archaeological bone

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Ottoni, Claudio; Koon, Hannah E. C.; Collins, Matthew J.; Penkman, Kirsty E. H.; Rickards, Olga; Craig, Oliver E.

    2009-02-01

    Evolutionary biologists are increasingly relying on ancient DNA from archaeological animal bones to study processes such as domestication and population dispersals. As many animal bones found on archaeological sites are likely to have been cooked, the potential for DNA preservation must be carefully considered to maximise the chance of amplification success. Here, we assess the preservation of mitochondrial DNA in a medieval cattle bone assemblage from Coppergate, York, UK. These bones have variable degrees of thermal alterations to bone collagen fibrils, indicative of cooking. Our results show that DNA preservation is not reliant on the presence of intact collagen fibrils. In fact, a greater number of template molecules could be extracted from bones with damaged collagen. We conclude that moderate heating of bone may enhance the retention of DNA fragments. Our results also indicate that ancient DNA preservation is highly variable, even within a relatively recent assemblage from contexts conducive to organic preservation, and that diagenetic parameters based on protein diagenesis are not always useful for predicting ancient DNA survival.

  4. Selective enrichment of damaged DNA molecules for ancient genome sequencing

    PubMed Central

    2014-01-01

    Contamination by present-day human and microbial DNA is one of the major hindrances for large-scale genomic studies using ancient biological material. We describe a new molecular method, U selection, which exploits one of the most distinctive features of ancient DNA—the presence of deoxyuracils—for selective enrichment of endogenous DNA against a complex background of contamination during DNA library preparation. By applying the method to Neanderthal DNA extracts that are heavily contaminated with present-day human DNA, we show that the fraction of useful sequence information increases ∼10-fold and that the resulting sequences are more efficiently depleted of human contamination than when using purely computational approaches. Furthermore, we show that U selection can lead to a four- to fivefold increase in the proportion of endogenous DNA sequences relative to those of microbial contaminants in some samples. U selection may thus help to lower the costs for ancient genome sequencing of nonhuman samples also. PMID:25081630

  5. Ancient DNA studies: new perspectives on old samples

    PubMed Central

    2012-01-01

    In spite of past controversies, the field of ancient DNA is now a reliable research area due to recent methodological improvements. A series of recent large-scale studies have revealed the true potential of ancient DNA samples to study the processes of evolution and to test models and assumptions commonly used to reconstruct patterns of evolution and to analyze population genetics and palaeoecological changes. Recent advances in DNA technologies, such as next-generation sequencing make it possible to recover DNA information from archaeological and paleontological remains allowing us to go back in time and study the genetic relationships between extinct organisms and their contemporary relatives. With the next-generation sequencing methodologies, DNA sequences can be retrieved even from samples (for example human remains) for which the technical pitfalls of classical methodologies required stringent criteria to guaranty the reliability of the results. In this paper, we review the methodologies applied to ancient DNA analysis and the perspectives that next-generation sequencing applications provide in this field. PMID:22697611

  6. Mylodon darwinii DNA sequences from ancient fecal hair shafts.

    PubMed

    Clack, Andrew A; MacPhee, Ross D E; Poinar, Hendrik N

    2012-01-20

    Preserved hair has been increasingly used as an ancient DNA source in high throughput sequencing endeavors, and it may actually offer several advantages compared to more traditional ancient DNA substrates like bone. However, cold environments have yielded the most informative ancient hair specimens, while its preservation, and thus utility, in temperate regions is not well documented. Coprolites could represent a previously underutilized preservation substrate for hairs, which, if present therein, represent macroscopic packages of specific cells that are relatively simple to separate, clean and process. In this pilot study, we report amplicons 147-152 base pairs in length (w/primers) from hair shafts preserved in a south Chilean coprolite attributed to Darwin's extinct ground sloth, Mylodon darwinii. Our results suggest that hairs preserved in coprolites from temperate cave environments can serve as an effective source of ancient DNA. This bodes well for potential molecular-based population and phylogeographic studies on sloths, several species of which have been understudied despite leaving numerous coprolites in caves across of the Americas. PMID:21640569

  7. An ancient protein-DNA interaction underlying metazoan sex determination

    PubMed Central

    Murphy, Mark W.; Lee, John K.; Rojo, Sandra; Gearhart, Micah D.; Kurahashi, Kayo; Banerjee, Surajit; Loeuille, Guy-André; Bashamboo, Anu; McElreavey, Kenneth; Zarkower, David; Aihara, Hideki; Bardwell, Vivian J.

    2015-01-01

    DMRT transcription factors are deeply conserved regulators of metazoan sexual development. They share the DM DNA binding domain, a unique intertwined double zinc-binding module followed by a C-terminal recognition helix, which binds to a pseudopalindromic target DNA. Here we show that DMRT proteins employ a unique binding interaction, inserting two adjacent antiparallel recognition helices into a widened DNA major groove to make base-specific contacts. Versatility in how specific base contacts are made allows human DMRT1 to employ multiple DNA binding modes (tetramer, trimer, dimer). ChIP-Exo indicates that multiple DNA binding modes also are used in vivo. We show that mutations affecting residues crucial for DNA recognition are associated with an intersex phenotype in flies and in male-to-female sex reversal in humans. Our results illuminate an ancient molecular interaction that underlies much of metazoan sexual development. PMID:26005864

  8. The First Attested Extraction of Ancient DNA in Legumes (Fabaceae).

    PubMed

    Mikić, Aleksandar M

    2015-01-01

    Ancient DNA (aDNA) is any DNA extracted from ancient specimens, important for diverse evolutionary researches. The major obstacles in aDNA studies are mutations, contamination and fragmentation. Its studies may be crucial for crop history if integrated with human aDNA research and historical linguistics, both general and relating to agriculture. Legumes (Fabaceae) are one of the richest end economically most important plant families, not only from Neolithic onwards, since they were used as food by Neanderthals and Paleolithic modern man. The idea of extracting and analyzing legume aDNA was considered beneficial for both basic science and applied research, with an emphasis on genetic resources and plant breeding. The first reported successful and attested extraction of the legume aDNA was done from the sample of charred seeds of pea (Pisum sativum) and bitter vetch (Vicia ervilia) from Hissar, southeast Serbia, dated to 1,350-1,000 Before Christ. A modified version of cetyltrimethylammonium bromide (CTAB) method and the commercial kit for DNA extraction QIAGEN DNAesy yielded several ng μl(-1) of aDNA of both species and, after the whole genome amplification and with a fragment of nuclear ribosomal DNA gene 26S rDNA, resulted in the detection of the aDNA among the PCR products. A comparative analysis of four informative chloroplast DNA regions (trnSG, trnK, matK, and rbcL) among the modern wild and cultivated pea taxa demonstrated not only that the extracted aDNA was genuine, on the basis of mutation rate, but also that the ancient Hissar pea was most likely an early domesticated crop, related to the modern wild pea of a neighboring region. It is anticipated that this premier extraction of legume aDNA may provide taxonomists with the answers to diverse questions, such as leaf development in legumes, as well as with novel data on the single steps in domesticating legume crops worldwide. PMID:26635833

  9. The First Attested Extraction of Ancient DNA in Legumes (Fabaceae)

    PubMed Central

    Mikić, Aleksandar M.

    2015-01-01

    Ancient DNA (aDNA) is any DNA extracted from ancient specimens, important for diverse evolutionary researches. The major obstacles in aDNA studies are mutations, contamination and fragmentation. Its studies may be crucial for crop history if integrated with human aDNA research and historical linguistics, both general and relating to agriculture. Legumes (Fabaceae) are one of the richest end economically most important plant families, not only from Neolithic onwards, since they were used as food by Neanderthals and Paleolithic modern man. The idea of extracting and analyzing legume aDNA was considered beneficial for both basic science and applied research, with an emphasis on genetic resources and plant breeding. The first reported successful and attested extraction of the legume aDNA was done from the sample of charred seeds of pea (Pisum sativum) and bitter vetch (Vicia ervilia) from Hissar, southeast Serbia, dated to 1,350–1,000 Before Christ. A modified version of cetyltrimethylammonium bromide (CTAB) method and the commercial kit for DNA extraction QIAGEN DNAesy yielded several ng μl-1 of aDNA of both species and, after the whole genome amplification and with a fragment of nuclear ribosomal DNA gene 26S rDNA, resulted in the detection of the aDNA among the PCR products. A comparative analysis of four informative chloroplast DNA regions (trnSG, trnK, matK, and rbcL) among the modern wild and cultivated pea taxa demonstrated not only that the extracted aDNA was genuine, on the basis of mutation rate, but also that the ancient Hissar pea was most likely an early domesticated crop, related to the modern wild pea of a neighboring region. It is anticipated that this premier extraction of legume aDNA may provide taxonomists with the answers to diverse questions, such as leaf development in legumes, as well as with novel data on the single steps in domesticating legume crops worldwide. PMID:26635833

  10. Ancient mtDNA sequences from the First Australians revisited

    PubMed Central

    Subramanian, Sankar; Wright, Joanne L.; Endicott, Phillip; Westaway, Michael Carrington; Huynen, Leon; Parson, Walther; Millar, Craig D.; Willerslev, Eske; Lambert, David M.

    2016-01-01

    The publication in 2001 by Adcock et al. [Adcock GJ, et al. (2001) Proc Natl Acad Sci USA 98(2):537–542] in PNAS reported the recovery of short mtDNA sequences from ancient Australians, including the 42,000-y-old Mungo Man [Willandra Lakes Hominid (WLH3)]. This landmark study in human ancient DNA suggested that an early modern human mitochondrial lineage emerged in Asia and that the theory of modern human origins could no longer be considered solely through the lens of the “Out of Africa” model. To evaluate these claims, we used second generation DNA sequencing and capture methods as well as PCR-based and single-primer extension (SPEX) approaches to reexamine the same four Willandra Lakes and Kow Swamp 8 (KS8) remains studied in the work by Adcock et al. Two of the remains sampled contained no identifiable human DNA (WLH15 and WLH55), whereas the Mungo Man (WLH3) sample contained no Aboriginal Australian DNA. KS8 reveals human mitochondrial sequences that differ from the previously inferred sequence. Instead, we recover a total of five modern European contaminants from Mungo Man (WLH3). We show that the remaining sample (WLH4) contains ∼1.4% human DNA, from which we assembled two complete mitochondrial genomes. One of these was a previously unidentified Aboriginal Australian haplotype belonging to haplogroup S2 that we sequenced to a high coverage. The other was a contaminating modern European mitochondrial haplotype. Although none of the sequences that we recovered matched those reported by Adcock et al., except a contaminant, these findings show the feasibility of obtaining important information from ancient Aboriginal Australian remains. PMID:27274055

  11. Ancient mtDNA sequences from the First Australians revisited.

    PubMed

    Heupink, Tim H; Subramanian, Sankar; Wright, Joanne L; Endicott, Phillip; Westaway, Michael Carrington; Huynen, Leon; Parson, Walther; Millar, Craig D; Willerslev, Eske; Lambert, David M

    2016-06-21

    The publication in 2001 by Adcock et al. [Adcock GJ, et al. (2001) Proc Natl Acad Sci USA 98(2):537-542] in PNAS reported the recovery of short mtDNA sequences from ancient Australians, including the 42,000-y-old Mungo Man [Willandra Lakes Hominid (WLH3)]. This landmark study in human ancient DNA suggested that an early modern human mitochondrial lineage emerged in Asia and that the theory of modern human origins could no longer be considered solely through the lens of the "Out of Africa" model. To evaluate these claims, we used second generation DNA sequencing and capture methods as well as PCR-based and single-primer extension (SPEX) approaches to reexamine the same four Willandra Lakes and Kow Swamp 8 (KS8) remains studied in the work by Adcock et al. Two of the remains sampled contained no identifiable human DNA (WLH15 and WLH55), whereas the Mungo Man (WLH3) sample contained no Aboriginal Australian DNA. KS8 reveals human mitochondrial sequences that differ from the previously inferred sequence. Instead, we recover a total of five modern European contaminants from Mungo Man (WLH3). We show that the remaining sample (WLH4) contains ∼1.4% human DNA, from which we assembled two complete mitochondrial genomes. One of these was a previously unidentified Aboriginal Australian haplotype belonging to haplogroup S2 that we sequenced to a high coverage. The other was a contaminating modern European mitochondrial haplotype. Although none of the sequences that we recovered matched those reported by Adcock et al., except a contaminant, these findings show the feasibility of obtaining important information from ancient Aboriginal Australian remains. PMID:27274055

  12. Retroviral DNA Sequences as a Means for Determining Ancient Diets

    PubMed Central

    Rivera-Perez, Jessica I.; Cano, Raul J.; Narganes-Storde, Yvonne; Chanlatte-Baik, Luis; Toranzos, Gary A.

    2015-01-01

    For ages, specialists from varying fields have studied the diets of the primeval inhabitants of our planet, detecting diet remains in archaeological specimens using a range of morphological and biochemical methods. As of recent, metagenomic ancient DNA studies have allowed for the comparison of the fecal and gut microbiomes associated to archaeological specimens from various regions of the world; however the complex dynamics represented in those microbial communities still remain unclear. Theoretically, similar to eukaryote DNA the presence of genes from key microbes or enzymes, as well as the presence of DNA from viruses specific to key organisms, may suggest the ingestion of specific diet components. In this study we demonstrate that ancient virus DNA obtained from coprolites also provides information reconstructing the host’s diet, as inferred from sequences obtained from pre-Columbian coprolites. This depicts a novel and reliable approach to determine new components as well as validate the previously suggested diets of extinct cultures and animals. Furthermore, to our knowledge this represents the first description of the eukaryotic viral diversity found in paleofaeces belonging to pre-Columbian cultures. PMID:26660678

  13. Retroviral DNA Sequences as a Means for Determining Ancient Diets.

    PubMed

    Rivera-Perez, Jessica I; Cano, Raul J; Narganes-Storde, Yvonne; Chanlatte-Baik, Luis; Toranzos, Gary A

    2015-01-01

    For ages, specialists from varying fields have studied the diets of the primeval inhabitants of our planet, detecting diet remains in archaeological specimens using a range of morphological and biochemical methods. As of recent, metagenomic ancient DNA studies have allowed for the comparison of the fecal and gut microbiomes associated to archaeological specimens from various regions of the world; however the complex dynamics represented in those microbial communities still remain unclear. Theoretically, similar to eukaryote DNA the presence of genes from key microbes or enzymes, as well as the presence of DNA from viruses specific to key organisms, may suggest the ingestion of specific diet components. In this study we demonstrate that ancient virus DNA obtained from coprolites also provides information reconstructing the host's diet, as inferred from sequences obtained from pre-Columbian coprolites. This depicts a novel and reliable approach to determine new components as well as validate the previously suggested diets of extinct cultures and animals. Furthermore, to our knowledge this represents the first description of the eukaryotic viral diversity found in paleofaeces belonging to pre-Columbian cultures. PMID:26660678

  14. A chloroplast DNA inversion marks an ancient evolutionary split in the sunflower family (Asteraceae)

    PubMed Central

    Jansen, Robert K.; Palmer, Jeffrey D.

    1987-01-01

    We determined the distribution of a chloroplast DNA inversion among 80 species representing 16 tribes of the Asteraceae and 10 putatively related families. Filter hybridizations using cloned chloroplast DNA restriction fragments of lettuce and petunia revealed that this 22-kilobase-pair inversion is shared by 57 genera, representing all tribes of the Asteraceae, but is absent from the subtribe Barnadesiinae of the tribe Mutisieae, as well as from all families allied to the Asteraceae. The inversion thus defines an ancient evolutionary split within the family and suggests that the Barnadesiinae represents the most primitive lineage in the Asteraceae. These results also indicate that the tribe Mutisieae is not monophyletic, since any common ancestor to its four subtribes is also shared by other tribes in the family. This is the most extensive survey of the systematic distribution of an organelle DNA rearrangement and demonstrates the potential of such mutations for resolving phylogenetic relationships at higher taxonomic levels. Images PMID:16593871

  15. Ancient DNA and the rewriting of human history: be sparing with Occam's razor.

    PubMed

    Haber, Marc; Mezzavilla, Massimo; Xue, Yali; Tyler-Smith, Chris

    2016-01-01

    Ancient DNA research is revealing a human history far more complex than that inferred from parsimonious models based on modern DNA. Here, we review some of the key events in the peopling of the world in the light of the findings of work on ancient DNA. PMID:26753840

  16. No Ancient DNA Damage in Actinobacteria from the Neanderthal Bone

    PubMed Central

    Zaremba-Niedźwiedzka, Katarzyna; Andersson, Siv G. E.

    2013-01-01

    Background The Neanderthal genome was recently sequenced using DNA extracted from a 38,000-year-old fossil. At the start of the project, the fraction of mammalian and bacterial DNA in the sample was estimated to be <6% and 9%, respectively. Treatment with restriction enzymes prior to sequencing increased the relative proportion of mammalian DNA to 15%, but the large majority of sequences remain uncharacterized. Principal Findings Our taxonomic profiling of 3.95 Gb of Neanderthal DNA isolated from the Vindija Neanderthal Vi33.16 fossil showed that 90% of about 50,000 rRNA gene sequence reads were of bacterial origin, of which Actinobacteria accounted for more than 75%. Actinobacteria also represented more than 80% of the PCR-amplified 16S rRNA gene sequences from a cave sediment sample taken from the same G layer as the Neanderthal bone. However, phylogenetic analyses did not identify any sediment clones that were closely related to the bone-derived sequences. We analysed the patterns of nucleotide differences in the individual sequence reads compared to the assembled consensus sequences of the rRNA gene sequences. The typical ancient nucleotide substitution pattern with a majority of C to T changes indicative of DNA damage was observed for the Neanderthal rRNA gene sequences, but not for the Streptomyces-like rRNA gene sequences. Conclusions/Significance Our analyses suggest that the Actinobacteria, and especially members of the Streptomycetales, contribute the majority of sequences in the DNA extracted from the Neanderthal fossil Vi33.16. The bacterial DNA showed no signs of damage, and we hypothesize that it was derived from bacteria that have been enriched inside the bone. The bioinformatic approach used here paves the way for future studies of microbial compositions and patterns of DNA damage in bacteria from archaeological bones. Such studies can help identify targeted measures to increase the relative amount of endogenous DNA in the sample. PMID:23658776

  17. Case study: ancient sloth DNA recovered from hairs preserved in paleofeces.

    PubMed

    Clack, Andrew A; Macphee, Ross D E; Poinar, Hendrik N

    2012-01-01

    Ancient hair, which has proved to be an excellent source of well-preserved ancient DNA, is often preserved in paleofeces. Here, we separate and wash hair shafts preserved in a paleofecal specimen believed to be from a Darwin's ground sloth, Mylodon darwinii. After extracting DNA from the recovered and cleaned hair using a protocol optimized for DNA extraction from keratinous substrates, we amplify 12S and 16S rDNA sequences from the DNA extract. As expected, the recovered sequences most closely match previously published sequences of M. darwinii. Our results demonstrate that hair preserved in paleofeces, even from temperate cave environments, is an effective source of ancient DNA. PMID:22237521

  18. Conservation archaeogenomics: ancient DNA and biodiversity in the Anthropocene.

    PubMed

    Hofman, Courtney A; Rick, Torben C; Fleischer, Robert C; Maldonado, Jesús E

    2015-09-01

    There is growing consensus that we have entered the Anthropocene, a geologic epoch characterized by human domination of the ecosystems of the Earth. With the future uncertain, we are faced with understanding how global biodiversity will respond to anthropogenic perturbations. The archaeological record provides perspective on human-environment relations through time and across space. Ancient DNA (aDNA) analyses of plant and animal remains from archaeological sites are particularly useful for understanding past human-environment interactions, which can help guide conservation decisions during the environmental changes of the Anthropocene. Here, we define the emerging field of conservation archaeogenomics, which integrates archaeological and genomic data to generate baselines or benchmarks for scientists, managers, and policy-makers by evaluating climatic and human impacts on past, present, and future biodiversity. PMID:26169594

  19. Partial uracil–DNA–glycosylase treatment for screening of ancient DNA

    PubMed Central

    Rohland, Nadin; Harney, Eadaoin; Mallick, Swapan; Nordenfelt, Susanne; Reich, David

    2015-01-01

    The challenge of sequencing ancient DNA has led to the development of specialized laboratory protocols that have focused on reducing contamination and maximizing the number of molecules that are extracted from ancient remains. Despite the fact that success in ancient DNA studies is typically obtained by screening many samples to identify a promising subset, ancient DNA protocols have not, in general, focused on reducing the time required to screen samples. We present an adaptation of a popular ancient library preparation method that makes screening more efficient. First, the DNA extract is treated using a protocol that causes characteristic ancient DNA damage to be restricted to the terminal nucleotides, while nearly eliminating it in the interior of the DNA molecules, allowing a single library to be used both to test for ancient DNA authenticity and to carry out population genetic analysis. Second, the DNA molecules are ligated to a unique pair of barcodes, which eliminates undetected cross-contamination from this step onwards. Third, the barcoded library molecules include incomplete adapters of short length that can increase the specificity of hybridization-based genomic target enrichment. The adapters are completed just before sequencing, so the same DNA library can be used in multiple experiments, and the sequences distinguished. We demonstrate this protocol on 60 ancient human samples. PMID:25487342

  20. Resolving ancient radiations: can complete plastid gene sets elucidate deep relationships among the tropical gingers (Zingiberales)?

    PubMed Central

    Barrett, Craig F.; Specht, Chelsea D.; Leebens-Mack, Jim; Stevenson, Dennis Wm.; Zomlefer, Wendy B.; Davis, Jerrold I.

    2014-01-01

    Background and Aims Zingiberales comprise a clade of eight tropical monocot families including approx. 2500 species and are hypothesized to have undergone an ancient, rapid radiation during the Cretaceous. Zingiberales display substantial variation in floral morphology, and several members are ecologically and economically important. Deep phylogenetic relationships among primary lineages of Zingiberales have proved difficult to resolve in previous studies, representing a key region of uncertainty in the monocot tree of life. Methods Next-generation sequencing was used to construct complete plastid gene sets for nine taxa of Zingiberales, which were added to five previously sequenced sets in an attempt to resolve deep relationships among families in the order. Variation in taxon sampling, process partition inclusion and partition model parameters were examined to assess their effects on topology and support. Key Results Codon-based likelihood analysis identified a strongly supported clade of ((Cannaceae, Marantaceae), (Costaceae, Zingiberaceae)), sister to (Musaceae, (Lowiaceae, Strelitziaceae)), collectively sister to Heliconiaceae. However, the deepest divergences in this phylogenetic analysis comprised short branches with weak support. Additionally, manipulation of matrices resulted in differing deep topologies in an unpredictable fashion. Alternative topology testing allowed statistical rejection of some of the topologies. Saturation fails to explain observed topological uncertainty and low support at the base of Zingiberales. Evidence for conflict among the plastid data was based on a support metric that accounts for conflicting resampled topologies. Conclusions Many relationships were resolved with robust support, but the paucity of character information supporting the deepest nodes and the existence of conflict suggest that plastid coding regions are insufficient to resolve and support the earliest divergences among families of Zingiberales. Whole plastomes

  1. Ancient DNA reveals male diffusion through the Neolithic Mediterranean route

    PubMed Central

    Lacan, Marie; Keyser, Christine; Ricaut, François-Xavier; Brucato, Nicolas; Duranthon, Francis; Guilaine, Jean; Crubézy, Eric; Ludes, Bertrand

    2011-01-01

    The Neolithic is a key period in the history of the European settlement. Although archaeological and present-day genetic data suggest several hypotheses regarding the human migration patterns at this period, validation of these hypotheses with the use of ancient genetic data has been limited. In this context, we studied DNA extracted from 53 individuals buried in a necropolis used by a French local community 5,000 y ago. The relatively good DNA preservation of the samples allowed us to obtain autosomal, Y-chromosomal, and/or mtDNA data for 29 of the 53 samples studied. From these datasets, we established close parental relationships within the necropolis and determined maternal and paternal lineages as well as the absence of an allele associated with lactase persistence, probably carried by Neolithic cultures of central Europe. Our study provides an integrative view of the genetic past in southern France at the end of the Neolithic period. Furthermore, the Y-haplotype lineages characterized and the study of their current repartition in European populations confirm a greater influence of the Mediterranean than the Central European route in the peopling of southern Europe during the Neolithic transition. PMID:21628562

  2. Ancient DNA reveals male diffusion through the Neolithic Mediterranean route.

    PubMed

    Lacan, Marie; Keyser, Christine; Ricaut, François-Xavier; Brucato, Nicolas; Duranthon, Francis; Guilaine, Jean; Crubézy, Eric; Ludes, Bertrand

    2011-06-14

    The Neolithic is a key period in the history of the European settlement. Although archaeological and present-day genetic data suggest several hypotheses regarding the human migration patterns at this period, validation of these hypotheses with the use of ancient genetic data has been limited. In this context, we studied DNA extracted from 53 individuals buried in a necropolis used by a French local community 5,000 y ago. The relatively good DNA preservation of the samples allowed us to obtain autosomal, Y-chromosomal, and/or mtDNA data for 29 of the 53 samples studied. From these datasets, we established close parental relationships within the necropolis and determined maternal and paternal lineages as well as the absence of an allele associated with lactase persistence, probably carried by Neolithic cultures of central Europe. Our study provides an integrative view of the genetic past in southern France at the end of the Neolithic period. Furthermore, the Y-haplotype lineages characterized and the study of their current repartition in European populations confirm a greater influence of the Mediterranean than the Central European route in the peopling of southern Europe during the Neolithic transition. PMID:21628562

  3. Revising the recent evolutionary history of equids using ancient DNA

    PubMed Central

    Orlando, Ludovic; Metcalf, Jessica L.; Alberdi, Maria T.; Telles-Antunes, Miguel; Bonjean, Dominique; Otte, Marcel; Martin, Fabiana; Eisenmann, Véra; Mashkour, Marjan; Morello, Flavia; Prado, Jose L.; Salas-Gismondi, Rodolfo; Shockey, Bruce J.; Wrinn, Patrick J.; Vasil'ev, Sergei K.; Ovodov, Nikolai D.; Cherry, Michael I.; Hopwood, Blair; Male, Dean; Austin, Jeremy J.; Hänni, Catherine; Cooper, Alan

    2009-01-01

    The rich fossil record of the family Equidae (Mammalia: Perissodactyla) over the past 55 MY has made it an icon for the patterns and processes of macroevolution. Despite this, many aspects of equid phylogenetic relationships and taxonomy remain unresolved. Recent genetic analyses of extinct equids have revealed unexpected evolutionary patterns and a need for major revisions at the generic, subgeneric, and species levels. To investigate this issue we examine 35 ancient equid specimens from four geographic regions (South America, Europe, Southwest Asia, and South Africa), of which 22 delivered 87–688 bp of reproducible aDNA mitochondrial sequence. Phylogenetic analyses support a major revision of the recent evolutionary history of equids and reveal two new species, a South American hippidion and a descendant of a basal lineage potentially related to Middle Pleistocene equids. Sequences from specimens assigned to the giant extinct Cape zebra, Equus capensis, formed a separate clade within the modern plain zebra species, a phenotypicically plastic group that also included the extinct quagga. In addition, we revise the currently recognized extinction times for two hemione-related equid groups. However, it is apparent that the current dataset cannot solve all of the taxonomic and phylogenetic questions relevant to the evolution of Equus. In light of these findings, we propose a rapid DNA barcoding approach to evaluate the taxonomic status of the many Late Pleistocene fossil Equidae species that have been described from purely morphological analyses. PMID:20007379

  4. Human evolution in Siberia: from frozen bodies to ancient DNA

    PubMed Central

    2010-01-01

    Background The Yakuts contrast strikingly with other populations from Siberia due to their cattle- and horse-breeding economy as well as their Turkic language. On the basis of ethnological and linguistic criteria as well as population genetic studies, it has been assumed that they originated from South Siberian populations. However, many questions regarding the origins of this intriguing population still need to be clarified (e.g. the precise origin of paternal lineages and the admixture rate with indigenous populations). This study attempts to better understand the origins of the Yakuts by performing genetic analyses on 58 mummified frozen bodies dated from the 15th to the 19th century, excavated from Yakutia (Eastern Siberia). Results High quality data were obtained for the autosomal STRs, Y-chromosomal STRs and SNPs and mtDNA due to exceptional sample preservation. A comparison with the same markers on seven museum specimens excavated 3 to 15 years ago showed significant differences in DNA quantity and quality. Direct access to ancient genetic data from these molecular markers combined with the archaeological evidence, demographical studies and comparisons with 166 contemporary individuals from the same location as the frozen bodies helped us to clarify the microevolution of this intriguing population. Conclusion We were able to trace the origins of the male lineages to a small group of horse-riders from the Cis-Baïkal area. Furthermore, mtDNA data showed that intermarriages between the first settlers with Evenks women led to the establishment of genetic characteristics during the 15th century that are still observed today. PMID:20100333

  5. Usefulness of microchip electrophoresis for the analysis of mitochondrial DNA in forensic and ancient DNA studies.

    PubMed

    Alonso, Antonio; Albarran, Cristina; Martín, Pablo; García, Pilar; Capilla, Javier; García, Oscar; de la Rua, Concepción; Izaguirre, Neskuts; Pereira, Filipe; Pereira, Luisa; Amorim, António; Sancho, Manuel

    2006-12-01

    We evaluate the usefulness of a commercially available microchip CE (MCE) device in different genetic identification studies performed with mitochondrial DNA (mtDNA) targets, including the haplotype analysis of HVR1 and HVR2 and the study of interspecies diversity of cytochrome b (Cyt b) and 16S ribosomal RNA (16S rRNA) mitochondrial genes in forensic and ancient DNA samples. The MCE commercial system tested in this study proved to be a fast and sensitive detection method of length heteroplasmy in cytosine stretches produced by 16 189T>C transitions in HVR1 and by 309.1 and 309.2 C-insertions in HVR2. Moreover, the quantitative analysis of PCR amplicons performed by LIF allowed normalizing the amplicon input in the sequencing reactions, improving the overall quality of sequence data. These quantitative data in combination with the quantification of genomic mtDNA by real-time PCR has been successfully used to evaluate the PCR efficiency and detection limit of full sequencing methods of different mtDNA targets. The quantification of amplicons also provided a method for the rapid evaluation of PCR efficiency of multiplex-PCR versus singleplex-PCR to amplify short HV1 amplicons (around 100 bp) from severely degraded ancient DNA samples. The combination of human-specific (Cyt b) and universal (16S rRNA) mtDNA primer sets in a single PCR reaction followed by MCE detection offers a very rapid and simple screening test to differentiate between human and nonhuman hair forensic samples. This method was also very efficient with degraded DNA templates from forensic hair and bone samples, because of its applicability to detect small amplicon sizes. Future possibilities of MCE in forensic DNA typing, including nuclear STRs and SNP profiling are suggested. PMID:17120261

  6. Ancient bacteria in permafrost soils fact or artefact? Considerations in recovering microbial DNA from geological ancient settings

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Willerslev, E.

    2003-04-01

    Several recent reports claim that prokaryotic genetic sequences or viable cultures can survive for millions of years in geological settings. If substantiated, these findings could fundamentally alter views about bacterial physiology, ecology and evolution. However, both the culturing of microbes and the amplification of ancient DNA molecules from fossil remains are beset with difficulties. First, theoretical and empirical studies have shown that small DNA fragments (100 200 bp) do not survive in the geosphere for more than 104 years in temperate environments and 105 years in colder ones due to hydrolytic and oxidative damage. Therefore, the revivals of dormant bacteria with no active DNA repair from remains hundreds of thousands to millions of years old is, from a theoretical point, expected to be difficult, if not impossible. Second, the no specificity of the media used to culture micro organisms, as well as the great sensitivity of PCR, makes the risk of contamination with contemporary ubiquitous microbial cells and exogenous DNA molecules extremely high. Contamination poses risks at all stages of sample processing (e.g.) within the samples themselves, in the chemical reagents, on laboratory disposables or through the air. The high risk of contamination strongly suggests the need for standardized procedures within the field such as independent replication of results. This criterion of authenticity has not yet been full field in any of the studies claiming million year old microbial cultures or DNA. In order to tests the long-term survival of ancient bacteria DNA a study on permafrost was conducted using ancient DNA precautions, controls and criteria. Permafrost must be considered among the most promising environments for long term DNA survival due to its constant low temperatures (-10C to 12C Siberian or 20C Antarctica) and high cell numbers (107). We found that bacteria DNA could reproducibly be obtained from samples dated up to 300-400,000 years B.P. but not

  7. DNA FROM ANCIENT STONE TOOLS AND BONES EXCAVATED AT BUGAS-HOLDING, WYOMING

    EPA Science Inventory

    Traces of DNA may preserve on ancient stone tools. We examined 24 chipped stone artifacts recovered from the Bugas-Holding site in northwestern Wyoming for the presence of DNA residues, and we compared DNA preservation in bones and stone tools from the same stratigraphic context...

  8. Computational analyses of ancient pathogen DNA from herbarium samples: challenges and prospects.

    PubMed

    Yoshida, Kentaro; Sasaki, Eriko; Kamoun, Sophien

    2015-01-01

    The application of DNA sequencing technology to the study of ancient DNA has enabled the reconstruction of past epidemics from genomes of historically important plant-associated microbes. Recently, the genome sequences of the potato late blight pathogen Phytophthora infestans were analyzed from 19th century herbarium specimens. These herbarium samples originated from infected potatoes collected during and after the Irish potato famine. Herbaria have therefore great potential to help elucidate past epidemics of crops, date the emergence of pathogens, and inform about past pathogen population dynamics. DNA preservation in herbarium samples was unexpectedly good, raising the possibility of a whole new research area in plant and microbial genomics. However, the recovered DNA can be extremely fragmented resulting in specific challenges in reconstructing genome sequences. Here we review some of the challenges in computational analyses of ancient DNA from herbarium samples. We also applied the recently developed linkage method to haplotype reconstruction of diploid or polyploid genomes from fragmented ancient DNA. PMID:26442080

  9. Computational analyses of ancient pathogen DNA from herbarium samples: challenges and prospects

    PubMed Central

    Yoshida, Kentaro; Sasaki, Eriko; Kamoun, Sophien

    2015-01-01

    The application of DNA sequencing technology to the study of ancient DNA has enabled the reconstruction of past epidemics from genomes of historically important plant-associated microbes. Recently, the genome sequences of the potato late blight pathogen Phytophthora infestans were analyzed from 19th century herbarium specimens. These herbarium samples originated from infected potatoes collected during and after the Irish potato famine. Herbaria have therefore great potential to help elucidate past epidemics of crops, date the emergence of pathogens, and inform about past pathogen population dynamics. DNA preservation in herbarium samples was unexpectedly good, raising the possibility of a whole new research area in plant and microbial genomics. However, the recovered DNA can be extremely fragmented resulting in specific challenges in reconstructing genome sequences. Here we review some of the challenges in computational analyses of ancient DNA from herbarium samples. We also applied the recently developed linkage method to haplotype reconstruction of diploid or polyploid genomes from fragmented ancient DNA. PMID:26442080

  10. Ancient DNA analysis of human neolithic remains found in northeastern Siberia.

    PubMed

    Ricaut, François-Xavier; Fedoseeva, A; Keyser-Tracqui, Christine; Crubézy, Eric; Ludes, Bertrand

    2005-04-01

    We successfully extracted DNA from a bone sample of a Neolithic skeleton (dated 3,600 +/- 60 years BP) excavated in northeastern Yakutia (east Siberia). Ancient DNA was analyzed by autosomal STRs (short tandem repeats) and by sequencing of the hypervariable region I (HV1) of the mitochondrial DNA (mtDNA) control region. The STR profile, the mitochondrial haplotype, and the haplogroup determined were compared with those of modern Eurasian and Native American populations. The results showed the affinity of this ancient skeleton with both east Siberian/Asian and Native American populations. PMID:15756672

  11. Aspects of Ancient Mitochondrial DNA Analysis in Different Populations for Understanding Human Evolution

    PubMed Central

    Nesheva, DV

    2014-01-01

    The evolution of modern humans is a long and difficult process which started from their first appearance and continues to the present day. The study of the genetic origin of populations can help to determine population kinship and to better understand the gradual changes of the gene pool in space and time. Mitochondrial DNA (mtDNA) is a proper tool for the determination of the origin of populations due to its high evolutionary importance. Ancient mitochondrial DNA retrieved from museum specimens, archaeological finds and fossil remains can provide direct evidence for population origins and migration processes. Despite the problems with contaminations and authenticity of ancient mitochondrial DNA, there is a developed set of criteria and platforms for obtaining authentic ancient DNA. During the last two decades, the application of different methods and techniques for analysis of ancient mitochondrial DNA gave promising results. Still, the literature is relatively poor with information for the origin of human populations. Using comprehensive phylogeographic and population analyses we can observe the development and formation of the contemporary populations. The aim of this study was to shed light on human migratory processes and the formation of populations based on available ancient mtDNA data. PMID:25741209

  12. Ligation Bias in Illumina Next-Generation DNA Libraries: Implications for Sequencing Ancient Genomes

    PubMed Central

    Seguin-Orlando, Andaine; Schubert, Mikkel; Clary, Joel; Stagegaard, Julia; Alberdi, Maria T.; Prado, José Luis; Prieto, Alfredo; Willerslev, Eske; Orlando, Ludovic

    2013-01-01

    Ancient DNA extracts consist of a mixture of endogenous molecules and contaminant DNA templates, often originating from environmental microbes. These two populations of templates exhibit different chemical characteristics, with the former showing depurination and cytosine deamination by-products, resulting from post-mortem DNA damage. Such chemical modifications can interfere with the molecular tools used for building second-generation DNA libraries, and limit our ability to fully characterize the true complexity of ancient DNA extracts. In this study, we first use fresh DNA extracts to demonstrate that library preparation based on adapter ligation at AT-overhangs are biased against DNA templates starting with thymine residues, contrarily to blunt-end adapter ligation. We observe the same bias on fresh DNA extracts sheared on Bioruptor, Covaris and nebulizers. This contradicts previous reports suggesting that this bias could originate from the methods used for shearing DNA. This also suggests that AT-overhang adapter ligation efficiency is affected in a sequence-dependent manner and results in an uneven representation of different genomic contexts. We then show how this bias could affect the base composition of ancient DNA libraries prepared following AT-overhang ligation, mainly by limiting the ability to ligate DNA templates starting with thymines and therefore deaminated cytosines. This results in particular nucleotide misincorporation damage patterns, deviating from the signature generally expected for authenticating ancient sequence data. Consequently, we show that models adequate for estimating post-mortem DNA damage levels must be robust to the molecular tools used for building ancient DNA libraries. PMID:24205269

  13. Temporal Patterns of Nucleotide Misincorporations and DNA Fragmentation in Ancient DNA

    PubMed Central

    Sawyer, Susanna; Krause, Johannes; Guschanski, Katerina; Savolainen, Vincent; Pääbo, Svante

    2012-01-01

    DNA that survives in museum specimens, bones and other tissues recovered by archaeologists is invariably fragmented and chemically modified. The extent to which such modifications accumulate over time is largely unknown but could potentially be used to differentiate between endogenous old DNA and present-day DNA contaminating specimens and experiments. Here we examine mitochondrial DNA sequences from tissue remains that vary in age between 18 and 60,000 years with respect to three molecular features: fragment length, base composition at strand breaks, and apparent C to T substitutions. We find that fragment length does not decrease consistently over time and that strand breaks occur preferentially before purine residues by what may be at least two different molecular mechanisms that are not yet understood. In contrast, the frequency of apparent C to T substitutions towards the 5′-ends of molecules tends to increase over time. These nucleotide misincorporations are thus a useful tool to distinguish recent from ancient DNA sources in specimens that have not been subjected to unusual or harsh treatments. PMID:22479540

  14. Temporal patterns of nucleotide misincorporations and DNA fragmentation in ancient DNA.

    PubMed

    Sawyer, Susanna; Krause, Johannes; Guschanski, Katerina; Savolainen, Vincent; Pääbo, Svante

    2012-01-01

    DNA that survives in museum specimens, bones and other tissues recovered by archaeologists is invariably fragmented and chemically modified. The extent to which such modifications accumulate over time is largely unknown but could potentially be used to differentiate between endogenous old DNA and present-day DNA contaminating specimens and experiments. Here we examine mitochondrial DNA sequences from tissue remains that vary in age between 18 and 60,000 years with respect to three molecular features: fragment length, base composition at strand breaks, and apparent C to T substitutions. We find that fragment length does not decrease consistently over time and that strand breaks occur preferentially before purine residues by what may be at least two different molecular mechanisms that are not yet understood. In contrast, the frequency of apparent C to T substitutions towards the 5'-ends of molecules tends to increase over time. These nucleotide misincorporations are thus a useful tool to distinguish recent from ancient DNA sources in specimens that have not been subjected to unusual or harsh treatments. PMID:22479540

  15. Ancient and recent patterns of geographic speciation in the oyster mushroom Pleurotus revealed by phylogenetic analysis of ribosomal DNA sequences.

    PubMed Central

    Vilgalys, R; Sun, B L

    1994-01-01

    Evidence from molecular systematic studies suggests that many mushroom species may be quite ancient. Gene phylogenies were developed to examine the relationship between reproductive isolation, genetic divergence, and biogeography in oyster mushrooms (Pleurotus). Sequence data were obtained for two regions of DNA from populations belonging to eight intersterility groups (biological species). Phylogenetic analysis of sequences from the 5' portion of the nuclear encoded large subunit rDNA demonstrates an ancient origin for four intersterility groups of broad geographic distribution (world-wide), with a more recent radiation of several intersterility groups that are restricted to the Northern Hemisphere. An expanded analysis using sequence data from the more variable rDNA internal transcribed spacer region also reveals a phylogenetically based pattern of genetic divergence associated with allopatric speciation among populations from different continents in the Northern Hemisphere. The ability of rDNA sequences to resolve phylogenetic relationships among geographically isolated populations within intersterility groups illustrates the importance of biogeography for understanding speciation in Pleurotus. Patterns of geographic distribution among intersterility groups suggest that several species lineages evolved quite early, with recently evolved groups restricted to the Northern Hemisphere and older lineages occurring throughout the world. Based on phylogenetic evidence, analysis of historical biogeography using area cladograms shows that multiple dispersal and vicariance events are responsible for patterns of speciation observed. Images PMID:8183955

  16. DNA FROM ANCIENT STONE TOOLS AND BONES EXCAVATED AT BUGAS-HOLDING, WYOMING

    EPA Science Inventory

    DNA residues may preserve on ancient stone tools used to process animals. We studied 24 stone tools recovered from the Bugas-Holding site in northwestern Wyoming. Nine tools that yielded DNA included five bifaces, two side scrapers, one end scraper, and one utilized flake. The...

  17. A simple and efficient method for PCR amplifiable DNA extraction from ancient bones

    PubMed Central

    Kalmár, Tibor; Bachrati, Csanád Z.; Marcsik, Antónia; Raskó, István

    2000-01-01

    A simple and effective modified ethanol precipitation-based protocol is described for the preparation of DNA from ancient human bones. This method is fast and requires neither hazardous chemicals nor special devices. After the powdering and incubating of the bone samples Dextran Blue was added as a carrier for removing the PCR inhibitors with selective ethanol precipitation. This method could eliminate the time-consuming separate decalcification step, dialysis, application of centrifugation-driven microconcentrators and the second consecutive PCR amplification. The efficiency of this procedure was demonstrated on ten 500–1200-year-old human bones from four different Hungarian burial sites. A mitochondrial specific primer pair was used to obtain sequence information from the purified ancient DNA. The PCR amplification, after our DNA extraction protocol, was successful from each of the 10 bone samples investigated. The results demonstrate that extraction of DNA from ancient bone samples with this new approach increases the success rate of PCR amplification. PMID:10871390

  18. Improving the performance of true single molecule sequencing for ancient DNA

    PubMed Central

    2012-01-01

    Background Second-generation sequencing technologies have revolutionized our ability to recover genetic information from the past, allowing the characterization of the first complete genomes from past individuals and extinct species. Recently, third generation Helicos sequencing platforms, which perform true Single-Molecule DNA Sequencing (tSMS), have shown great potential for sequencing DNA molecules from Pleistocene fossils. Here, we aim at improving even further the performance of tSMS for ancient DNA by testing two novel tSMS template preparation methods for Pleistocene bone fossils, namely oligonucleotide spiking and treatment with DNA phosphatase. Results We found that a significantly larger fraction of the horse genome could be covered following oligonucleotide spiking however not reproducibly and at the cost of extra post-sequencing filtering procedures and skewed %GC content. In contrast, we showed that treating ancient DNA extracts with DNA phosphatase improved the amount of endogenous sequence information recovered per sequencing channel by up to 3.3-fold, while still providing molecular signatures of endogenous ancient DNA damage, including cytosine deamination and fragmentation by depurination. Additionally, we confirmed the existence of molecular preservation niches in large bone crystals from which DNA could be preferentially extracted. Conclusions We propose DNA phosphatase treatment as a mechanism to increase sequence coverage of ancient genomes when using Helicos tSMS as a sequencing platform. Together with mild denaturation temperatures that favor access to endogenous ancient templates over modern DNA contaminants, this simple preparation procedure can improve overall Helicos tSMS performance when damaged DNA templates are targeted. PMID:22574620

  19. Reducing microbial and human contamination in DNA extractions from ancient bones and teeth.

    PubMed

    Korlević, Petra; Gerber, Tobias; Gansauge, Marie-Theres; Hajdinjak, Mateja; Nagel, Sarah; Aximu-Petri, Ayinuer; Meyer, Matthias

    2015-08-01

    Although great progress has been made in improving methods for generating DNA sequences from ancient biological samples, many, if not most, samples are still not amenable for analyses due to overwhelming contamination with microbial or modern human DNA. Here we explore different DNA decontamination procedures for ancient bones and teeth for use prior to DNA library preparation and high-throughput sequencing. Two procedures showed promising results: (i) the release of surface-bound DNA by phosphate buffer and (ii) the removal of DNA contamination by sodium hypochlorite treatment. Exposure to phosphate removes on average 64% of the microbial DNA from bone powder but only 37% of the endogenous DNA (from the organism under study), increasing the percentage of informative sequences by a factor of two on average. An average 4.6-fold increase, in one case reaching 24-fold, is achieved by sodium hypochlorite treatment, albeit at the expense of destroying 63% of the endogenous DNA preserved in the bone. While both pretreatment methods described here greatly reduce the cost of genome sequencing from ancient material due to efficient depletion of microbial DNA, we find that the removal of human DNA contamination remains a challenging problem. PMID:26260087

  20. Mitochondrial DNA sequences in ancient Australians: Implications for modern human origins

    PubMed Central

    Adcock, Gregory J.; Dennis, Elizabeth S.; Easteal, Simon; Huttley, Gavin A.; Jermiin, Lars S.; Peacock, W. James; Thorne, Alan

    2001-01-01

    DNA from ancient human remains provides perspectives on the origin of our species and the relationship between molecular and morphological variation. We report analysis of mtDNA from the remains of 10 ancient Australians. These include the morphologically gracile Lake Mungo 3 [≈60 thousand years (ka) before present] and three other gracile individuals from Holocene deposits at Willandra Lakes (<10 ka), all within the skeletal range of living Australians, and six Pleistocene/early Holocene individuals (15 to <8 ka) from Kow Swamp with robust morphologies outside the skeletal range of contemporary indigenous Australians. Lake Mungo 3 is the oldest (Pleistocene) “anatomically modern” human from whom DNA has been recovered. His mtDNA belonged to a lineage that only survives as a segment inserted into chromosome 11 of the nuclear genome, which is now widespread among human populations. This lineage probably diverged before the most recent common ancestor of contemporary human mitochondrial genomes. This timing of divergence implies that the deepest known mtDNA lineage from an anatomically modern human occurred in Australia; analysis restricted to living humans places the deepest branches in East Africa. The other ancient Australian individuals we examined have mtDNA sequences descended from the most recent common ancestor of living humans. Our results indicate that anatomically modern humans were present in Australia before the complete fixation of the mtDNA lineage now found in all living people. Sequences from additional ancient humans may further challenge current concepts of modern human origins. PMID:11209053

  1. Mitochondrial DNA sequences in ancient Australians: Implications for modern human origins.

    PubMed

    Adcock, G J; Dennis, E S; Easteal, S; Huttley, G A; Jermiin, L S; Peacock, W J; Thorne, A

    2001-01-16

    DNA from ancient human remains provides perspectives on the origin of our species and the relationship between molecular and morphological variation. We report analysis of mtDNA from the remains of 10 ancient Australians. These include the morphologically gracile Lake Mungo 3 [ approximately 60 thousand years (ka) before present] and three other gracile individuals from Holocene deposits at Willandra Lakes (<10 ka), all within the skeletal range of living Australians, and six Pleistocene/early Holocene individuals (15 to <8 ka) from Kow Swamp with robust morphologies outside the skeletal range of contemporary indigenous Australians. Lake Mungo 3 is the oldest (Pleistocene) "anatomically modern" human from whom DNA has been recovered. His mtDNA belonged to a lineage that only survives as a segment inserted into chromosome 11 of the nuclear genome, which is now widespread among human populations. This lineage probably diverged before the most recent common ancestor of contemporary human mitochondrial genomes. This timing of divergence implies that the deepest known mtDNA lineage from an anatomically modern human occurred in Australia; analysis restricted to living humans places the deepest branches in East Africa. The other ancient Australian individuals we examined have mtDNA sequences descended from the most recent common ancestor of living humans. Our results indicate that anatomically modern humans were present in Australia before the complete fixation of the mtDNA lineage now found in all living people. Sequences from additional ancient humans may further challenge current concepts of modern human origins. PMID:11209053

  2. Ancient proteins resolve the evolutionary history of Darwin's South American ungulates.

    PubMed

    Welker, Frido; Collins, Matthew J; Thomas, Jessica A; Wadsley, Marc; Brace, Selina; Cappellini, Enrico; Turvey, Samuel T; Reguero, Marcelo; Gelfo, Javier N; Kramarz, Alejandro; Burger, Joachim; Thomas-Oates, Jane; Ashford, David A; Ashton, Peter D; Rowsell, Keri; Porter, Duncan M; Kessler, Benedikt; Fischer, Roman; Baessmann, Carsten; Kaspar, Stephanie; Olsen, Jesper V; Kiley, Patrick; Elliott, James A; Kelstrup, Christian D; Mullin, Victoria; Hofreiter, Michael; Willerslev, Eske; Hublin, Jean-Jacques; Orlando, Ludovic; Barnes, Ian; MacPhee, Ross D E

    2015-06-01

    No large group of recently extinct placental mammals remains as evolutionarily cryptic as the approximately 280 genera grouped as 'South American native ungulates'. To Charles Darwin, who first collected their remains, they included perhaps the 'strangest animal[s] ever discovered'. Today, much like 180 years ago, it is no clearer whether they had one origin or several, arose before or after the Cretaceous/Palaeogene transition 66.2 million years ago, or are more likely to belong with the elephants and sirenians of superorder Afrotheria than with the euungulates (cattle, horses, and allies) of superorder Laurasiatheria. Morphology-based analyses have proved unconvincing because convergences are pervasive among unrelated ungulate-like placentals. Approaches using ancient DNA have also been unsuccessful, probably because of rapid DNA degradation in semitropical and temperate deposits. Here we apply proteomic analysis to screen bone samples of the Late Quaternary South American native ungulate taxa Toxodon (Notoungulata) and Macrauchenia (Litopterna) for phylogenetically informative protein sequences. For each ungulate, we obtain approximately 90% direct sequence coverage of type I collagen α1- and α2-chains, representing approximately 900 of 1,140 amino-acid residues for each subunit. A phylogeny is estimated from an alignment of these fossil sequences with collagen (I) gene transcripts from available mammalian genomes or mass spectrometrically derived sequence data obtained for this study. The resulting consensus tree agrees well with recent higher-level mammalian phylogenies. Toxodon and Macrauchenia form a monophyletic group whose sister taxon is not Afrotheria or any of its constituent clades as recently claimed, but instead crown Perissodactyla (horses, tapirs, and rhinoceroses). These results are consistent with the origin of at least some South American native ungulates from 'condylarths', a paraphyletic assembly of archaic placentals. With ongoing

  3. Ancient DNA reveals kinship burial patterns of a pre-Columbian Andean community

    PubMed Central

    2012-01-01

    Background A detailed genetic study of the pre-Columbian population inhabiting the Tompullo 2 archaeological site (department Arequipa, Peru) was undertaken to resolve the kin relationships between individuals buried in six different chullpas. Kin relationships were an important factor shaping the social organization in the pre-Columbian Andean communities, centering on the ayllu, a group of relatives that shared a common land and responsibilities. The aim of this study was to evaluate whether this Andean model of a social organization had an influence on mortuary practices, in particular to determine whether chullpas served as family graves. Results The remains of forty-one individuals were analyzed with both uniparental (mtDNA, Y–chromosome) and biparental (autosomal microsatellites) markers. Reproducible HVRI sequences, autosomal and Y chromosomal STR profiles were obtained for 24, 16 and 11 individuals, respectively. Mitochondrial DNA diversity was comparable to that of ancient and contemporary Andean populations. The Tompullo 2 population exhibited the closest relationship with the modern population from the same region. A kinship analysis revealed complex pattern of relations within and between the graves. However mean relatedness coefficients regarding the pairs of individuals buried in the same grave were significantly higher than those regarding pairs buried in different graves. The Y chromosome profiles of 11 males suggest that only members of one male line were buried in the same grave. Conclusions Genetic investigation of the population that inhabited Tompullo 2 site shows continuity between pre-Columbian and modern Native Amerindian populations inhabiting the Arequipa region. This suggests that no major demographic processes have influenced the mitochondrial DNA diversity of these populations during the past five hundred years. The kinship analysis involving uni- and biparental markers suggests that the community that inhabited the Tompullo 2 site

  4. Characterization of Ancient DNA Supports Long-Term Survival of Haloarchaea

    PubMed Central

    Lowenstein, Tim K.; Timofeeff, Michael N.; Schubert, Brian A.; Lum, J. Koji

    2014-01-01

    Abstract Bacteria and archaea isolated from crystals of halite 104 to 108 years old suggest long-term survival of halophilic microorganisms, but the results are controversial. Independent verification of the authenticity of reputed living prokaryotes in ancient salt is required because of the high potential for environmental and laboratory contamination. Low success rates of prokaryote cultivation from ancient halite, however, hamper direct replication experiments. In such cases, culture-independent approaches that use the polymerase chain reaction (PCR) and sequencing of 16S ribosomal DNA are a robust alternative. Here, we use amplification, cloning, and sequencing of 16S ribosomal DNA to investigate the authenticity of halophilic archaea cultured from subsurface halite, Death Valley, California, 22,000 to 34,000 years old. We recovered 16S ribosomal DNA sequences that are identical, or nearly so (>99%), to two strains, Natronomonas DV462A and Halorubrum DV427, which were previously isolated from the same halite interval. These results provide the best independent support to date for the long-term survival of halophilic archaea in ancient halite. PCR-based approaches are sensitive to small amounts of DNA and could allow investigation of even older halites, 106 to 108 years old, from which microbial cultures have been reported. Such studies of microbial life in ancient salt are particularly important as we search for microbial signatures in similar deposits on Mars and elsewhere in the Solar System. Key Words: Ancient DNA—Halite—Haloarchaea—Long-term survival. Astrobiology 14, 553–560. PMID:24977469

  5. Detection of Cytosine Methylation in Ancient DNA from Five Native American Populations Using Bisulfite Sequencing

    PubMed Central

    Smith, Rick W. A.; Monroe, Cara; Bolnick, Deborah A.

    2015-01-01

    While cytosine methylation has been widely studied in extant populations, relatively few studies have analyzed methylation in ancient DNA. Most existing studies of epigenetic marks in ancient DNA have inferred patterns of methylation in highly degraded samples using post-mortem damage to cytosines as a proxy for cytosine methylation levels. However, this approach limits the inference of methylation compared with direct bisulfite sequencing, the current gold standard for analyzing cytosine methylation at single nucleotide resolution. In this study, we used direct bisulfite sequencing to assess cytosine methylation in ancient DNA from the skeletal remains of 30 Native Americans ranging in age from approximately 230 to 4500 years before present. Unmethylated cytosines were converted to uracils by treatment with sodium bisulfite, bisulfite products of a CpG-rich retrotransposon were pyrosequenced, and C-to-T ratios were quantified for a single CpG position. We found that cytosine methylation is readily recoverable from most samples, given adequate preservation of endogenous nuclear DNA. In addition, our results indicate that the precision of cytosine methylation estimates is inversely correlated with aDNA preservation, such that samples of low DNA concentration show higher variability in measures of percent methylation than samples of high DNA concentration. In particular, samples in this study with a DNA concentration above 0.015 ng/μL generated the most consistent measures of cytosine methylation. This study presents evidence of cytosine methylation in a large collection of ancient human remains, and indicates that it is possible to analyze epigenetic patterns in ancient populations using direct bisulfite sequencing approaches. PMID:26016479

  6. Detection of Cytosine methylation in ancient DNA from five native american populations using bisulfite sequencing.

    PubMed

    Smith, Rick W A; Monroe, Cara; Bolnick, Deborah A

    2015-01-01

    While cytosine methylation has been widely studied in extant populations, relatively few studies have analyzed methylation in ancient DNA. Most existing studies of epigenetic marks in ancient DNA have inferred patterns of methylation in highly degraded samples using post-mortem damage to cytosines as a proxy for cytosine methylation levels. However, this approach limits the inference of methylation compared with direct bisulfite sequencing, the current gold standard for analyzing cytosine methylation at single nucleotide resolution. In this study, we used direct bisulfite sequencing to assess cytosine methylation in ancient DNA from the skeletal remains of 30 Native Americans ranging in age from approximately 230 to 4500 years before present. Unmethylated cytosines were converted to uracils by treatment with sodium bisulfite, bisulfite products of a CpG-rich retrotransposon were pyrosequenced, and C-to-T ratios were quantified for a single CpG position. We found that cytosine methylation is readily recoverable from most samples, given adequate preservation of endogenous nuclear DNA. In addition, our results indicate that the precision of cytosine methylation estimates is inversely correlated with aDNA preservation, such that samples of low DNA concentration show higher variability in measures of percent methylation than samples of high DNA concentration. In particular, samples in this study with a DNA concentration above 0.015 ng/μL generated the most consistent measures of cytosine methylation. This study presents evidence of cytosine methylation in a large collection of ancient human remains, and indicates that it is possible to analyze epigenetic patterns in ancient populations using direct bisulfite sequencing approaches. PMID:26016479

  7. Enterobius vermicularis: ancient DNA from North and South American human coprolites.

    PubMed

    Iñiguez, Alena M; Reinhard, Karl J; Araújo, Adauto; Ferreira, Luiz Fernando; Vicente, Ana Carolina P

    2003-01-01

    A molecular paleoparasitological diagnostic approach was developed for Enterobius vermicularis. Ancient DNA was extracted from 27 coprolites from archaeological sites in Chile and USA. Enzymatic amplification of human mtDNA sequences confirmed the human origin. We designed primers specific to the E. vermicularis 5S ribosomal RNA spacer region and they allowed reproducible polymerase chain reaction identification of ancient material. We suggested that the paleoparasitological microscopic identification could accompany molecular diagnosis, which also opens the possibility of sequence analysis to understand parasite-host evolution. PMID:12687766

  8. Optimal Ancient DNA Yields from the Inner Ear Part of the Human Petrous Bone

    PubMed Central

    Pinhasi, Ron; Fernandes, Daniel; Sirak, Kendra; Novak, Mario; Connell, Sarah; Alpaslan-Roodenberg, Songül; Gerritsen, Fokke; Moiseyev, Vyacheslav; Gromov, Andrey; Raczky, Pál; Anders, Alexandra; Pietrusewsky, Michael; Rollefson, Gary; Jovanovic, Marija; Trinhhoang, Hiep; Bar-Oz, Guy; Oxenham, Marc; Matsumura, Hirofumi; Hofreiter, Michael

    2015-01-01

    The invention and development of next or second generation sequencing methods has resulted in a dramatic transformation of ancient DNA research and allowed shotgun sequencing of entire genomes from fossil specimens. However, although there are exceptions, most fossil specimens contain only low (~ 1% or less) percentages of endogenous DNA. The only skeletal element for which a systematically higher endogenous DNA content compared to other skeletal elements has been shown is the petrous part of the temporal bone. In this study we investigate whether (a) different parts of the petrous bone of archaeological human specimens give different percentages of endogenous DNA yields, (b) there are significant differences in average DNA read lengths, damage patterns and total DNA concentration, and (c) it is possible to obtain endogenous ancient DNA from petrous bones from hot environments. We carried out intra-petrous comparisons for ten petrous bones from specimens from Holocene archaeological contexts across Eurasia dated between 10,000-1,800 calibrated years before present (cal. BP). We obtained shotgun DNA sequences from three distinct areas within the petrous: a spongy part of trabecular bone (part A), the dense part of cortical bone encircling the osseous inner ear, or otic capsule (part B), and the dense part within the otic capsule (part C). Our results confirm that dense bone parts of the petrous bone can provide high endogenous aDNA yields and indicate that endogenous DNA fractions for part C can exceed those obtained for part B by up to 65-fold and those from part A by up to 177-fold, while total endogenous DNA concentrations are up to 126-fold and 109-fold higher for these comparisons. Our results also show that while endogenous yields from part C were lower than 1% for samples from hot (both arid and humid) parts, the DNA damage patterns indicate that at least some of the reads originate from ancient DNA molecules, potentially enabling ancient DNA analyses of

  9. Optimal Ancient DNA Yields from the Inner Ear Part of the Human Petrous Bone.

    PubMed

    Pinhasi, Ron; Fernandes, Daniel; Sirak, Kendra; Novak, Mario; Connell, Sarah; Alpaslan-Roodenberg, Songül; Gerritsen, Fokke; Moiseyev, Vyacheslav; Gromov, Andrey; Raczky, Pál; Anders, Alexandra; Pietrusewsky, Michael; Rollefson, Gary; Jovanovic, Marija; Trinhhoang, Hiep; Bar-Oz, Guy; Oxenham, Marc; Matsumura, Hirofumi; Hofreiter, Michael

    2015-01-01

    The invention and development of next or second generation sequencing methods has resulted in a dramatic transformation of ancient DNA research and allowed shotgun sequencing of entire genomes from fossil specimens. However, although there are exceptions, most fossil specimens contain only low (~ 1% or less) percentages of endogenous DNA. The only skeletal element for which a systematically higher endogenous DNA content compared to other skeletal elements has been shown is the petrous part of the temporal bone. In this study we investigate whether (a) different parts of the petrous bone of archaeological human specimens give different percentages of endogenous DNA yields, (b) there are significant differences in average DNA read lengths, damage patterns and total DNA concentration, and (c) it is possible to obtain endogenous ancient DNA from petrous bones from hot environments. We carried out intra-petrous comparisons for ten petrous bones from specimens from Holocene archaeological contexts across Eurasia dated between 10,000-1,800 calibrated years before present (cal. BP). We obtained shotgun DNA sequences from three distinct areas within the petrous: a spongy part of trabecular bone (part A), the dense part of cortical bone encircling the osseous inner ear, or otic capsule (part B), and the dense part within the otic capsule (part C). Our results confirm that dense bone parts of the petrous bone can provide high endogenous aDNA yields and indicate that endogenous DNA fractions for part C can exceed those obtained for part B by up to 65-fold and those from part A by up to 177-fold, while total endogenous DNA concentrations are up to 126-fold and 109-fold higher for these comparisons. Our results also show that while endogenous yields from part C were lower than 1% for samples from hot (both arid and humid) parts, the DNA damage patterns indicate that at least some of the reads originate from ancient DNA molecules, potentially enabling ancient DNA analyses of

  10. Identification of ancient Olea europaea L. and Cornus mas L. seeds by DNA barcoding.

    PubMed

    Gismondi, Angelo; Rolfo, Mario Federico; Leonardi, Donatella; Rickards, Olga; Canini, Antonella

    2012-07-01

    The analysis of ancient DNA (aDNA) provides archaeologists and anthropologists with innovative, scientific and accurate data to study and understand the past. In this work, ancient seeds, found in the "Mora Cavorso" archaeological site (Latium, Central Italy), were analyzed to increase information about Italian Neolithic populations (plant use, agriculture, diet, trades, customs and ecology). We performed morphological and genetic techniques to identify fossil botanical species. In particular, this study also suggests and emphasizes the use of DNA barcode method for ancient plant sample analysis. Scanning electron microscope (SEM) observations showed seed compact structure and irregular surface but they did not permit a precise nor empirical classification: so, a molecular approach was necessary. DNA was extracted from ancient seeds and then it was used, as template, for PCR amplifications of standardized barcode genes. Although aDNA could be highly degraded by the time, successful PCR products were obtained, sequenced and compared to nucleotide sequence databases. Positive outcomes (supported by morphological comparison with modern seeds, geographical distribution and historical data) indicated that seeds could be identified as belonging to two plant species: Olea europaea L. and Cornus mas L. PMID:22847014

  11. Methods to characterize selective sweeps using time serial samples: an ancient DNA perspective.

    PubMed

    Malaspinas, Anna-Sapfo

    2016-01-01

    With hundreds of ancient genomes becoming available this year, ancient DNA research has now entered the genomics era. Utilizing the temporal aspect of these new data, we can now address fundamental evolutionary questions such as the characterization of selection processes shaping the genomes. The temporal dimension in the data has spurred the development in the last 10 years of new methods allowing the detection of loci evolving non-neutrally but also the inference of selection coefficients across genomes capitalizing on these time serial data. To guide empirically oriented researchers towards the statistical approach most appropriate for their data, this article reviews several of those methods, discussing their underlying assumptions and the parameter ranges for which they have been developed. While I discuss some methods developed for experimental evolution, the main focus is ancient DNA. PMID:26613371

  12. Ancient DNA and Population Turnover in Southern Levantine Pigs- Signature of the Sea Peoples Migration?

    PubMed Central

    Meiri, Meirav; Huchon, Dorothée; Bar-Oz, Guy; Boaretto, Elisabetta; Horwitz, Liora Kolska; Maeir, Aren M.; Sapir-Hen, Lidar; Larson, Greger; Weiner, Steve; Finkelstein, Israel

    2013-01-01

    Near Eastern wild boars possess a characteristic DNA signature. Unexpectedly, wild boars from Israel have the DNA sequences of European wild boars and domestic pigs. To understand how this anomaly evolved, we sequenced DNA from ancient and modern pigs from Israel. Pigs from Late Bronze Age (until ca. 1150 BCE) in Israel shared haplotypes of modern and ancient Near Eastern pigs. European haplotypes became dominant only during the Iron Age (ca. 900 BCE). This raises the possibility that European pigs were brought to the region by the Sea Peoples who migrated to the Levant at that time. Then, a complete genetic turnover took place, most likely because of repeated admixture between local and introduced European domestic pigs that went feral. Severe population bottlenecks likely accelerated this process. Introductions by humans have strongly affected the phylogeography of wild animals, and interpretations of phylogeography based on modern DNA alone should be taken with caution. PMID:24186332

  13. Ancient pathogens in museal dry bone specimens: analysis of paleocytology and aDNA.

    PubMed

    Gaul, Johanna Sophia; Winter, Eduard; Grossschmidt, Karl

    2015-04-01

    Bone samples investigated in this study derive from the pathologic-anatomical collection of the Natural History Museum of Vienna. In order to explore the survival of treponemes and treponemal ancient DNA in museal dry bone specimens, we analyzed three individuals known to have been infected with Treponema pallidum pallidum. No reproducible evidence of surviving pathogen's ancient DNA (aDNA) was obtained, despite the highly sensitive extraction and amplification techniques (TPP15 and arp). Additionally, decalcification fluid of bone sections was smear stained with May-Gruenwald-Giemsa. The slides were examined using direct light microscope and dark field illumination. Remnants of spirochetal structures were detectable in every smear. Our results demonstrate that aDNA is unlikely to survive, but spirochetal remains are stainable and thus detectable. PMID:25994097

  14. Characterization of ancient DNA supports long-term survival of Haloarchaea.

    PubMed

    Sankaranarayanan, Krithivasan; Lowenstein, Tim K; Timofeeff, Michael N; Schubert, Brian A; Lum, J Koji

    2014-07-01

    Bacteria and archaea isolated from crystals of halite 10(4) to 10(8) years old suggest long-term survival of halophilic microorganisms, but the results are controversial. Independent verification of the authenticity of reputed living prokaryotes in ancient salt is required because of the high potential for environmental and laboratory contamination. Low success rates of prokaryote cultivation from ancient halite, however, hamper direct replication experiments. In such cases, culture-independent approaches that use the polymerase chain reaction (PCR) and sequencing of 16S ribosomal DNA are a robust alternative. Here, we use amplification, cloning, and sequencing of 16S ribosomal DNA to investigate the authenticity of halophilic archaea cultured from subsurface halite, Death Valley, California, 22,000 to 34,000 years old. We recovered 16S ribosomal DNA sequences that are identical, or nearly so (>99%), to two strains, Natronomonas DV462A and Halorubrum DV427, which were previously isolated from the same halite interval. These results provide the best independent support to date for the long-term survival of halophilic archaea in ancient halite. PCR-based approaches are sensitive to small amounts of DNA and could allow investigation of even older halites, 10(6) to 10(8) years old, from which microbial cultures have been reported. Such studies of microbial life in ancient salt are particularly important as we search for microbial signatures in similar deposits on Mars and elsewhere in the Solar System. PMID:24977469

  15. Attempted DNA extraction from a Rancho La Brea Columbian mammoth (Mammuthus columbi): prospects for ancient DNA from asphalt deposits

    PubMed Central

    Gold, David A; Robinson, Jacqueline; Farrell, Aisling B; Harris, John M; Thalmann, Olaf; Jacobs, David K

    2014-01-01

    Fossil-bearing asphalt deposits are an understudied and potentially significant source of ancient DNA. Previous attempts to extract DNA from skeletons preserved at the Rancho La Brea tar pits in Los Angeles, California, have proven unsuccessful, but it is unclear whether this is due to a lack of endogenous DNA, or if the problem is caused by asphalt-mediated inhibition. In an attempt to test these hypotheses, a recently recovered Columbian mammoth (Mammuthus columbi) skeleton with an unusual pattern of asphalt impregnation was studied. Ultimately, none of the bone samples tested successfully amplified M. columbi DNA. Our work suggests that reagents typically used to remove asphalt from ancient samples also inhibit DNA extraction. Ultimately, we conclude that the probability of recovering ancient DNA from fossils in asphalt deposits is strongly (perhaps fatally) hindered by the organic compounds that permeate the bones and that at the Rancho La Brea tar pits, environmental conditions might not have been ideal for the general preservation of genetic material. PMID:24634719

  16. Pros and cons of methylation-based enrichment methods for ancient DNA.

    PubMed

    Seguin-Orlando, Andaine; Gamba, Cristina; Der Sarkissian, Clio; Ermini, Luca; Louvel, Guillaume; Boulygina, Eugenia; Sokolov, Alexey; Nedoluzhko, Artem; Lorenzen, Eline D; Lopez, Patricio; McDonald, H Gregory; Scott, Eric; Tikhonov, Alexei; Stafford, Thomas W; Alfarhan, Ahmed H; Alquraishi, Saleh A; Al-Rasheid, Khaled A S; Shapiro, Beth; Willerslev, Eske; Prokhortchouk, Egor; Orlando, Ludovic

    2015-01-01

    The recent discovery that DNA methylation survives in fossil material provides an opportunity for novel molecular approaches in palaeogenomics. Here, we apply to ancient DNA extracts the probe-independent Methylated Binding Domains (MBD)-based enrichment method, which targets DNA molecules containing methylated CpGs. Using remains of a Palaeo-Eskimo Saqqaq individual, woolly mammoths, polar bears and two equine species, we confirm that DNA methylation survives in a variety of tissues, environmental contexts and over a large temporal range (4,000 to over 45,000 years before present). MBD enrichment, however, appears principally biased towards the recovery of CpG-rich and long DNA templates and is limited by the fast post-mortem cytosine deamination rates of methylated epialleles. This method, thus, appears only appropriate for the analysis of ancient methylomes from very well preserved samples, where both DNA fragmentation and deamination have been limited. This work represents an essential step toward the characterization of ancient methylation signatures, which will help understanding the role of epigenetic changes in past environmental and cultural transitions. PMID:26134828

  17. Pros and cons of methylation-based enrichment methods for ancient DNA

    PubMed Central

    Seguin-Orlando, Andaine; Gamba, Cristina; Sarkissian, Clio Der; Ermini, Luca; Louvel, Guillaume; Boulygina, Eugenia; Sokolov, Alexey; Nedoluzhko, Artem; Lorenzen, Eline D.; Lopez, Patricio; McDonald, H. Gregory; Scott, Eric; Tikhonov, Alexei; Stafford,, Thomas W.; Alfarhan, Ahmed H.; Alquraishi, Saleh A.; Al-Rasheid, Khaled A. S.; Shapiro, Beth; Willerslev, Eske; Prokhortchouk, Egor; Orlando, Ludovic

    2015-01-01

    The recent discovery that DNA methylation survives in fossil material provides an opportunity for novel molecular approaches in palaeogenomics. Here, we apply to ancient DNA extracts the probe-independent Methylated Binding Domains (MBD)-based enrichment method, which targets DNA molecules containing methylated CpGs. Using remains of a Palaeo-Eskimo Saqqaq individual, woolly mammoths, polar bears and two equine species, we confirm that DNA methylation survives in a variety of tissues, environmental contexts and over a large temporal range (4,000 to over 45,000 years before present). MBD enrichment, however, appears principally biased towards the recovery of CpG-rich and long DNA templates and is limited by the fast post-mortem cytosine deamination rates of methylated epialleles. This method, thus, appears only appropriate for the analysis of ancient methylomes from very well preserved samples, where both DNA fragmentation and deamination have been limited. This work represents an essential step toward the characterization of ancient methylation signatures, which will help understanding the role of epigenetic changes in past environmental and cultural transitions. PMID:26134828

  18. Detection of 400-year-old Yersinia pestis DNA in human dental pulp: An approach to the diagnosis of ancient septicemia

    PubMed Central

    Drancourt, Michel; Aboudharam, Gérard; Signoli, Michel; Dutour, Olivier; Raoult, Didier

    1998-01-01

    Ancient septicemic plague epidemics were reported to have killed millions of people for 2 millenniums. However, confident diagnosis of ancient septicemia solely on the basis of historical clinical observations is not possible. The lack of suitable infected material has prevented direct demonstration of ancient septicemia; thus, the history of most infections such as plague remains hypothetical. The durability of dental pulp, together with its natural sterility, makes it a suitable material on which to base such research. We hypothesized that it would be a lasting refuge for Yersinia pestis, the plague agent. DNA extracts were made from the dental pulp of 12 unerupted teeth extracted from skeletons excavated from 16th and 18th century French graves of persons thought to have died of plague (“plague teeth”) and from 7 ancient negative control teeth. PCRs incorporating ancient DNA extracts and primers specific for the human β-globin gene demonstrated the absence of inhibitors in these preparations. The incorporation of primers specific for Y. pestis rpoB (the RNA polymerase β-subunit-encoding gene) and the recognized virulence-associated pla (the plasminogen activator-encoding gene) repeatedly yielded products that had a nucleotide sequence indistinguishable from that of modern day isolates of the bacterium. The specific pla sequence was obtained from 6 of 12 plague skeleton teeth but 0 of 7 negative controls (P < 0.034, Fisher exact test). A nucleic acid-based confirmation of ancient plague was achieved for historically identified victims, and we have confirmed the presence of the disease at the end of 16th century in France. Dental pulp is an attractive target in the quest to determine the etiology of septicemic illnesses detected in ancient corpses. Molecular techniques could be applied to this material to resolve historical outbreaks. PMID:9770538

  19. Crosslinks Rather Than Strand Breaks Determine Access to Ancient DNA Sequences From Frozen Sediments

    PubMed Central

    Hansen, Anders J.; Mitchell, David L.; Wiuf, Carsten; Paniker, Lakshmi; Brand, Tina B.; Binladen, Jonas; Gilichinsky, David A.; Rønn, Regin; Willerslev, Eske

    2006-01-01

    Diagenesis was studied in DNA obtained from Siberian permafrost (permanently frozen soil) ranging from 10,000 to 400,000 years in age. Despite optimal preservation conditions, we found the sedimentary DNA to be severely modified by interstrand crosslinks; single- and double-stranded breaks; and freely exposed sugar, phosphate, and hydroxyl groups. Intriguingly, interstrand crosslinks were found to accumulate ∼100 times faster than single-stranded breaks, suggesting that crosslinking rather than depurination is the primary limiting factor for ancient DNA amplification under frozen conditions. The results question the reliability of the commonly used models relying on depurination kinetics for predicting the long-term survival of DNA under permafrost conditions and suggest that new strategies for repair of ancient DNA must be considered if the yield of amplifiable DNA from permafrost sediments is to be significantly increased. Using the obtained rate constant for interstrand crosslinks the maximal survival time of amplifiable 120-bp fragments of bacterial 16S ribosomal DNA was estimated to be ∼400,000 years. Additionally, a clear relationship was found between DNA damage and sample age, contradicting previously raised concerns about the possible leaching of free DNA molecules between permafrost layers. PMID:16582426

  20. Ancient whole genome enrichment using baits built from modern DNA.

    PubMed

    Enk, Jacob M; Devault, Alison M; Kuch, Melanie; Murgha, Yusuf E; Rouillard, Jean-Marie; Poinar, Hendrik N

    2014-05-01

    We report metrics from complete genome capture of nuclear DNA from extinct mammoths using biotinylated RNAs transcribed from an Asian elephant DNA extract. Enrichment of the nuclear genome ranged from 1.06- to 18.65-fold, to an apparent maximum threshold of ∼80% on-target. This projects an order of magnitude less costly complete genome sequencing from long-dead organisms, even when a reference genome is unavailable for bait design. PMID:24531081

  1. How have studies of ancient DNA from sediments contributed to the reconstruction of Quaternary floras?

    PubMed

    Birks, H John B; Birks, Hilary H

    2016-01-01

    499 I. 499 II. 500 III. 500 IV. 500 V. 500 VI. 501 VII. 502 VIII. 504 504 References 505 SUMMARY: Ancient DNA (aDNA) from lake sediments, peats, permafrost soils, preserved megafaunal gut contents and coprolites has been used to reconstruct late-Quaternary floras. aDNA is either used alone for floristic reconstruction or compared with pollen and/or macrofossil results. In comparative studies, aDNA may complement pollen and macrofossil analyses by increasing the number of taxa found. We discuss the relative contributions of each fossil group to taxon richness and the number of unique taxa found, and situations in which aDNA has refined pollen identifications. Pressing problems in aDNA studies are contamination and ignorance about taphonomy (transportation, incorporation, and preservation in sediments). Progress requires that these problems are reduced to allow aDNA to reach its full potential contribution to reconstructions of Quaternary floras. PMID:26402315

  2. Long DNA sequences and large data sets: investigating the Quaternary via ancient DNA

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Hofreiter, Michael

    2008-12-01

    Progress in technical development has allowed piecing together increasingly long DNA sequences from subfossil remains of both extinct and extant species. At the same time, more and more species are analyzed on the population level, leading to a better understanding of population dynamics over time. Finally, new sequencing techniques have allowed targeting complete nuclear genomes of extinct species. The sequences obtained yield insights into a variety of research fields. First, phylogenetic relationships can be resolved with much greater accuracy and it becomes possible to date divergence events of species during and before the Quaternary. Second, large data sets in population genetics facilitate the assessment of changes in genetic diversity over time, an approach that has substantially revised our views about phylogeographic patterns and population dynamics. In the future, the combination of population genetics with long DNA sequences, e.g. complete mitochondrial (mt) DNA genomes, should lead to much more precise estimates of population size changes to be made. This will enable us to make inferences about - and hopefully understand - the causes for faunal turnover and extinctions during the Quaternary. Third, with regard to the nuclear genome, complete genes and genomes can now be sequenced and studied with regard to their function, revealing insights about the numerous traits of extinct species that are not preserved in the fossil record.

  3. Ancient DNA from marine mammals: studying long-lived species over ecological and evolutionary timescales.

    PubMed

    Foote, Andrew D; Hofreiter, Michael; Morin, Phillip A

    2012-01-20

    Marine mammals have long generation times and broad, difficult to sample distributions, which makes inferring evolutionary and demographic changes using field studies of extant populations challenging. However, molecular analyses from sub-fossil or historical materials of marine mammals such as bone, tooth, baleen, skin, fur, whiskers and scrimshaw using ancient DNA (aDNA) approaches provide an opportunity for investigating such changes over evolutionary and ecological timescales. Here, we review the application of aDNA techniques to the study of marine mammals. Most of the studies have focused on detecting changes in genetic diversity following periods of exploitation and environmental change. To date, these studies have shown that even small sample sizes can provide useful information on historical genetic diversity. Ancient DNA has also been used in investigations of changes in distribution and range of marine mammal species; we review these studies and discuss the limitations of such 'presence only' studies. Combining aDNA data with stable isotopes can provide further insights into changes in ecology and we review past studies and suggest future potential applications. We also discuss studies reconstructing inter- and intra-specific phylogenies from aDNA sequences and discuss how aDNA sequences could be used to estimate mutation rates. Finally, we highlight some of the problems of aDNA studies on marine mammals, such as obtaining sufficient sample sizes and calibrating for the marine reservoir effect when radiocarbon-dating such wide-ranging species. PMID:21652193

  4. Analysis of ancient DNA from coprolites: a perspective with random amplified polymorphic DNA-polymerase chain reaction approach.

    PubMed

    Iñiguez, Alena M; Araújo, Adauto; Ferreira, Luiz Fernando; Vicente, Ana Carolina P

    2003-01-01

    The aim of this work was to determine approaches that would improve the quality of ancient DNA (aDNA) present in coprolites to enhance the possibility of success in retrieving specific sequence targets. We worked with coprolites from South American archaeological sites in Brazil and Chile dating up to 7,000 years ago. Using established protocols for aDNA extraction we obtained samples showing high degradation as usually happens with this kind of material. The reconstructive polymerization pretreatment was essential to overcome the DNA degradation and the serial dilutions helped with to prevent polymerase chain reaction (PCR) inhibitors. Moreover, the random amplified polymorphic DNA-PCR has been shown to be a reliable technique for further experiments to recover specific aDNA sequences. PMID:12687765

  5. Ancient Mitochondrial DNA Analyses of Ascaris Eggs Discovered in Coprolites from Joseon Tomb

    PubMed Central

    Oh, Chang Seok; Seo, Min; Hong, Jong Ha; Chai, Jong-Yil; Oh, Seung Whan; Park, Jun Bum; Shin, Dong Hoon

    2015-01-01

    Analysis of ancient DNA (aDNA) extracted from Ascaris is very important for understanding the phylogenetic lineage of the parasite species. When aDNAs obtained from a Joseon tomb (SN2-19-1) coprolite in which Ascaris eggs were identified were amplified with primers for cytochrome b (cyt b) and 18S small subunit ribosomal RNA (18S rRNA) gene, the outcome exhibited Ascaris specific amplicon bands. By cloning, sequencing, and analysis of the amplified DNA, we obtained information valuable for comprehending genetic lineage of Ascaris prevalent among pre-modern Joseon peoples. PMID:25925186

  6. Ancient mitochondrial DNA analyses of ascaris eggs discovered in coprolites from joseon tomb.

    PubMed

    Oh, Chang Seok; Seo, Min; Hong, Jong Ha; Chai, Jong-Yil; Oh, Seung Whan; Park, Jun Bum; Shin, Dong Hoon

    2015-04-01

    Analysis of ancient DNA (aDNA) extracted from Ascaris is very important for understanding the phylogenetic lineage of the parasite species. When aDNAs obtained from a Joseon tomb (SN2-19-1) coprolite in which Ascaris eggs were identified were amplified with primers for cytochrome b (cyt b) and 18S small subunit ribosomal RNA (18S rRNA) gene, the outcome exhibited Ascaris specific amplicon bands. By cloning, sequencing, and analysis of the amplified DNA, we obtained information valuable for comprehending genetic lineage of Ascaris prevalent among pre-modern Joseon peoples. PMID:25925186

  7. Ancient DNA sequence revealed by error-correcting codes.

    PubMed

    Brandão, Marcelo M; Spoladore, Larissa; Faria, Luzinete C B; Rocha, Andréa S L; Silva-Filho, Marcio C; Palazzo, Reginaldo

    2015-01-01

    A previously described DNA sequence generator algorithm (DNA-SGA) using error-correcting codes has been employed as a computational tool to address the evolutionary pathway of the genetic code. The code-generated sequence alignment demonstrated that a residue mutation revealed by the code can be found in the same position in sequences of distantly related taxa. Furthermore, the code-generated sequences do not promote amino acid changes in the deviant genomes through codon reassignment. A Bayesian evolutionary analysis of both code-generated and homologous sequences of the Arabidopsis thaliana malate dehydrogenase gene indicates an approximately 1 MYA divergence time from the MDH code-generated sequence node to its paralogous sequences. The DNA-SGA helps to determine the plesiomorphic state of DNA sequences because a single nucleotide alteration often occurs in distantly related taxa and can be found in the alternative codon patterns of noncanonical genetic codes. As a consequence, the algorithm may reveal an earlier stage of the evolution of the standard code. PMID:26159228

  8. Ancient DNA sequence revealed by error-correcting codes

    PubMed Central

    Brandão, Marcelo M.; Spoladore, Larissa; Faria, Luzinete C. B.; Rocha, Andréa S. L.; Silva-Filho, Marcio C.; Palazzo, Reginaldo

    2015-01-01

    A previously described DNA sequence generator algorithm (DNA-SGA) using error-correcting codes has been employed as a computational tool to address the evolutionary pathway of the genetic code. The code-generated sequence alignment demonstrated that a residue mutation revealed by the code can be found in the same position in sequences of distantly related taxa. Furthermore, the code-generated sequences do not promote amino acid changes in the deviant genomes through codon reassignment. A Bayesian evolutionary analysis of both code-generated and homologous sequences of the Arabidopsis thaliana malate dehydrogenase gene indicates an approximately 1 MYA divergence time from the MDH code-generated sequence node to its paralogous sequences. The DNA-SGA helps to determine the plesiomorphic state of DNA sequences because a single nucleotide alteration often occurs in distantly related taxa and can be found in the alternative codon patterns of noncanonical genetic codes. As a consequence, the algorithm may reveal an earlier stage of the evolution of the standard code. PMID:26159228

  9. Mitochondrial DNA of ancient Cumanians: culturally Asian steppe nomadic immigrants with substantially more western Eurasian mitochondrial DNA lineages.

    PubMed

    Bogácsi-Szabó, Erika; Kalmár, Tibor; Csányi, Bernadett; Tömöry, Gyöngyvér; Czibula, Agnes; Priskin, Katalin; Horváth, Ferenc; Downes, Christopher Stephen; Raskó, István

    2005-10-01

    The Cumanians were originally Asian pastoral nomads who in the 13th century migrated to Hungary. We have examined mitochondrial DNA from members of the earliest Cumanian population in Hungary from two archeologically well-documented excavations and from 74 modern Hungarians from different rural locations in Hungary. Haplogroups were defined based on HVS I sequences and examinations of haplogroup-associated polymorphic sites of the protein coding region and of HVS II. To exclude contamination, some ancient DNA samples were cloned. A database was created from previously published mtDNA HVS I sequences (representing 2,615 individuals from different Asian and European populations) and 74 modem Hungarian sequences from the present study. This database was used to determine the relationships between the ancient Cumanians, modern Hungarians, and Eurasian populations and to estimate the genetic distances between these populations. We attempted to deduce the genetic trace of the migration of Cumanians. This study is the first ancient DNA characterization of an eastern pastoral nomad population that migrated into Europe. The results indicate that, while still possessing a Central Asian steppe culture, the Cumanians received a large admixture of maternal genes from more westerly populations before arriving in Hungary. A similar dilution of genetic, but not cultural, factors may have accompanied the settlement of other Asian nomads in Europe. PMID:16596944

  10. Palindromic sequence artifacts generated during next generation sequencing library preparation from historic and ancient DNA.

    PubMed

    Star, Bastiaan; Nederbragt, Alexander J; Hansen, Marianne H S; Skage, Morten; Gilfillan, Gregor D; Bradbury, Ian R; Pampoulie, Christophe; Stenseth, Nils Chr; Jakobsen, Kjetill S; Jentoft, Sissel

    2014-01-01

    Degradation-specific processes and variation in laboratory protocols can bias the DNA sequence composition from samples of ancient or historic origin. Here, we identify a novel artifact in sequences from historic samples of Atlantic cod (Gadus morhua), which forms interrupted palindromes consisting of reverse complementary sequence at the 5' and 3'-ends of sequencing reads. The palindromic sequences themselves have specific properties - the bases at the 5'-end align well to the reference genome, whereas extensive misalignments exists among the bases at the terminal 3'-end. The terminal 3' bases are artificial extensions likely caused by the occurrence of hairpin loops in single stranded DNA (ssDNA), which can be ligated and amplified in particular library creation protocols. We propose that such hairpin loops allow the inclusion of erroneous nucleotides, specifically at the 3'-end of DNA strands, with the 5'-end of the same strand providing the template. We also find these palindromes in previously published ancient DNA (aDNA) datasets, albeit at varying and substantially lower frequencies. This artifact can negatively affect the yield of endogenous DNA in these types of samples and introduces sequence bias. PMID:24608104

  11. How ancient DNA may help in understanding the origin and spread of agriculture

    PubMed Central

    Brown, T. A.

    1999-01-01

    The origin and spread of agriculture have been central questions in archaeology for the last 75 years and are increasingly being addressed by a multidisciplinary approach involving biologists, ecologists, geographers and anthropologists as well as archaeologists. Molecular genetics has the potential to make an important contribution, especially by enabling the number of times that a crop or animal was domesticated to be determined. Molecular genetics can also assign approximate dates to domestication events, identify the wild progenitor of a domesticate, and provide new forms of evidence relevant to agricultural spread. With wheat, molecular genetical studies of modern plants have suggested that einkorn was domesticated just once but that emmer might have been domesticated more than once. Ancient DNA studies of animal remains have benefited from progress made with equivalent analyses of human bones, and with plant material there have been clear demonstrations of DNA preservation in desiccated seeds. Charred remains have also been shown to contain ancient DNA but this finding is unexpected in view of the high temperatures to which these seeds have supposedly been exposed. Ancient DNA studies of wheat remains have been used in taxonomic identification and in assessment of the possible bread-making quality of the wheat grown at an Early Bronze Age site in Greece.

  12. Using ancient DNA to study the origins and dispersal of ancestral Polynesian chickens across the Pacific

    PubMed Central

    Thomson, Vicki A.; Lebrasseur, Ophélie; Austin, Jeremy J.; Hunt, Terry L.; Burney, David A.; Denham, Tim; Rawlence, Nicolas J.; Wood, Jamie R.; Gongora, Jaime; Girdland Flink, Linus; Linderholm, Anna; Dobney, Keith; Larson, Greger; Cooper, Alan

    2014-01-01

    The human colonization of Remote Oceania remains one of the great feats of exploration in history, proceeding east from Asia across the vast expanse of the Pacific Ocean. Human commensal and domesticated species were widely transported as part of this diaspora, possibly as far as South America. We sequenced mitochondrial control region DNA from 122 modern and 22 ancient chicken specimens from Polynesia and Island Southeast Asia and used these together with Bayesian modeling methods to examine the human dispersal of chickens across this area. We show that specific techniques are essential to remove contaminating modern DNA from experiments, which appear to have impacted previous studies of Pacific chickens. In contrast to previous reports, we find that all ancient specimens and a high proportion of the modern chickens possess a group of unique, closely related haplotypes found only in the Pacific. This group of haplotypes appears to represent the authentic founding mitochondrial DNA chicken lineages transported across the Pacific, and allows the early dispersal of chickens across Micronesia and Polynesia to be modeled. Importantly, chickens carrying this genetic signature persist on several Pacific islands at high frequencies, suggesting that the original Polynesian chicken lineages may still survive. No early South American chicken samples have been detected with the diagnostic Polynesian mtDNA haplotypes, arguing against reports that chickens provide evidence of Polynesian contact with pre-European South America. Two modern specimens from the Philippines carry haplotypes similar to the ancient Pacific samples, providing clues about a potential homeland for the Polynesian chicken. PMID:24639505

  13. Using ancient DNA to study the origins and dispersal of ancestral Polynesian chickens across the Pacific.

    PubMed

    Thomson, Vicki A; Lebrasseur, Ophélie; Austin, Jeremy J; Hunt, Terry L; Burney, David A; Denham, Tim; Rawlence, Nicolas J; Wood, Jamie R; Gongora, Jaime; Girdland Flink, Linus; Linderholm, Anna; Dobney, Keith; Larson, Greger; Cooper, Alan

    2014-04-01

    The human colonization of Remote Oceania remains one of the great feats of exploration in history, proceeding east from Asia across the vast expanse of the Pacific Ocean. Human commensal and domesticated species were widely transported as part of this diaspora, possibly as far as South America. We sequenced mitochondrial control region DNA from 122 modern and 22 ancient chicken specimens from Polynesia and Island Southeast Asia and used these together with Bayesian modeling methods to examine the human dispersal of chickens across this area. We show that specific techniques are essential to remove contaminating modern DNA from experiments, which appear to have impacted previous studies of Pacific chickens. In contrast to previous reports, we find that all ancient specimens and a high proportion of the modern chickens possess a group of unique, closely related haplotypes found only in the Pacific. This group of haplotypes appears to represent the authentic founding mitochondrial DNA chicken lineages transported across the Pacific, and allows the early dispersal of chickens across Micronesia and Polynesia to be modeled. Importantly, chickens carrying this genetic signature persist on several Pacific islands at high frequencies, suggesting that the original Polynesian chicken lineages may still survive. No early South American chicken samples have been detected with the diagnostic Polynesian mtDNA haplotypes, arguing against reports that chickens provide evidence of Polynesian contact with pre-European South America. Two modern specimens from the Philippines carry haplotypes similar to the ancient Pacific samples, providing clues about a potential homeland for the Polynesian chicken. PMID:24639505

  14. Ancient DNA reveals matrilineal continuity in present-day Poland over the last two millennia.

    PubMed

    Juras, Anna; Dabert, Miroslawa; Kushniarevich, Alena; Malmström, Helena; Raghavan, Maanasa; Kosicki, Jakub Z; Metspalu, Ene; Willerslev, Eske; Piontek, Janusz

    2014-01-01

    While numerous ancient human DNA datasets from across Europe have been published till date, modern-day Poland in particular, remains uninvestigated. Besides application in the reconstruction of continent-wide human history, data from this region would also contribute towards our understanding of the history of the Slavs, whose origin is hypothesized to be in East or Central Europe. Here, we present the first population-scale ancient human DNA study from the region of modern-day Poland by establishing mitochondrial DNA profiles for 23 samples dated to 200 BC - 500 AD (Roman Iron Age) and for 20 samples dated to 1000-1400 AD (Medieval Age). Our results show that mitochondrial DNA sequences from both periods belong to haplogroups that are characteristic of contemporary West Eurasia. Haplotype sharing analysis indicates that majority of the ancient haplotypes are widespread in some modern Europeans, including Poles. Notably, the Roman Iron Age samples share more rare haplotypes with Central and Northeast Europeans, whereas the Medieval Age samples share more rare haplotypes with East-Central and South-East Europeans, primarily Slavic populations. Our data demonstrates genetic continuity of certain matrilineages (H5a1 and N1a1a2) in the area of present-day Poland from at least the Roman Iron Age until present. As such, the maternal gene pool of present-day Poles, Czechs and Slovaks, categorized as Western Slavs, is likely to have descended from inhabitants of East-Central Europe during the Roman Iron Age. PMID:25337992

  15. High Potential for Using DNA from Ancient Herring Bones to Inform Modern Fisheries Management and Conservation

    PubMed Central

    Speller, Camilla F.; Hauser, Lorenz; Lepofsky, Dana; Moore, Jason; Rodrigues, Antonia T.; Moss, Madonna L.; McKechnie, Iain; Yang, Dongya Y.

    2012-01-01

    Pacific herring (Clupea pallasi) are an abundant and important component of the coastal ecosystems for the west coast of North America. Current Canadian federal herring management assumes five regional herring populations in British Columbia with a high degree of exchange between units, and few distinct local populations within them. Indigenous traditional knowledge and historic sources, however, suggest that locally adapted, distinct regional herring populations may have been more prevalent in the past. Within the last century, the combined effects of commercial fishing and other anthropogenic factors have resulted in severe declines of herring populations, with contemporary populations potentially reflecting only the remnants of a previously more abundant and genetically diverse metapopulation. Through the analysis of 85 archaeological herring bones, this study attempted to reconstruct the genetic diversity and population structure of ancient herring populations using three different marker systems (mitochondrial DNA (mtDNA), microsatellites and SNPs). A high success rate (91%) of DNA recovery was obtained from the extremely small herring bone samples (often <10 mg). The ancient herring mtDNA revealed high haplotype diversity comparable to modern populations, although population discrimination was not possible due to the limited power of the mtDNA marker. Ancient microsatellite diversity was also similar to modern samples, but the data quality was compromised by large allele drop-out and stuttering. In contrast, SNPs were found to have low error rates with no evidence for deviations from Hardy-Weinberg equilibrium, and simulations indicated high power to detect genetic differentiation if loci under selection are used. This study demonstrates that SNPs may be the most effective and feasible approach to survey genetic population structure in ancient remains, and further efforts should be made to screen for high differentiation markers.This study provides the much

  16. Reconstructing ancient mitochondrial DNA links between Africa and Europe

    PubMed Central

    Cerezo, María; Achilli, Alessandro; Olivieri, Anna; Perego, Ugo A.; Gómez-Carballa, Alberto; Brisighelli, Francesca; Lancioni, Hovirag; Woodward, Scott R.; López-Soto, Manuel; Carracedo, Ángel; Capelli, Cristian; Torroni, Antonio; Salas, Antonio

    2012-01-01

    Mitochondrial DNA (mtDNA) lineages of macro-haplogroup L (excluding the derived L3 branches M and N) represent the majority of the typical sub-Saharan mtDNA variability. In Europe, these mtDNAs account for <1% of the total but, when analyzed at the level of control region, they show no signals of having evolved within the European continent, an observation that is compatible with a recent arrival from the African continent. To further evaluate this issue, we analyzed 69 mitochondrial genomes belonging to various L sublineages from a wide range of European populations. Phylogeographic analyses showed that ∼65% of the European L lineages most likely arrived in rather recent historical times, including the Romanization period, the Arab conquest of the Iberian Peninsula and Sicily, and during the period of the Atlantic slave trade. However, the remaining 35% of L mtDNAs form European-specific subclades, revealing that there was gene flow from sub-Saharan Africa toward Europe as early as 11,000 yr ago. PMID:22454235

  17. Reconstructing ancient mitochondrial DNA links between Africa and Europe.

    PubMed

    Cerezo, María; Achilli, Alessandro; Olivieri, Anna; Perego, Ugo A; Gómez-Carballa, Alberto; Brisighelli, Francesca; Lancioni, Hovirag; Woodward, Scott R; López-Soto, Manuel; Carracedo, Angel; Capelli, Cristian; Torroni, Antonio; Salas, Antonio

    2012-05-01

    Mitochondrial DNA (mtDNA) lineages of macro-haplogroup L (excluding the derived L3 branches M and N) represent the majority of the typical sub-Saharan mtDNA variability. In Europe, these mtDNAs account for <1% of the total but, when analyzed at the level of control region, they show no signals of having evolved within the European continent, an observation that is compatible with a recent arrival from the African continent. To further evaluate this issue, we analyzed 69 mitochondrial genomes belonging to various L sublineages from a wide range of European populations. Phylogeographic analyses showed that ~65% of the European L lineages most likely arrived in rather recent historical times, including the Romanization period, the Arab conquest of the Iberian Peninsula and Sicily, and during the period of the Atlantic slave trade. However, the remaining 35% of L mtDNAs form European-specific subclades, revealing that there was gene flow from sub-Saharan Africa toward Europe as early as 11,000 yr ago. PMID:22454235

  18. Non-invasive ancient DNA protocol for fluid-preserved specimens and phylogenetic systematics of the genus Orestias (Teleostei: Cyprinodontidae).

    PubMed

    Garrigos, Yareli Esquer; Hugueny, Bernard; Koerner, Kellie; Ibañez, Carla; Bonillo, Celine; Pruvost, Patrice; Causse, Romain; Cruaud, Corinne; Gaubert, Philippe

    2013-01-01

    Specimens stored in museum collections represent a crucial source of morphological and genetic information, notably for taxonomically problematic groups and extinct taxa. Although fluid-preserved specimens of groups such as teleosts may constitute an almost infinite source of DNA, few ancient DNA protocols have been applied to such material. In this study, we describe a non-invasive Guanidine-based (GuSCN) ancient DNA extraction protocol adapted to fluid-preserved specimens that we use to re-assess the systematics of the genus Orestias (Cyprinodontidae: Teleostei). The latter regroups pupfishes endemic to the inter-Andean basin that have been considered as a 'species flock', and for which the morphology-based taxonomic delimitations have been hotly debated. We extracted DNA from the type specimens of Orestias kept at the Muséum National d'Histoire Naturelle of Paris, France, including the extinct species O. cuvieri. We then built the first molecular (control region [CR] and rhodopsin [RH]) phylogeny including historical and recently collected representatives of all the Orestias complexes as recognized by Parenti (1984a): agassizii, cuvieri, gilsoni and mulleri. Our ancient DNA extraction protocol was validated after PCR amplification through an approach based on fragment-by-fragment chimera detection. After optimization, we were able to amplify < 200 bp fragments from both mitochondrial and nuclear DNA (CR and RH, respectively) from probably formalin-fixed type specimens bathed entirely in the extraction fluid. Most of the individuals exhibited few modifications of their external structures after GuSCN bath. Our approach combining type material and 'fresh' specimens allowed us to taxonomically delineate four clades recovered from the well-resolved CR tree into four redefined complexes: agassizii (sensu stricto, i.e. excluding luteus-like species), luteus, cuvieri and gilsoni. The mulleri complex is polyphyletic. Our phylogenetic analyses based on both

  19. Ancient DNA evidence for Old World origin of New World dogs.

    PubMed

    Leonard, Jennifer A; Wayne, Robert K; Wheeler, Jane; Valadez, Raúl; Guillén, Sonia; Vilà, Carles

    2002-11-22

    Mitochondrial DNA sequences isolated from ancient dog remains from Latin America and Alaska showed that native American dogs originated from multiple Old World lineages of dogs that accompanied late Pleistocene humans across the Bering Strait. One clade of dog sequences was unique to the New World, which is consistent with a period of geographic isolation. This unique clade was absent from a large sample of modern dogs, which implies that European colonists systematically discouraged the breeding of native American dogs. PMID:12446908

  20. Fossil DNA as a Recorder of Ancient Microbial Communities and Palaeoenvironments

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Coolen, M. J.; Boere, A.; Abbas, B.; Muyzer, G.; Overmann, J.; Wakeham, S. G.; Volkman, J. K.; Sinninghe Damste, J. S.

    2005-12-01

    Fossilized organic components provide an archive of ancient aquatic microbial communities and, hence, can be used to reconstruct climate-induced environmental changes and their impacts on biodiversity. However, the interpretation of these data is complicated by the limited source specificity of some traditional biomarkers, such as lipids and pigments. The ultimate biomarkers are genes encoding for ribosomal RNA (rDNA), which sequences provide information at the species level by phylogenetic comparison but until recently was only applied to identify extant species within environmental samples. With the exception of excellent preservation conditions prevailing in permafrost sediments (3), it was generally believed that DNA becomes rapidly degraded within fossil records. However, we have recently shown that especially in the presence of hydrogen sulfide, DNA can survive in the Holocene fossil record (1, 2). In this presentation we will show how, and to what extent, fossil DNA extracted from Holocene sediments of stratified lakes (the Canadian Mahoney Lake and the Antarctic Ace Lake) and the deep-sea (Black Sea) can be used as a novel proxy to reconstruct the ancient palaeodepositional environments and evolution of past microbial communities. In addition, we will discuss the fate of fossil DNA; quantitative stratigraphic analysis of lipid biomarkers and rDNA from the same biological precursors revealed information on the survival of fossil DNA in comparison to lipid biomarkers. It was shown that most of the DNA was degraded before dead cells reach the bottom but the remaining part was found to be well protected and even less prone to diagenetic alteration compared to certain lipid biomarkers. Base-pair compositions did not change during the Holocene, however, the fossil DNA became fragmented after several thousands of years of deposition but without significantly biasing the qualitative and quantitative molecular biological analysis of at least 10-ka-old fossil DNA

  1. Real-time PCR designs to estimate nuclear and mitochondrial DNA copy number in forensic and ancient DNA studies.

    PubMed

    Alonso, Antonio; Martín, Pablo; Albarrán, Cristina; García, Pilar; García, Oscar; de Simón, Lourdes Fernández; García-Hirschfeld, Julia; Sancho, Manuel; de La Rúa, Concepción; Fernández-Piqueras, Jose

    2004-01-28

    We explore different designs to estimate both nuclear and mitochondrial human DNA (mtDNA) content based on the detection of the 5' nuclease activity of the Taq DNA polymerase using fluorogenic probes and a real-time quantitative PCR detection system. Human mtDNA quantification was accomplished by monitoring the real-time progress of the PCR-amplification of two different fragment sizes (113 and 287 bp) within the hypervariable region I (HV1) of the mtDNA control region, using two fluorogenic probes to specifically determine the mtDNA copy of each fragment size category. This mtDNA real-time PCR design has been used to assess the mtDNA preservation (copy number and degradation state) of DNA samples retrieved from 500 to 1500 years old human remains that showed low copy number and highly degraded mtDNA. The quantification of nuclear DNA was achieved by real-time PCR of a segment of the X-Y homologous amelogenin (AMG) gene that allowed the simultaneous estimation of a Y-specific fragment (AMGY: 112 bp) and a X-specific fragment (AMGX: 106 bp) making possible not only haploid or diploid DNA quantitation but also sex determination. The AMG real-time PCR design has been used to quantify a set of 57 DNA samples from 4-5 years old forensic bone remains with improved sensitivity compared with the slot-blot hybridization method. The potential utility of this technology to improve the quality of some PCR-based forensic and ancient DNA studies (microsatellite typing and mtDNA sequencing) is discussed. PMID:15040907

  2. Joint Estimation of Contamination, Error and Demography for Nuclear DNA from Ancient Humans

    PubMed Central

    Slatkin, Montgomery

    2016-01-01

    When sequencing an ancient DNA sample from a hominin fossil, DNA from present-day humans involved in excavation and extraction will be sequenced along with the endogenous material. This type of contamination is problematic for downstream analyses as it will introduce a bias towards the population of the contaminating individual(s). Quantifying the extent of contamination is a crucial step as it allows researchers to account for possible biases that may arise in downstream genetic analyses. Here, we present an MCMC algorithm to co-estimate the contamination rate, sequencing error rate and demographic parameters—including drift times and admixture rates—for an ancient nuclear genome obtained from human remains, when the putative contaminating DNA comes from present-day humans. We assume we have a large panel representing the putative contaminant population (e.g. European, East Asian or African). The method is implemented in a C++ program called ‘Demographic Inference with Contamination and Error’ (DICE). We applied it to simulations and genome data from ancient Neanderthals and modern humans. With reasonable levels of genome sequence coverage (>3X), we find we can recover accurate estimates of all these parameters, even when the contamination rate is as high as 50%. PMID:27049965

  3. Joint Estimation of Contamination, Error and Demography for Nuclear DNA from Ancient Humans.

    PubMed

    Racimo, Fernando; Renaud, Gabriel; Slatkin, Montgomery

    2016-04-01

    When sequencing an ancient DNA sample from a hominin fossil, DNA from present-day humans involved in excavation and extraction will be sequenced along with the endogenous material. This type of contamination is problematic for downstream analyses as it will introduce a bias towards the population of the contaminating individual(s). Quantifying the extent of contamination is a crucial step as it allows researchers to account for possible biases that may arise in downstream genetic analyses. Here, we present an MCMC algorithm to co-estimate the contamination rate, sequencing error rate and demographic parameters-including drift times and admixture rates-for an ancient nuclear genome obtained from human remains, when the putative contaminating DNA comes from present-day humans. We assume we have a large panel representing the putative contaminant population (e.g. European, East Asian or African). The method is implemented in a C++ program called 'Demographic Inference with Contamination and Error' (DICE). We applied it to simulations and genome data from ancient Neanderthals and modern humans. With reasonable levels of genome sequence coverage (>3X), we find we can recover accurate estimates of all these parameters, even when the contamination rate is as high as 50%. PMID:27049965

  4. Using ancient DNA and coalescent-based methods to infer extinction.

    PubMed

    Chang, Dan; Shapiro, Beth

    2016-02-01

    DNA sequences extracted from preserved remains can add considerable resolution to inference of past population dynamics. For example, coalescent-based methods have been used to correlate declines in some arctic megafauna populations with habitat fragmentation during the last ice age. These methods, however, often fail to detect population declines preceding extinction, most likely owing to a combination of sparse sampling, uninformative genetic markers, and models that cannot account for the increasingly structured nature of populations as habitats decline. As ancient DNA research expands to include full-genome analyses, these data will provide greater resolution of the genomic consequences of environmental change and the genetic signatures of extinction. PMID:26864783

  5. Nondestructive sampling of human skeletal remains yields ancient nuclear and mitochondrial DNA.

    PubMed

    Bolnick, Deborah A; Bonine, Holly M; Mata-Míguez, Jaime; Kemp, Brian M; Snow, Meradeth H; LeBlanc, Steven A

    2012-02-01

    Museum curators and living communities are sometimes reluctant to permit ancient DNA (aDNA) studies of human skeletal remains because the extraction of aDNA usually requires the destruction of at least some skeletal material. Whether these views stem from a desire to conserve precious materials or an objection to destroying ancestral remains, they limit the potential of aDNA research. To help address concerns about destructive analysis and to minimize damage to valuable specimens, we describe a nondestructive method for extracting DNA from ancient human remains. This method can be used with both teeth and bone, but it preserves the structural integrity of teeth much more effectively than that of bone. Using this method, we demonstrate that it is possible to extract both mitochondrial and nuclear DNA from human remains dating between 300 BC and 1600 AD. Importantly, the method does not expose the remains to hazardous chemicals, allowing them to be safely returned to curators, custodians, and/or owners of the samples. We successfully amplified mitochondrial DNA from 90% of the individuals tested, and we were able to analyze 1-9 nuclear loci in 70% of individuals. We also show that repeated nondestructive extractions from the same tooth can yield amplifiable mitochondrial and nuclear DNA. The high success rate of this method and its ability to yield DNA from samples spanning a wide geographic and temporal range without destroying the structural integrity of the sampled material may make possible the genetic study of skeletal collections that are not available for destructive analysis. PMID:22183740

  6. Ancient and modern DNA reveal dynamics of domestication and cross-continental dispersal of the dromedary.

    PubMed

    Almathen, Faisal; Charruau, Pauline; Mohandesan, Elmira; Mwacharo, Joram M; Orozco-terWengel, Pablo; Pitt, Daniel; Abdussamad, Abdussamad M; Uerpmann, Margarethe; Uerpmann, Hans-Peter; De Cupere, Bea; Magee, Peter; Alnaqeeb, Majed A; Salim, Bashir; Raziq, Abdul; Dessie, Tadelle; Abdelhadi, Omer M; Banabazi, Mohammad H; Al-Eknah, Marzook; Walzer, Chris; Faye, Bernard; Hofreiter, Michael; Peters, Joris; Hanotte, Olivier; Burger, Pamela A

    2016-06-14

    Dromedaries have been fundamental to the development of human societies in arid landscapes and for long-distance trade across hostile hot terrains for 3,000 y. Today they continue to be an important livestock resource in marginal agro-ecological zones. However, the history of dromedary domestication and the influence of ancient trading networks on their genetic structure have remained elusive. We combined ancient DNA sequences of wild and early-domesticated dromedary samples from arid regions with nuclear microsatellite and mitochondrial genotype information from 1,083 extant animals collected across the species' range. We observe little phylogeographic signal in the modern population, indicative of extensive gene flow and virtually affecting all regions except East Africa, where dromedary populations have remained relatively isolated. In agreement with archaeological findings, we identify wild dromedaries from the southeast Arabian Peninsula among the founders of the domestic dromedary gene pool. Approximate Bayesian computations further support the "restocking from the wild" hypothesis, with an initial domestication followed by introgression from individuals from wild, now-extinct populations. Compared with other livestock, which show a long history of gene flow with their wild ancestors, we find a high initial diversity relative to the native distribution of the wild ancestor on the Arabian Peninsula and to the brief coexistence of early-domesticated and wild individuals. This study also demonstrates the potential to retrieve ancient DNA sequences from osseous remains excavated in hot and dry desert environments. PMID:27162355

  7. Molecular studies on ancient M. tuberculosis and M. leprae: methods of pathogen and host DNA analysis.

    PubMed

    Witas, H W; Donoghue, H D; Kubiak, D; Lewandowska, M; Gładykowska-Rzeczycka, J J

    2015-09-01

    Humans have evolved alongside infectious diseases for millennia. Despite the efforts to reduce their incidence, infectious diseases still pose a tremendous threat to the world population. Fast development of molecular techniques and increasing risk of new epidemics have resulted in several studies that look to the past in order to investigate the origin and evolution of infectious diseases. Tuberculosis and leprosy have become frequent targets of such studies, owing to the persistence of their molecular biomarkers in ancient material and the characteristic skeletal lesions each disease may cause. This review examines the molecular methods used to screen for the presence of M. tuberculosis and M. leprae ancient DNA (aDNA) and their differentiation in ancient human remains. Examples of recent studies, mainly from Europe, that employ the newest techniques of molecular analysis are also described. Moreover, we present a specific approach based on assessing the likely immunological profile of historic populations, in order to further elucidate the influence of M. tuberculosis and M. leprae on historical human populations. PMID:26210385

  8. Highly Informative Ancient DNA ‘Snippets’ for New Zealand Moa

    PubMed Central

    McCallum, Jonathan; Hall, Samantha; Lissone, Iman; Anderson, Jennifer; Huynen, Leon; Lambert, David M.

    2013-01-01

    Background Analysis of ancient DNA has provided invaluable information on past ecologies, ancient populations, and extinct species. We used a short snippet of highly variable mitochondrial control region sequence from New Zealand’s moa to characterise a large number of bones previously intractable to DNA analysis as well as bone fragments from swamps to gain information about the haplotype diversity and phylogeography that existed in five moa species. Methodology/Principal Findings By targeting such ‘snippets’, we show that moa populations differed substantially in geographic structure that is likely to be related to population mobility and history. We show that populations of Pachyornis geranoides, Dinornis novaezealandiae, and Dinornis robustus were highly structured and some appear to have occupied the same geographic location for hundreds of thousands of years. In contrast, populations of the moa Anomalopteryx didiformis and Euryapteryx curtus were widespread, with specific populations of the latter occupying both the North and South Islands of New Zealand. We further show that for a specific area, in this case a North Island swamp, complete haplotype diversity and even sex can be recovered from collections of small, often discarded, bone fragments. Conclusions/Significance Short highly variable mitochondrial ‘snippets’ allow successful typing of environmentally damaged and fragmented skeletal material, and can provide useful information about ancient population diversity and structure without the need to sample valuable, whole bones often held by museums. PMID:23341875

  9. Ancient pathogen DNA in archaeological samples detected with a Microbial Detection Array.

    PubMed

    Devault, Alison M; McLoughlin, Kevin; Jaing, Crystal; Gardner, Shea; Porter, Teresita M; Enk, Jacob M; Thissen, James; Allen, Jonathan; Borucki, Monica; DeWitte, Sharon N; Dhody, Anna N; Poinar, Hendrik N

    2014-01-01

    Ancient human remains of paleopathological interest typically contain highly degraded DNA in which pathogenic taxa are often minority components, making sequence-based metagenomic characterization costly. Microarrays may hold a potential solution to these challenges, offering a rapid, affordable, and highly informative snapshot of microbial diversity in complex samples without the lengthy analysis and/or high cost associated with high-throughput sequencing. Their versatility is well established for modern clinical specimens, but they have yet to be applied to ancient remains. Here we report bacterial profiles of archaeological and historical human remains using the Lawrence Livermore Microbial Detection Array (LLMDA). The array successfully identified previously-verified bacterial human pathogens, including Vibrio cholerae (cholera) in a 19th century intestinal specimen and Yersinia pestis ("Black Death" plague) in a medieval tooth, which represented only minute fractions (0.03% and 0.08% alignable high-throughput shotgun sequencing reads) of their respective DNA content. This demonstrates that the LLMDA can identify primary and/or co-infecting bacterial pathogens in ancient samples, thereby serving as a rapid and inexpensive paleopathological screening tool to study health across both space and time. PMID:24603850

  10. Ancient and modern DNA reveal dynamics of domestication and cross-continental dispersal of the dromedary

    PubMed Central

    Almathen, Faisal; Charruau, Pauline; Mohandesan, Elmira; Mwacharo, Joram M.; Orozco-terWengel, Pablo; Pitt, Daniel; Abdussamad, Abdussamad M.; Uerpmann, Margarethe; Uerpmann, Hans-Peter; De Cupere, Bea; Magee, Peter; Alnaqeeb, Majed A.; Salim, Bashir; Raziq, Abdul; Dessie, Tadelle; Abdelhadi, Omer M.; Banabazi, Mohammad H.; Al-Eknah, Marzook; Walzer, Chris; Faye, Bernard; Hofreiter, Michael; Peters, Joris; Hanotte, Olivier

    2016-01-01

    Dromedaries have been fundamental to the development of human societies in arid landscapes and for long-distance trade across hostile hot terrains for 3,000 y. Today they continue to be an important livestock resource in marginal agro-ecological zones. However, the history of dromedary domestication and the influence of ancient trading networks on their genetic structure have remained elusive. We combined ancient DNA sequences of wild and early-domesticated dromedary samples from arid regions with nuclear microsatellite and mitochondrial genotype information from 1,083 extant animals collected across the species’ range. We observe little phylogeographic signal in the modern population, indicative of extensive gene flow and virtually affecting all regions except East Africa, where dromedary populations have remained relatively isolated. In agreement with archaeological findings, we identify wild dromedaries from the southeast Arabian Peninsula among the founders of the domestic dromedary gene pool. Approximate Bayesian computations further support the “restocking from the wild” hypothesis, with an initial domestication followed by introgression from individuals from wild, now-extinct populations. Compared with other livestock, which show a long history of gene flow with their wild ancestors, we find a high initial diversity relative to the native distribution of the wild ancestor on the Arabian Peninsula and to the brief coexistence of early-domesticated and wild individuals. This study also demonstrates the potential to retrieve ancient DNA sequences from osseous remains excavated in hot and dry desert environments. PMID:27162355

  11. Ancient mitochondrial DNA from Malaysian hair samples: some indications of Southeast Asian population movements.

    PubMed

    Ricaut, François-X; Bellatti, M; Lahr, Marta Mirazon

    2006-01-01

    The late Pleistocene and early Holocene population history of Southeast Asia is not well-known. Our study provides new data on mitochondrial DNA (mtDNA) lineages of the aboriginal inhabitants of the Malay Peninsula, and through an extensive comparison to the known mtDNA diversity in Southeast and East Asia, provides some new insights into the origins and historical geography of certain mtDNA lineages in the region. We extracted DNA from hair samples (dating back 100 years) preserved in the Duckworth Collection and belonging to two Peninsular Malaysian individuals identified as "Negrito." Ancient DNA was analyzed by sequencing hypervariable region I (HVS-I) of the mtDNA control region and the mtDNA region V length polymorphism. The results show that the maternal lineages of these individuals belong to a recently defined haplogroup B sub-branch called B4c2. A comparison of mitochondrial haplotypes and haplogroups with those of 10,349 East Asian individuals indicates their very restricted geographical distribution (southwestern China, Southeast Asia Peninsula, and Indonesia). Recalculation of the B4c2 age across all of East Asia ( approximately 13,000 years) and in different subregions/populations suggests its rapid diffusion in Southeast Asia between the end of the Last Glacial Maximum and the Neolithic expansion of the Holocene. PMID:16917897

  12. News from the west: ancient DNA from a French megalithic burial chamber.

    PubMed

    Deguilloux, Marie-France; Soler, Ludovic; Pemonge, Marie-Hélène; Scarre, Chris; Joussaume, Roger; Laporte, Luc

    2011-01-01

    Recent paleogenetic studies have confirmed that the spread of the Neolithic across Europe was neither genetically nor geographically uniform. To extend existing knowledge of the mitochondrial European Neolithic gene pool, we examined six samples of human skeletal material from a French megalithic long mound (c.4200 cal BC). We retrieved HVR-I sequences from three individuals and demonstrated that in the Neolithic period the mtDNA haplogroup N1a, previously only known in central Europe, was as widely distributed as western France. Alternative scenarios are discussed in seeking to explain this result, including Mesolithic ancestry, Neolithic demic diffusion, and long-distance matrimonial exchanges. In light of the limited Neolithic ancient DNA (aDNA) data currently available, we observe that all three scenarios appear equally consistent with paleogenetic and archaeological data. In consequence, we advocate caution in interpreting aDNA in the context of the Neolithic transition in Europe. Nevertheless, our results strengthen conclusions demonstrating genetic discontinuity between modern and ancient Europeans whether through migration, demographic or selection processes, or social practices. PMID:20717990

  13. The Characterization of Helicobacter pylori DNA Associated with Ancient Human Remains Recovered from a Canadian Glacier

    PubMed Central

    Swanston, Treena; Haakensen, Monique; Deneer, Harry; Walker, Ernest G.

    2011-01-01

    Helicobacter pylori is a gram-negative bacterium that colonizes the stomach of nearly half of the world's population. Genotypic characterization of H. pylori strains involves the analysis of virulence-associated genes, such as vacA, which has multiple alleles. Previous phylogenetic analyses have revealed a connection between modern H. pylori strains and the movement of ancient human populations. In this study, H. pylori DNA was amplified from the stomach tissue of the Kwäday Dän Ts'ìnchi individual. This ancient individual was recovered from the Samuel Glacier in Tatshenshini-Alsek Park, British Columbia, Canada on the traditional territory of the Champagne and Aishihik First Nations and radiocarbon dated to a timeframe of approximately AD 1670 to 1850. This is the first ancient H. pylori strain to be characterized with vacA sequence data. The Tatshenshini H. pylori strain has a potential hybrid vacA m2a/m1d middle (m) region allele and a vacA s2 signal (s) region allele. A vacA s2 allele is more commonly identified with Western strains, and this suggests that European strains were present in northwestern Canada during the ancient individual's time. Phylogenetic analysis indicated that the vacA m1d region of the ancient strain clusters with previously published novel Native American strains that are closely related to Asian strains. This indicates a past connection between the Kwäday Dän Ts'ìnchi individual and the ancestors who arrived in the New World thousands of years ago. PMID:21359221

  14. Ancient DNA Analysis Affirms the Canid from Altai as a Primitive Dog

    PubMed Central

    Trifonov, Vladimir A.; Leonard, Jennifer A.; Vorobieva, Nadezhda V.; Ovodov, Nikolai D.; Graphodatsky, Alexander S.; Wayne, Robert K.

    2013-01-01

    The origin of domestic dogs remains controversial, with genetic data indicating a separation between modern dogs and wolves in the Late Pleistocene. However, only a few dog-like fossils are found prior to the Last Glacial Maximum, and it is widely accepted that the dog domestication predates the beginning of agriculture about 10,000 years ago. In order to evaluate the genetic relationship of one of the oldest dogs, we have isolated ancient DNA from the recently described putative 33,000-year old Pleistocene dog from Altai and analysed 413 nucleotides of the mitochondrial control region. Our analyses reveal that the unique haplotype of the Altai dog is more closely related to modern dogs and prehistoric New World canids than it is to contemporary wolves. Further genetic analyses of ancient canids may reveal a more exact date and centre of domestication. PMID:23483925

  15. SL1 RNA gene recovery from Enterobius vermicularis ancient DNA in pre-Columbian human coprolites.

    PubMed

    Iñiguez, Alena Mayo; Reinhard, Karl; Carvalho Gonçalves, Marcelo Luiz; Ferreira, Luiz Fernando; Araújo, Adauto; Paulo Vicente, Ana Carolina

    2006-11-01

    Enterobius vermicularis, pinworm, is one of the most common helminths worldwide, infecting nearly a billion people at all socio-economic levels. In prehistoric populations the paleoparasitological findings show a pinworm homogeneous distribution among hunter-gatherers in North America, intensified with the advent of agriculture. This same increase also occurred in the transition from nomad hunter-gatherers to sedentary farmers in South America, although E. vermicularis infection encompasses only the ancient Andean peoples, with no record among the pre-Colombian populations in the South American lowlands. However, the outline of pinworm paleoepidemiology has been supported by microscopic finding of eggs recovered from coprolites. Since molecular techniques are precise and sensitive in detecting pathogen ancient DNA (aDNA), and also could provide insights into the parasite evolutionary history, in this work we have performed a molecular paleoparasitological study of E. vermicularis. aDNA was recovered and pinworm 5S rRNA spacer sequences were determined from pre-Columbian coprolites (4110 BC-AD 900) from four different North and South American archaeological sites. The sequence analysis confirmed E. vermicularis identity and revealed a similarity among ancient and modern sequences. Moreover, polymorphisms were identified at the relative positions 160, 173 and 180, in independent coprolite samples from Tulán, San Pedro de Atacama, Chile (1080-950 BC). We also verified the presence of peculiarities (Splicing leader (SL1) RNA sequence, spliced donor site, the Sm antigen biding site, and RNA secondary structure) which characterise the SL1 RNA gene. The analysis shows that the SL1 RNA gene of contemporary pinworms was present in pre-Columbian E. vermicularis by 6110 years ago. We were successful in detecting E. vermicularis aDNA even in coprolites without direct microscopic evidence of the eggs, improving the diagnosis of helminth infections in the past and further

  16. Ancient DNA Reveals Matrilineal Continuity in Present-Day Poland over the Last Two Millennia

    PubMed Central

    Juras, Anna; Dabert, Miroslawa; Kushniarevich, Alena; Malmström, Helena; Raghavan, Maanasa; Kosicki, Jakub Z.; Metspalu, Ene; Willerslev, Eske; Piontek, Janusz

    2014-01-01

    While numerous ancient human DNA datasets from across Europe have been published till date, modern-day Poland in particular, remains uninvestigated. Besides application in the reconstruction of continent-wide human history, data from this region would also contribute towards our understanding of the history of the Slavs, whose origin is hypothesized to be in East or Central Europe. Here, we present the first population-scale ancient human DNA study from the region of modern-day Poland by establishing mitochondrial DNA profiles for 23 samples dated to 200 BC – 500 AD (Roman Iron Age) and for 20 samples dated to 1000–1400 AD (Medieval Age). Our results show that mitochondrial DNA sequences from both periods belong to haplogroups that are characteristic of contemporary West Eurasia. Haplotype sharing analysis indicates that majority of the ancient haplotypes are widespread in some modern Europeans, including Poles. Notably, the Roman Iron Age samples share more rare haplotypes with Central and Northeast Europeans, whereas the Medieval Age samples share more rare haplotypes with East-Central and South-East Europeans, primarily Slavic populations. Our data demonstrates genetic continuity of certain matrilineages (H5a1 and N1a1a2) in the area of present-day Poland from at least the Roman Iron Age until present. As such, the maternal gene pool of present-day Poles, Czechs and Slovaks, categorized as Western Slavs, is likely to have descended from inhabitants of East-Central Europe during the Roman Iron Age. PMID:25337992

  17. Plastid DNA sequencing and nuclear SNP genotyping help resolve the puzzle of central American Platanus

    PubMed Central

    De Castro, Olga; Di Maio, Antonietta; Lozada García, José Armando; Piacenti, Danilo; Vázquez-Torres, Mario; De Luca, Paolo

    2013-01-01

    Background and Aims Recent research on the history of Platanus reveals that hybridization phenomena occurred in the central American species. This study has two goals: to help resolve the evolutive puzzle of central American Platanus, and to test the potential of real-time polymerase chain reaction (PCR) for detecting ancient hybridization. Methods Sequencing of a uniparental plastid DNA marker [psbA-trnH(GUG) intergenic spacer] and qualitative and quantitative single nucleotide polymorphism (SNP) genotyping of biparental nuclear ribosomal DNA (nrDNA) markers [LEAFY intron 2 (LFY-i2) and internal transcribed spacer 2 (ITS2)] were used. Key Results Based on the SNP genotyping results, several Platanus accessions show the presence of hybridization/introgression, including some accessions of P. rzedowskii and of P. mexicana var. interior and one of P. mexicana var. mexicana from Oaxaca (= P. oaxacana). Based on haplotype analyses of the psbA-trnH spacer, five haplotypes were detected. The most common of these is present in taxa belonging to P. orientalis, P. racemosa sensu lato, some accessions of P. occidentalis sensu stricto (s.s.) from Texas, P. occidentalis var. palmeri, P. mexicana s.s. and P. rzedowskii. This is highly relevant to genetic relationships with the haplotypes present in P. occidentalis s.s. and P. mexicana var. interior. Conclusions Hybridization and introgression events between lineages ancestral to modern central and eastern North American Platanus species occurred. Plastid haplotypes and qualitative and quantitative SNP genotyping provide information critical for understanding the complex history of Mexican Platanus. Compared with the usual molecular techniques of sub-cloning, sequencing and genotyping, real-time PCR assay is a quick and sensitive technique for analysing complex evolutionary patterns. PMID:23798602

  18. Ancient DNA in historical parchments - identifying a procedure for extraction and amplification of genetic material.

    PubMed

    Lech, T

    2016-01-01

    Historical parchments in the form of documents, manuscripts, books, or letters, make up a large portion of cultural heritage collections. Their priceless historical value is associated with not only their content, but also the information hidden in the DNA deposited on them. Analyses of ancient DNA (aDNA) retrieved from parchments can be used in various investigations, including, but not limited to, studying their authentication, tracing the development of the culture, diplomacy, and technology, as well as obtaining information on the usage and domestication of animals. This article proposes and verifies a procedure for aDNA recovery from historical parchments and its appropriate preparation for further analyses. This study involved experimental selection of an aDNA extraction method with the highest efficiency and quality of extracted genetic material, from among the multi-stage phenol-chloroform extraction methods, and the modern, column-based techniques that use selective DNA-binding membranes. Moreover, current techniques to amplify entire genetic material were questioned, and the possibility of using mitochondrial DNA for species identification was analyzed. The usefulness of the proposed procedure was successfully confirmed in identification tests of historical parchments dating back to the 13-16th century AD. PMID:27173330

  19. Absence of ancient DNA in sub-fossil insect inclusions preserved in 'Anthropocene' Colombian copal.

    PubMed

    Penney, David; Wadsworth, Caroline; Fox, Graeme; Kennedy, Sandra L; Preziosi, Richard F; Brown, Terence A

    2013-01-01

    Insects preserved in copal, the sub-fossilized resin precursor of amber, have potential value in molecular ecological studies of recently-extinct species and of extant species that have never been collected as living specimens. The objective of the work reported in this paper was therefore to determine if ancient DNA is present in insects preserved in copal. We prepared DNA libraries from two stingless bees (Apidae: Meliponini: Trigonisca ameliae) preserved in 'Anthropocene' Colombian copal, dated to 'post-Bomb' and 10,612±62 cal yr BP, respectively, and obtained sequence reads using the GS Junior 454 System. Read numbers were low, but were significantly higher for DNA extracts prepared from crushed insects compared with extracts obtained by a non-destructive method. The younger specimen yielded sequence reads up to 535 nucleotides in length, but searches of these sequences against the nucleotide database revealed very few significant matches. None of these hits was to stingless bees though one read of 97 nucleotides aligned with two non-contiguous segments of the mitochondrial cytochrome oxidase subunit I gene of the East Asia bumblebee Bombus hypocrita. The most significant hit was for 452 nucleotides of a 470-nucleotide read that aligned with part of the genome of the root-nodulating bacterium Bradyrhizobium japonicum. The other significant hits were to proteobacteria and an actinomycete. Searches directed specifically at Apidae nucleotide sequences only gave short and insignificant alignments. All of the reads from the older specimen appeared to be artefacts. We were therefore unable to obtain any convincing evidence for the preservation of ancient DNA in either of the two copal inclusions that we studied, and conclude that DNA is not preserved in this type of material. Our results raise further doubts about claims of DNA extraction from fossil insects in amber, many millions of years older than copal. PMID:24039876

  20. Monitoring DNA Contamination in Handled vs. Directly Excavated Ancient Human Skeletal Remains

    PubMed Central

    Pilli, Elena; Modi, Alessandra; Serpico, Ciro; Achilli, Alessandro; Lancioni, Hovirag; Lippi, Barbara; Bertoldi, Francesca; Gelichi, Sauro; Lari, Martina; Caramelli, David

    2013-01-01

    Bones, teeth and hair are often the only physical evidence of human or animal presence at an archaeological site; they are also the most widely used sources of samples for ancient DNA (aDNA) analysis. Unfortunately, the DNA extracted from ancient samples, already scarce and highly degraded, is widely susceptible to exogenous contaminations that can affect the reliability of aDNA studies. We evaluated the molecular effects of sample handling on five human skeletons freshly excavated from a cemetery dated between the 11 to the 14th century. We collected specimens from several skeletal areas (teeth, ribs, femurs and ulnas) from each individual burial. We then divided the samples into two different sets: one labeled as “virgin samples” (i.e. samples that were taken by archaeologists under contamination-controlled conditions and then immediately sent to the laboratory for genetic analyses), and the second called “lab samples”(i.e. samples that were handled without any particular precautions and subject to normal washing, handling and measuring procedures in the osteological lab). Our results show that genetic profiles from “lab samples” are incomplete or ambiguous in the different skeletal areas while a different outcome is observed in the “virgin samples” set. Generally, all specimens from different skeletal areas in the exception of teeth present incongruent results between “lab” and “virgin” samples. Therefore teeth are less prone to contamination than the other skeletal areas we analyzed and may be considered a material of choice for classical aDNA studies. In addition, we showed that bones can also be a good candidate for human aDNA analysis if they come directly from the excavation site and are accompanied by a clear taphonomic history. PMID:23372650

  1. Contesting the presence of wheat in the British Isles 8,000 years ago by assessing ancient DNA authenticity from low-coverage data.

    PubMed

    Weiß, Clemens L; Dannemann, Michael; Prüfer, Kay; Burbano, Hernán A

    2015-01-01

    Contamination with exogenous DNA is a constant hazard to ancient DNA studies, since their validity greatly depend on the ancient origin of the retrieved sequences. Since contamination occurs sporadically, it is fundamental to show positive evidence for the authenticity of ancient DNA sequences even when preventive measures to avoid contamination are implemented. Recently the presence of wheat in the United Kingdom 8000 years before the present has been reported based on an analysis of sedimentary ancient DNA (Smith et al. 2015). Smith et al. did not present any positive evidence for the authenticity of their results due to the small number of sequencing reads that were confidently assigned to wheat. We developed a computational method that compares postmortem damage patterns of a test dataset with bona fide ancient and modern DNA. We applied this test to the putative wheat DNA and find that these reads are most likely not of ancient origin. PMID:26525598

  2. Coral's chilling tale: Ancient reefs may resolve an ice-age paradox

    SciTech Connect

    Monastersky, R.

    1994-02-19

    At the end of the Pleistocene epoch, the peak of the last ice age, the land that would become New York City lay hidden beneath a sheet of ice more than twice the height of the Empire State Building. However, researchers have found contradictory evidence about how the low latitudes fared during the ice age. Deep sea sediments seem to indicate that the tropical seas weathered the glacial epoch with remarkable stability while the continental record indicates evidence of marked cooling. This discrepancy is a problem for climate researchers because it raises the possibility that climate models may lack a critical element that will hinder their ability to accurately predict future changes. However, studies of an ancient coral species may help. The coral occasionally incorporates strontium into its shell, a situation which occurs more frequently in cold water. Looking at the ratio of strontium to calcium in coral, researchers have proposed that the surface waters off Barbados were 5[degree]C colder than today. The article discusses the scientific debate set off by this finding.

  3. Ancient DNA from giant extinct lemurs confirms single origin of Malagasy primates.

    PubMed

    Karanth, K Praveen; Delefosse, Thomas; Rakotosamimanana, Berthe; Parsons, Thomas J; Yoder, Anne D

    2005-04-01

    The living Malagasy lemurs constitute a spectacular radiation of >50 species that are believed to have evolved from a common ancestor that colonized Madagascar in the early Tertiary period. Yet, at least 15 additional Malagasy primate species, some of which were relative giants, succumbed to extinction within the past 2,000 years. Their existence in Madagascar is recorded predominantly in its Holocene subfossil record. To rigorously test the hypothesis that all endemic Malagasy primates constitute a monophyletic group and to determine the evolutionary relationships among living and extinct taxa, we have conducted an ancient DNA analysis of subfossil species. A total of nine subfossil individuals from the extinct genera Palaeopropithecus and Megaladapis yielded amplifiable DNA. Phylogenetic analysis of cytochrome b sequences derived from these subfossils corroborates the monophyly of endemic Malagasy primates. Our results support the close relationship of sloth lemurs to living indriids, as has been hypothesized on morphological grounds. In contrast, Megaladapis does not show a sister-group relationship with the living genus Lepilemur. Thus, the classification of the latter in the family Megaladapidae is misleading. By correlating the geographic location of subfossil specimens with relative amplification success, we reconfirm the global trend of increased success rates of ancient DNA recovery from nontropical localities. PMID:15784742

  4. Investigating the Global Dispersal of Chickens in Prehistory Using Ancient Mitochondrial DNA Signatures

    PubMed Central

    Storey, Alice A.; Athens, J. Stephen; Bryant, David; Carson, Mike; Emery, Kitty; deFrance, Susan; Higham, Charles; Huynen, Leon; Intoh, Michiko; Jones, Sharyn; Kirch, Patrick V.; Ladefoged, Thegn; McCoy, Patrick; Morales-Muñiz, Arturo; Quiroz, Daniel; Reitz, Elizabeth; Robins, Judith; Walter, Richard; Matisoo-Smith, Elizabeth

    2012-01-01

    Data from morphology, linguistics, history, and archaeology have all been used to trace the dispersal of chickens from Asian domestication centers to their current global distribution. Each provides a unique perspective which can aid in the reconstruction of prehistory. This study expands on previous investigations by adding a temporal component from ancient DNA and, in some cases, direct dating of bones of individual chickens from a variety of sites in Europe, the Pacific, and the Americas. The results from the ancient DNA analyses of forty-eight archaeologically derived chicken bones provide support for archaeological hypotheses about the prehistoric human transport of chickens. Haplogroup E mtDNA signatures have been amplified from directly dated samples originating in Europe at 1000 B.P. and in the Pacific at 3000 B.P. indicating multiple prehistoric dispersals from a single Asian centre. These two dispersal pathways converged in the Americas where chickens were introduced both by Polynesians and later by Europeans. The results of this study also highlight the inappropriate application of the small stretch of D-loop, traditionally amplified for use in phylogenetic studies, to understanding discrete episodes of chicken translocation in the past. The results of this study lead to the proposal of four hypotheses which will require further scrutiny and rigorous future testing. PMID:22848352

  5. Bottleneck effects on the sika deer Cervus nippon population in Hokkaido, revealed by ancient DNA analysis.

    PubMed

    Nabata, Daichi; Masuda, Ryuichi; Takahashi, Osamu; Nagata, Junco

    2004-04-01

    The population size of the sika deer Cervus nippon on Hokkaido Island of Japan had been remarkably reduced because of heavy hunting pressure since the beginning of Meiji Period and effects of heavy snow in 1879 and 1881. After that, the number of sika deer in Hokkaido has increased gradually due to the protection by the Hokkaido government. In the present study, in order to investigate the bottleneck effects, we analyzed ancient mitochondrial DNA (mtDNA) on sika deer bones excavated from archaeological sites just before Meiji Period. On 86 of 113 bones from 13 archaeological sites of Ainu Culture Period (17-19th centuries), 602 base-pair fragments of the mtDNA control region were successfully sequenced. Consequently, we found three new haplotypes (g-, h- and i-types) which had not been identified in modern sika deer. In addition, four haplotypes (a-, b-, c- and d-types) identified from modern sika deer were also found in the archaeological deer. The new haplotypes and previously reported hapoltypes from sika deer of Hokkaido were phylogenetically much closer to each other, compared with those of modern sika deer from Honshu, Kyushu and the Chinese continent. Geographical distribution patterns of haplotypes of the ancient population were different from those of the modern population in Hokkaido. Our findings indicated that their genetic diversity was reduced through the bottleneck and that population structures of sika deer were changed widely in Hokkaido due to genetic drift. PMID:15118235

  6. Ancient DNA from giant extinct lemurs confirms single origin of Malagasy primates

    PubMed Central

    Karanth, K. Praveen; Delefosse, Thomas; Rakotosamimanana, Berthe; Parsons, Thomas J.; Yoder, Anne D.

    2005-01-01

    The living Malagasy lemurs constitute a spectacular radiation of >50 species that are believed to have evolved from a common ancestor that colonized Madagascar in the early Tertiary period. Yet, at least 15 additional Malagasy primate species, some of which were relative giants, succumbed to extinction within the past 2,000 years. Their existence in Madagascar is recorded predominantly in its Holocene subfossil record. To rigorously test the hypothesis that all endemic Malagasy primates constitute a monophyletic group and to determine the evolutionary relationships among living and extinct taxa, we have conducted an ancient DNA analysis of subfossil species. A total of nine subfossil individuals from the extinct genera Palaeopropithecus and Megaladapis yielded amplifiable DNA. Phylogenetic analysis of cytochrome b sequences derived from these subfossils corroborates the monophyly of endemic Malagasy primates. Our results support the close relationship of sloth lemurs to living indriids, as has been hypothesized on morphological grounds. In contrast, Megaladapis does not show a sister-group relationship with the living genus Lepilemur. Thus, the classification of the latter in the family Megaladapidae is misleading. By correlating the geographic location of subfossil specimens with relative amplification success, we reconfirm the global trend of increased success rates of ancient DNA recovery from nontropical localities. PMID:15784742

  7. Mitochondrial DNA Variation, but Not Nuclear DNA, Sharply Divides Morphologically Identical Chameleons along an Ancient Geographic Barrier

    PubMed Central

    Zilka, Yael; Ovadia, Ofer; Bouskila, Amos; Mishmar, Dan

    2012-01-01

    The Levant is an important migration bridge, harboring border-zones between Afrotropical and palearctic species. Accordingly, Chameleo chameleon, a common species throughout the Mediterranean basin, is morphologically divided in the southern Levant (Israel) into two subspecies, Chamaeleo chamaeleon recticrista (CCR) and C. c. musae (CCM). CCR mostly inhabits the Mediterranean climate (northern Israel), while CCM inhabits the sands of the north-western Negev Desert (southern Israel). AFLP analysis of 94 geographically well dispersed specimens indicated moderate genetic differentiation (PhiPT = 0.097), consistent with the classical division into the two subspecies, CCR and CCM. In contrast, sequence analysis of a 637 bp coding mitochondrial DNA (mtDNA) fragment revealed two distinct phylogenetic clusters which were not consistent with the morphological division: one mtDNA cluster consisted of CCR specimens collected in regions northern of the Jezreel Valley and another mtDNA cluster harboring specimens pertaining to both the CCR and CCM subspecies but collected southern of the Jezreel Valley. AMOVA indicated clear mtDNA differentiation between specimens collected northern and southern to the Jezreel Valley (PhiPT = 0.79), which was further supported by a very low coalescent-based estimate of effective migration rates. Whole chameleon mtDNA sequencing (∼17,400 bp) generated from 11 well dispersed geographic locations revealed 325 mutations sharply differentiating the two mtDNA clusters, suggesting a long allopatric history further supported by BEAST. This separation correlated temporally with the existence of an at least 1 million year old marine barrier at the Jezreel Valley exactly where the mtDNA clusters meet. We discuss possible involvement of gender-dependent life history differences in maintaining such mtDNA genetic differentiation and suggest that it reflects (ancient) local adaptation to mitochondrial-related traits. PMID:22457709

  8. Use of ancient sedimentary DNA as a novel conservation tool for high-altitude tropical biodiversity.

    PubMed

    Boessenkool, Sanne; McGlynn, Gayle; Epp, Laura S; Taylor, David; Pimentel, Manuel; Gizaw, Abel; Nemomissa, Sileshi; Brochmann, Christian; Popp, Magnus

    2014-04-01

    Conservation of biodiversity may in the future increasingly depend upon the availability of scientific information to set suitable restoration targets. In traditional paleoecology, sediment-based pollen provides a means to define preanthropogenic impact conditions, but problems in establishing the exact provenance and ecologically meaningful levels of taxonomic resolution of the evidence are limiting. We explored the extent to which the use of sedimentary ancient DNA (sedaDNA) may complement pollen data in reconstructing past alpine environments in the tropics. We constructed a record of afro-alpine plants retrieved from DNA preserved in sediment cores from 2 volcanic crater sites in the Albertine Rift, eastern Africa. The record extended well beyond the onset of substantial anthropogenic effects on tropical mountains. To ensure high-quality taxonomic inference from the sedaDNA sequences, we built an extensive DNA reference library covering the majority of the afro-alpine flora, by sequencing DNA from taxonomically verified specimens. Comparisons with pollen records from the same sediment cores showed that plant diversity recovered with sedaDNA improved vegetation reconstructions based on pollen records by revealing both additional taxa and providing increased taxonomic resolution. Furthermore, combining the 2 measures assisted in distinguishing vegetation change at different geographic scales; sedaDNA almost exclusively reflects local vegetation, whereas pollen can potentially originate from a wide area that in highlands in particular can span several ecozones. Our results suggest that sedaDNA may provide information on restoration targets and the nature and magnitude of human-induced environmental changes, including in high conservation priority, biodiversity hotspots, where understanding of preanthropogenic impact (or reference) conditions is highly limited. PMID:24372820

  9. Establishing the validity of domestication genes using DNA from ancient chickens

    PubMed Central

    Girdland Flink, Linus; Allen, Richard; Barnett, Ross; Malmström, Helena; Peters, Joris; Eriksson, Jonas; Andersson, Leif; Dobney, Keith

    2014-01-01

    Modern domestic plants and animals are subject to human-driven selection for desired phenotypic traits and behavior. Large-scale genetic studies of modern domestic populations and their wild relatives have revealed not only the genetic mechanisms underlying specific phenotypic traits, but also allowed for the identification of candidate domestication genes. Our understanding of the importance of these genes during the initial stages of the domestication process traditionally rests on the assumption that robust inferences about the past can be made on the basis of modern genetic datasets. A growing body of evidence from ancient DNA studies, however, has revealed that ancient and even historic populations often bear little resemblance to their modern counterparts. Here, we test the temporal context of selection on specific genetic loci known to differentiate modern domestic chickens from their extant wild ancestors. We extracted DNA from 80 ancient chickens excavated from 12 European archaeological sites, dated from ∼280 B.C. to the 18th century A.D. We targeted three unlinked genetic loci: the mitochondrial control region, a gene associated with yellow skin color (β-carotene dioxygenase 2), and a putative domestication gene thought to be linked to photoperiod and reproduction (thyroid-stimulating hormone receptor, TSHR). Our results reveal significant variability in both nuclear genes, suggesting that the commonality of yellow skin in Western breeds and the near fixation of TSHR in all modern chickens took place only in the past 500 y. In addition, mitochondrial variation has increased as a result of recent admixture with exotic breeds. We conclude by emphasizing the perils of inferring the past from modern genetic data alone. PMID:24753608

  10. Toward a new history and geography of human genes informed by ancient DNA

    PubMed Central

    Pickrell, Joseph K.; Reich, David

    2014-01-01

    Genetic information contains a record of the history of our species, and technological advances have transformed our ability to access this record. Many studies have used genome-wide data from populations today to learn about the peopling of the globe and subsequent adaptation to local conditions. Implicit in this research is the assumption that the geographic locations of people today are informative about the geographic locations of their ancestors in the distant past. However, it is now clear that long-range migration, admixture and population replacement subsequent to the initial out-of-Africa expansion have altered the genetic structure of most of the world’s human populations. In light of this, we argue that it is time to critically re-evaluate current models of the peopling of the globe, as well as the importance of natural selection in determining the geographic distribution of phenotypes. We specifically highlight the transformative potential of ancient DNA. By accessing the genetic make-up of populations living at archaeologically-known times and places, ancient DNA makes it possible to directly track migrations and responses to natural selection. PMID:25168683

  11. Merging ancient and modern DNA: extinct seabird taxon rediscovered in the North Tasman Sea.

    PubMed

    Steeves, Tammy E; Holdaway, Richard N; Hale, Marie L; McLay, Emma; McAllan, Ian A W; Christian, Margaret; Hauber, Mark E; Bunce, Michael

    2010-02-23

    Ancient DNA has revolutionized the way in which evolutionary biologists research both extinct and extant taxa, from the inference of evolutionary history to the resolution of taxonomy. Here, we present, to our knowledge, the first study to report the rediscovery of an 'extinct' avian taxon, the Tasman booby (Sula tasmani), using classical palaeontological data combined with ancient and modern DNA data. Contrary to earlier work, we show an overlap in size between fossil and modern birds in the North Tasman Sea (classified currently as S. tasmani and Sula dactylatra fullagari, respectively). In addition, we show that Holocene fossil birds have mitochondrial control region sequences that are identical to those found in modern birds. These results indicate that the Tasman booby is not an extinct taxon: S. dactylatra fullagari O'Brien & Davies, 1990 is therefore a junior synonym of Sula tasmani van Tets, Meredith, Fullagar & Davidson, 1988 and all North Tasman Sea boobies should be known as S. d. tasmani. In addition to reporting the rediscovery of an extinct avian taxon, our study highlights the need for researchers to be cognizant of multidisciplinary approaches to understanding taxonomy and past biodiversity. PMID:19675005

  12. DNA analysis of ancient dogs of the Americas: identifying possible founding haplotypes and reconstructing population histories.

    PubMed

    Witt, Kelsey E; Judd, Kathleen; Kitchen, Andrew; Grier, Colin; Kohler, Timothy A; Ortman, Scott G; Kemp, Brian M; Malhi, Ripan S

    2015-02-01

    As dogs have traveled with humans to every continent, they can potentially serve as an excellent proxy when studying human migration history. Past genetic studies into the origins of Native American dogs have used portions of the hypervariable region (HVR) of mitochondrial DNA (mtDNA) to indicate that prior to European contact the dogs of Native Americans originated in Eurasia. In this study, we summarize past DNA studies of both humans and dogs to discuss their population histories in the Americas. We then sequenced a portion of the mtDNA HVR of 42 pre-Columbian dogs from three sites located in Illinois, coastal British Columbia, and Colorado, and identify four novel dog mtDNA haplotypes. Next, we analyzed a dataset comprised of all available ancient dog sequences from the Americas to infer the pre-Columbian population history of dogs in the Americas. Interestingly, we found low levels of genetic diversity for some populations consistent with the possibility of deliberate breeding practices. Furthermore, we identified multiple putative founding haplotypes in addition to dog haplotypes that closely resemble those of wolves, suggesting admixture with North American wolves or perhaps a second domestication of canids in the Americas. Notably, initial effective population size estimates suggest at least 1000 female dogs likely existed in the Americas at the time of the first known canid burial, and that population size increased gradually over time before stabilizing roughly 1200 years before present. PMID:25532803

  13. Ancient DNA analysis - An established technique in charting the evolution of tuberculosis and leprosy.

    PubMed

    Donoghue, Helen D; Spigelman, Mark; O'Grady, Justin; Szikossy, Ildikó; Pap, Ildikó; Lee, Oona Y-C; Wu, Houdini H T; Besra, Gurdyal S; Minnikin, David E

    2015-06-01

    Many tuberculosis and leprosy infections are latent or paucibacillary, suggesting a long time-scale for host and pathogen co-existence. Palaeopathology enables recognition of archaeological cases and PCR detects pathogen ancient DNA (aDNA). Mycobacterium tuberculosis and Mycobacterium leprae cell wall lipids are more stable than aDNA and restrict permeability, thereby possibly aiding long-term persistence of pathogen aDNA. Amplification of aDNA, using specific PCR primers designed for short fragments and linked to fluorescent probes, gives good results, especially when designed to target multi-copy loci. Such studies have confirmed tuberculosis and leprosy, including co-infections. Many tuberculosis cases have non-specific or no visible skeletal pathology, consistent with the natural history of this disease. M. tuberculosis and M. leprae are obligate parasites, closely associated with their human host following recent clonal distribution. Therefore genotyping based on single nucleotide polymorphisms (SNPs) can indicate their origins, spread and phylogeny. Knowledge of extant genetic lineages at particular times in past human populations can be obtained from well-preserved specimens where molecular typing is possible, using deletion analysis, microsatellite analysis and whole genome sequencing. Such studies have identified non-bovine tuberculosis from a Pleistocene bison from 17,500 years BP, human tuberculosis from 9000 years ago and leprosy from over 2000 years ago. PMID:25773651

  14. High-throughput sequencing of ancient plant and mammal DNA preserved in herbivore middens

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Murray, Dáithí C.; Pearson, Stuart G.; Fullagar, Richard; Chase, Brian M.; Houston, Jayne; Atchison, Jennifer; White, Nicole E.; Bellgard, Matthew I.; Clarke, Edward; Macphail, Mike; Gilbert, M. Thomas P.; Haile, James; Bunce, Michael

    2012-12-01

    The study of arid palaeoenvironments is often frustrated by the poor or non-existent preservation of plant and animal material, yet these environments are of considerable environmental importance. The analysis of pollen and macrofossils isolated from herbivore middens has been an invaluable source of information regarding past environments and the nature of ecological fluctuations within arid zones. The application of ancient DNA (aDNA) techniques to hot, arid zone middens remains unexplored. This paper attempts to retrieve and characterise aDNA from four Southern Hemisphere fossil middens; three located in hot, arid regions of Australia and one sample from South Africa's Western Cape province. The middens are dated to between 30,490 (±380) and 710 (±70) cal yr BP. The Brockman Ridge midden in this study is potentially the oldest sample from which aDNA has been successfully extracted in Australia. The application of high-throughput sequencing approaches to profile the biotic remains preserved in midden material has not been attempted to date and this study clearly demonstrates the potential of such a methodology. In addition to the taxa previously detected via macrofossil and palynological analyses, aDNA analysis identified unreported plant and animal taxa, some of which are locally extinct or endemic. The survival and preservation of DNA in hot, arid environments is a complex and poorly understood process that is both sporadic and rare, but the survival of DNA through desiccation may be important. Herbivore middens now present an important source of material for DNA metabarcoding studies of hot, arid palaeoenvironments and can potentially be used to analyse middens in these environments throughout Australia, Africa, the Americas and the Middle East.

  15. Ancient DNA recovers the origins of Māori feather cloaks.

    PubMed

    Hartnup, K; Huynen, L; Te Kanawa, R; Shepherd, L D; Millar, C D; Lambert, D M

    2011-10-01

    Feather cloaks ("kakahu"), particularly those adorned with kiwi feathers, are treasured items or "taonga" to the Māori people of "Aotearoa"/New Zealand. They are considered iconic expression of Māori culture. Despite their status, much of our knowledge of the materials used to construct cloaks, the provenance of cloaks, and the origins of cloak making itself, has been lost. We used ancient DNA methods to recover mitochondrial DNA sequences from 849 feather samples taken from 109 cloaks. We show that almost all (>99%) of the cloaks were constructed using feathers from North Island brown kiwi. Molecular sexing of nuclear DNA recovered from 92 feather cloak samples also revealed that the sex ratio of birds deviated from a ratio of 1:1 observed in reference populations. Additionally, we constructed a database of 185 mitochondrial control region DNA sequences of kiwi feathers comprising samples collected from 26 North Island locations together with data available from the literature. Genetic subdivision (G(ST)), nucleotide subdivision (N(ST)) and Spatial Analysis of Molecular Variants (SAMOVA) analyses revealed high levels of genetic structuring in North Island brown kiwi. Together with sequence data from previously studied ancient and modern kiwi samples, we were able to determine the geographic provenance of 847 cloak feathers from 108 cloaks. A surprising proportion (15%) of cloaks were found to contain feathers from different geographic locations, providing evidence of kiwi trading among Māori tribes or organized hunting trips into other tribal areas. Our data also suggest that the east of the North Island of New Zealand was the most prolific of all kiwi cloak making areas, with over 50% of all cloaks analyzed originating from this region. Similar molecular approaches have the potential to discover a wealth of lost information from artifacts of endemic cultures worldwide. PMID:21558445

  16. Ancient DNA from Coral-Hosted Symbiodinium Reveal a Static Mutualism over the Last 172 Years

    PubMed Central

    Baker, David M.; Weigt, Lee; Fogel, Marilyn; Knowlton, Nancy

    2013-01-01

    Ancient DNA (aDNA) provides powerful evidence for detecting the genetic basis for adaptation to environmental change in many taxa. Among the greatest of changes in our biosphere within the last century is rapid anthropogenic ocean warming. This phenomenon threatens corals with extinction, evidenced by the increasing observation of widespread mortality following mass bleaching events. There is some evidence and conjecture that coral-dinoflagellate symbioses change partnerships in response to changing external conditions over ecological and evolutionary timescales. Until now, we have been unable to ascertain the genetic identity of Symbiodinium hosted by corals prior to the rapid global change of the last century. Here, we show that Symbiodinium cells recovered from dry, century old specimens of 6 host species of octocorals contain sufficient DNA for amplification of the ITS2 subregion of the nuclear ribosomal DNA, commonly used for genotyping within this genus. Through comparisons with modern specimens sampled from similar locales we show that symbiotic associations among several species have been static over the last century, thereby suggesting that adaptive shifts to novel symbiont types is not common among these gorgonians, and perhaps, symbiotic corals in general. PMID:23405111

  17. Ancient microbes from halite fluid inclusions: optimized surface sterilization and DNA extraction.

    PubMed

    Sankaranarayanan, Krithivasan; Timofeeff, Michael N; Spathis, Rita; Lowenstein, Tim K; Lum, J Koji

    2011-01-01

    Fluid inclusions in evaporite minerals (halite, gypsum, etc.) potentially preserve genetic records of microbial diversity and changing environmental conditions of Earth's hydrosphere for nearly one billion years. Here we describe a robust protocol for surface sterilization and retrieval of DNA from fluid inclusions in halite that, unlike previously published methods, guarantees removal of potentially contaminating surface-bound DNA. The protocol involves microscopic visualization of cell structures, deliberate surface contamination followed by surface sterilization with acid and bleach washes, and DNA extraction using Amicon centrifugal filters. Methods were verified on halite crystals of four different ages from Saline Valley, California (modern, 36 ka, 64 ka, and 150 ka), with retrieval of algal and archaeal DNA, and characterization of the algal community using ITS1 sequences. The protocol we developed opens up new avenues for study of ancient microbial ecosystems in fluid inclusions, understanding microbial evolution across geological time, and investigating the antiquity of life on earth and other parts of the solar system. PMID:21694765

  18. Fungal palaeodiversity revealed using high-throughput metabarcoding of ancient DNA from arctic permafrost.

    PubMed

    Bellemain, Eva; Davey, Marie L; Kauserud, Håvard; Epp, Laura S; Boessenkool, Sanne; Coissac, Eric; Geml, Jozsef; Edwards, Mary; Willerslev, Eske; Gussarova, Galina; Taberlet, Pierre; Haile, James; Brochmann, Christian

    2013-04-01

    The taxonomic and ecological diversity of ancient fungal communities was assessed by combining next generation sequencing and metabarcoding of DNA preserved in permafrost. Twenty-six sediment samples dated 16 000-32 000 radiocarbon years old from two localities in Siberia were analysed for fungal ITS. We detected 75 fungal OTUs from 21 orders representing three phyla, although rarefaction analyses suggested that the full diversity was not recovered despite generating an average of 6677 ± 3811 (mean ± SD) sequences per sample and that preservation bias likely has considerable effect on the recovered DNA. Most OTUs (75.4%) represented ascomycetes. Due to insufficient sequencing depth, DNA degradation and putative preservation biases in our samples, the recovered taxa probably do not represent the complete historic fungal community, and it is difficult to determine whether the fungal communities varied geographically or experienced a composition shift within the period of 16 000-32 000 bp. However, annotation of OTUs to functional ecological groups provided a wealth of information on the historic communities. About one-third of the OTUs are presumed plant-associates (pathogens, saprotrophs and endophytes) typical of graminoid- and forb-rich habitats. We also detected putative insect pathogens, coprophiles and keratinophiles likely associated with ancient insect and herbivore faunas. The detection of putative insect pathogens, mycoparasites, aquatic fungi and endophytes broadens our previous knowledge of the diversity of fungi present in Beringian palaeoecosystems. A large group of putatively psychrophilic/psychrotolerant fungi was also detected, most likely representing a modern, metabolically active fungal community. PMID:23171292

  19. Patterns of East Asian pig domestication, migration, and turnover revealed by modern and ancient DNA

    PubMed Central

    Larson, Greger; Liu, Ranran; Zhao, Xingbo; Yuan, Jing; Fuller, Dorian; Barton, Loukas; Dobney, Keith; Fan, Qipeng; Gu, Zhiliang; Liu, Xiao-Hui; Luo, Yunbing; Lv, Peng; Andersson, Leif; Li, Ning

    2010-01-01

    The establishment of agricultural economies based upon domestic animals began independently in many parts of the world and led to both increases in human population size and the migration of people carrying domestic plants and animals. The precise circumstances of the earliest phases of these events remain mysterious given their antiquity and the fact that subsequent waves of migrants have often replaced the first. Through the use of more than 1,500 modern (including 151 previously uncharacterized specimens) and 18 ancient (representing six East Asian archeological sites) pig (Sus scrofa) DNA sequences sampled across East Asia, we provide evidence for the long-term genetic continuity between modern and ancient Chinese domestic pigs. Although the Chinese case for independent pig domestication is supported by both genetic and archaeological evidence, we discuss five additional (and possibly) independent domestications of indigenous wild boar populations: one in India, three in peninsular Southeast Asia, and one off the coast of Taiwan. Collectively, we refer to these instances as “cryptic domestication,” given the current lack of corroborating archaeological evidence. In addition, we demonstrate the existence of numerous populations of genetically distinct and widespread wild boar populations that have not contributed maternal genetic material to modern domestic stocks. The overall findings provide the most complete picture yet of pig evolution and domestication in East Asia, and generate testable hypotheses regarding the development and spread of early farmers in the Far East. PMID:20404179

  20. Human beta-globin gene polymorphisms characterized in DNA extracted from ancient bones 12,000 years old.

    PubMed Central

    Béraud-Colomb, E; Roubin, R; Martin, J; Maroc, N; Gardeisen, A; Trabuchet, G; Goosséns, M

    1995-01-01

    Analyzing the nuclear DNA from ancient human bones is an essential step to the understanding of genetic diversity in current populations, provided that such systematic studies are experimentally feasible. This article reports the successful extraction and amplification of nuclear DNA from the beta-globin region from 5 of 10 bone specimens up to 12,000 years old. These have been typed for beta-globin frameworks by sequencing through two variable positions and for a polymorphic (AT) chi (T) gamma microsatellite 500 bp upstream of the beta-globin gene. These specimens of human remains are somewhat older than those analyzed in previous nuclear gene sequencing reports and considerably older than those used to study high-copy-number human mtDNA. These results show that the systematic study of nuclear DNA polymorphisms of ancient populations is feasible. Images Figure 2 Figure 3 PMID:8533755

  1. Human {beta}-globin gene polymorphisms characterized in DNA extracted from ancient bones 12,000 years old

    SciTech Connect

    Beraud-Colomb, E. |; Maroc, N.; Roubin, R.

    1995-12-01

    Analyzing the nuclear DNA from ancient human bones is an essential step to the understanding of genetic diversity in current populations, provided that such systematic studies are experimentally feasible. This article reports the successful extraction and amplification of nuclear DNA from the P-globin region from 5 of 10 bone specimens up to 12,000 years old. These have been typed for P-globin frameworks by sequencing through two variable positions and for a polymorphic (AT){sub x}(T){sub y} microsatellite 500 bp upstream of the P-globin gene. These specimens of human remains are somewhat older than those analyzed in previous nuclear gene sequencing reports and considerably older than those used to study high-copy-number human mtDNA. These results show that the systematic study of nuclear DNA polymorphisms of ancient populations is feasible. 34 refs., 3 figs., 2 tabs.

  2. Radiocarbon-dating and ancient DNA reveal rapid replacement of extinct prehistoric penguins

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Rawlence, Nicolas J.; Perry, George L. W.; Smith, Ian W. G.; Scofield, R. Paul; Tennyson, Alan J. D.; Matisoo-Smith, Elizabeth A.; Boessenkool, Sanne; Austin, Jeremy J.; Waters, Jonathan M.

    2015-03-01

    Prehistoric faunal extinctions dramatically reshaped biological assemblages around the world. However, the timing of such biotic shifts is often obscured by the fragmentary nature and limited temporal resolution of fossil records. We use radiocarbon-dating and ancient-DNA analysis of prehistoric (ca A.D. 1450-1834) Megadyptes penguin specimens to assess the time-frame of biological turnover in coastal New Zealand following human settlement. These data suggest that the final extirpation of the endemic Megadyptes waitaha, and subsequent replacement by the previously sub-Antarctic-limited Megadyptes antipodes, likely occurred within a narrow temporal window (e.g. a century or less). This transition represents one of the most rapid prehistoric faunal turnover events documented, and is likely linked to human demographic and cultural transitions during the 15th Century. Our results suggest that anthropogenic forces can trigger rapid biogeographic shifts.

  3. Scrapheap Challenge: A novel bulk-bone metabarcoding method to investigate ancient DNA in faunal assemblages

    PubMed Central

    Murray, Dáithí C.; Haile, James; Dortch, Joe; White, Nicole E.; Haouchar, Dalal; Bellgard, Matthew I.; Allcock, Richard J.; Prideaux, Gavin J.; Bunce, Michael

    2013-01-01

    Highly fragmented and morphologically indistinct fossil bone is common in archaeological and paleontological deposits but unfortunately it is of little use in compiling faunal assemblages. The development of a cost-effective methodology to taxonomically identify bulk bone is therefore a key challenge. Here, an ancient DNA methodology using high-throughput sequencing is developed to survey and analyse thousands of archaeological bones from southwest Australia. Fossils were collectively ground together depending on which of fifteen stratigraphical layers they were excavated from. By generating fifteen synthetic blends of bulk bone powder, each corresponding to a chronologically distinct layer, samples could be collectively analysed in an efficient manner. A diverse range of taxa, including endemic, extirpated and hitherto unrecorded taxa, dating back to c.46,000 years BP was characterized. The method is a novel, cost-effective use for unidentifiable bone fragments and a powerful molecular tool for surveying fossils that otherwise end up on the taxonomic “scrapheap”. PMID:24288018

  4. Southeast Asian Mitochondrial DNA Analysis Reveals Genetic Continuity of Ancient Mongoloid Migrations

    PubMed Central

    Ballinger, S. W.; Schurr, T. G.; Torroni, A.; Gan, Y. Y.; Hodge, J. A.; Hassan, K.; Chen, K. H.; Wallace, D. C.

    1992-01-01

    Human mitochondrial DNAs (mtDNAs) from 153 independent samples encompassing seven Asian populations were surveyed for sequence variation using the polymerase chain reaction (PCR), restriction endonuclease analysis and oligonucleotide hybridization. All Asian populations were found to share two ancient AluI/DdeI polymorphisms at nps 10394 and 10397 and to be genetically similar indicating that they share a common ancestry. The greatest mtDNA diversity and the highest frequency of mtDNAs with HpaI/HincII morph 1 were observed in the Vietnamese suggesting a Southern Mongoloid origin of Asians. Remnants of the founding populations of Papua New Guinea (PNG) were found in Malaysia, and a marked frequency cline for the COII/tRNA(Lys) intergenic deletion was observed along coastal Asia. Phylogenetic analysis indicates that both insertion and deletion mutations in the COII/tRNA(Lys) region have occurred more than once. PMID:1346259

  5. Invader or resident? Ancient-DNA reveals rapid species turnover in New Zealand little penguins.

    PubMed

    Grosser, Stefanie; Rawlence, Nicolas J; Anderson, Christian N K; Smith, Ian W G; Scofield, R Paul; Waters, Jonathan M

    2016-02-10

    The expansion of humans into previously unoccupied parts of the globe is thought to have driven the decline and extinction of numerous vertebrate species. In New Zealand, human settlement in the late thirteenth century AD led to the rapid demise of a distinctive vertebrate fauna, and also a number of 'turnover' events where extinct lineages were subsequently replaced by closely related taxa. The recent genetic detection of an Australian little penguin (Eudyptula novaehollandiae) in southeastern New Zealand may potentially represent an additional 'cryptic' invasion. Here we use ancient-DNA (aDNA) analysis and radiocarbon dating of pre-human, archaeological and historical Eudyptula remains to reveal that the arrival of E. novaehollandiae in New Zealand probably occurred between AD 1500 and 1900, following the anthropogenic decline of its sister taxon, the endemic Eudyptula minor. This rapid turnover event, revealed by aDNA, suggests that native species decline can be masked by invasive taxa, and highlights the potential for human-mediated biodiversity shifts. PMID:26842575

  6. Paging through history: parchment as a reservoir of ancient DNA for next generation sequencing

    PubMed Central

    Teasdale, M. D.; van Doorn, N. L.; Fiddyment, S.; Webb, C. C.; O'Connor, T.; Hofreiter, M.; Collins, M. J.; Bradley, D. G.

    2015-01-01

    Parchment represents an invaluable cultural reservoir. Retrieving an additional layer of information from these abundant, dated livestock-skins via the use of ancient DNA (aDNA) sequencing has been mooted by a number of researchers. However, prior PCR-based work has indicated that this may be challenged by cross-individual and cross-species contamination, perhaps from the bulk parchment preparation process. Here we apply next generation sequencing to two parchments of seventeenth and eighteenth century northern English provenance. Following alignment to the published sheep, goat, cow and human genomes, it is clear that the only genome displaying substantial unique homology is sheep and this species identification is confirmed by collagen peptide mass spectrometry. Only 4% of sequence reads align preferentially to a different species indicating low contamination across species. Moreover, mitochondrial DNA sequences suggest an upper bound of contamination at 5%. Over 45% of reads aligned to the sheep genome, and even this limited sequencing exercise yield 9 and 7% of each sampled sheep genome post filtering, allowing the mapping of genetic affinity to modern British sheep breeds. We conclude that parchment represents an excellent substrate for genomic analyses of historical livestock. PMID:25487331

  7. The Effects of Paleoclimatic Events on Mediterranean Trout: Preliminary Evidences from Ancient DNA.

    PubMed

    Splendiani, Andrea; Fioravanti, Tatiana; Giovannotti, Massimo; Negri, Alessandra; Ruggeri, Paolo; Olivieri, Luigi; Nisi Cerioni, Paola; Lorenzoni, Massimo; Caputo Barucchi, Vincenzo

    2016-01-01

    In this pilot study for the first time, ancient DNA has been extracted from bone remains of Salmo trutta. These samples were from a stratigraphic succession located in a coastal cave of Calabria (southern Italy) inhabited by humans from upper Palaeolithic to historical times. Seven pairs of primers were used to PCR-amplify and sequence from 128 to 410 bp of the mtDNA control region of eleven samples. Three haplotypes were observed: two (ADcs-1 and MEcs-1) already described in rivers from the Italian peninsula; one (ATcs-33) belonging to the southern Atlantic clade of the AT Salmo trutta mtDNA lineage (sensu Bernatchez). The prehistoric occurrence of this latter haplotype in the water courses of the Italian peninsula has been detected for the first time in this study. Finally, we observed a correspondence between frequency of trout remains and variation in haplotype diversity that we related with ecological and demographic changes resulting from a period of rapid cooling known as the Younger Dryas. PMID:27331397

  8. The Effects of Paleoclimatic Events on Mediterranean Trout: Preliminary Evidences from Ancient DNA

    PubMed Central

    Giovannotti, Massimo; Negri, Alessandra; Ruggeri, Paolo; Olivieri, Luigi; Nisi Cerioni, Paola; Lorenzoni, Massimo; Caputo Barucchi, Vincenzo

    2016-01-01

    In this pilot study for the first time, ancient DNA has been extracted from bone remains of Salmo trutta. These samples were from a stratigraphic succession located in a coastal cave of Calabria (southern Italy) inhabited by humans from upper Palaeolithic to historical times. Seven pairs of primers were used to PCR-amplify and sequence from 128 to 410 bp of the mtDNA control region of eleven samples. Three haplotypes were observed: two (ADcs-1 and MEcs-1) already described in rivers from the Italian peninsula; one (ATcs-33) belonging to the southern Atlantic clade of the AT Salmo trutta mtDNA lineage (sensu Bernatchez). The prehistoric occurrence of this latter haplotype in the water courses of the Italian peninsula has been detected for the first time in this study. Finally, we observed a correspondence between frequency of trout remains and variation in haplotype diversity that we related with ecological and demographic changes resulting from a period of rapid cooling known as the Younger Dryas. PMID:27331397

  9. Paging through history: parchment as a reservoir of ancient DNA for next generation sequencing.

    PubMed

    Teasdale, M D; van Doorn, N L; Fiddyment, S; Webb, C C; O'Connor, T; Hofreiter, M; Collins, M J; Bradley, D G

    2015-01-19

    Parchment represents an invaluable cultural reservoir. Retrieving an additional layer of information from these abundant, dated livestock-skins via the use of ancient DNA (aDNA) sequencing has been mooted by a number of researchers. However, prior PCR-based work has indicated that this may be challenged by cross-individual and cross-species contamination, perhaps from the bulk parchment preparation process. Here we apply next generation sequencing to two parchments of seventeenth and eighteenth century northern English provenance. Following alignment to the published sheep, goat, cow and human genomes, it is clear that the only genome displaying substantial unique homology is sheep and this species identification is confirmed by collagen peptide mass spectrometry. Only 4% of sequence reads align preferentially to a different species indicating low contamination across species. Moreover, mitochondrial DNA sequences suggest an upper bound of contamination at 5%. Over 45% of reads aligned to the sheep genome, and even this limited sequencing exercise yield 9 and 7% of each sampled sheep genome post filtering, allowing the mapping of genetic affinity to modern British sheep breeds. We conclude that parchment represents an excellent substrate for genomic analyses of historical livestock. PMID:25487331

  10. Palaeoceanographic changes in Hornsund Fjord (Spitsbergen, Svalbard) over the last millennium: new insights from ancient DNA

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Pawłowska, Joanna; Zajączkowski, Marek; Łącka, Magdalena; Lejzerowicz, Franck; Esling, Philippe; Pawlowski, Jan

    2016-07-01

    This paper presents a reconstruction of climate-driven environmental changes over the last millennium in Hornsund Fjord (Svalbard), based on sedimentological and micropalaeontological records. Our palaeo-investigation was supported by an analysis of foraminiferal ancient DNA (aDNA), focusing on the non-fossilized monothalamous species. The main climatic fluctuations during the last millennium were the Medieval Warm Period (MWP, AD 1000-1600), the Little Ice Age (LIA, AD 1600-1900) and the modern warming (MW, AD 1900 to present). Our study indicates that the environmental conditions in Hornsund during the MWP and the early LIA (before ˜ AD 1800) were relatively stable. The beginning of the LIA (˜ AD 1600) was poorly evidenced by the micropalaeontological record but was well marked in the aDNA data by an increased proportion of monothalamous foraminifera, especially Bathysiphon sp. The early LIA (˜ 1600 to ˜ AD 1800) was marked by an increase in the abundance of sequences of Hippocrepinella hirudinea and Cedhagenia saltatus. In the late LIA (after ˜ AD 1800), the conditions in the fjord became glacier-proximal and were characterized by increased meltwater outflows, high sedimentation and a high calving rate. This coincided with an increase in the percentages of sequences of Micrometula sp. and Vellaria pellucidus. During the MW, the major glacier fronts retreated rapidly to the inner bays, which limited the iceberg discharge to the fjord's centre and caused a shift in the foraminiferal community that was reflected in both the fossil and aDNA records. The palaeoceanographic changes in the Hornsund fjord over the last millennium were driven mainly by the inflow of shelf-originated water masses and glacial activity. However, the environmental changes were poorly evidenced in the micropalaeontological record, but they were well documented in our aDNA data. We considerably increased the number of potential proxy species by including monothalamous foraminifera in the

  11. Joseon funerary texts tested using ancient DNA analysis of a Korean mummy.

    PubMed

    Oh, Chang Seok; Koh, Bou-Ja; Yoo, Dong Soo; Park, Jun Bum; Min, So Ri; Kim, Yi-Suk; Lee, Sang Sup; Ge, Jianye; Seo, Seung Bum; Shin, Dong Hoon

    2015-06-01

    In Korea, ancient DNA (aDNA) analysis has been applied to investigations into the genetic affiliations of mummies found in Joseon Dynasty tombs (1392-1910 CE), becoming now indispensable tool for researches studying human remains from archaeological sites. In the course of our recent examinations on a Korean mummy of Joseon Dynasty, we discovered many teeth contained in a pouch. And in fact, the historical literature on the topic of Joseon funerals contain general accounts of pouches in which an individual's lost teeth were collected over the course of a lifetime and, after death, placed in the coffin with the body. To test the veracity of the historical texts, the present study undertook aDNA analyses and compared the results between specifically questioned (Q) samples (teeth) and known (K) samples (brain and bone) from the mummy to ensure that they came from the same individual. Although the Q-K comparison of autosomal short tandem repeat results did not show full concordance due to allelic drop-outs in some loci, our statistical calculation indicated that the teeth in the pouch are highly likely those of the mummy. Additionally, Q-K comparison of mitochondrial DNA sequence results showed 100% matches between samples. There results, in short, could not gainsay the conjecture that the teeth samples originated from the person buried in the tomb; and if so, he must have kept his teeth for a long time after their loss. As the application of aDNA analysis to Korean mummy studies develops, there will be other opportunities to test historical documents, particularly those referring to funerary rites. PMID:25998652

  12. Palaeoceanographic changes in Hornsund Fjord (Spitsbergen, Svalbard) over the last millennium: new insights from ancient DNA

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Pawłowska, J.; Zajączkowski, M.; Łącka, M.; Lejzerowicz, F.; Esling, P.; Pawlowski, J.

    2015-08-01

    This paper presents the reconstruction of climate-driven environmental changes of the last millennium from Hornsund Fjord (Svalbard) based on sedimentological and micropalaeontological records. Our palaeo-investigation was supported by the analysis of foraminiferal ancient DNA (aDNA), focusing on non-fossilised monothalamous species. The main climatic fluctuations over the last millennium were the Medieval Warm Period (MWP, 1000-1600 AD), the Little Ice Age (LIA, 1600-1900 AD), and the Modern Warming (MW, 1900 AD-present). Our study indicated that environmental conditions in Hornsund during the MWP and the early LIA (before ~ 1800 AD) were relatively stable, resulting from the distant position of glaciers. The beginning of the LIA (~ 1600 AD) was poorly evidenced by the micropalaeontological record, but well marked in the aDNA data, by an increased proportion of monothalamous foraminifera, especially Bathysiphon sp. The early LIA (~ 1600- ~ 1800 AD) was marked by the increase in abundance of sequences of Hippocrepinella hirudinea and Cedhagenia saltatus. In the late LIA (after ~ 1800 AD), conditions in the fjord became glacier-proximal, characterised by increased meltwater outflows, high sedimentation and a high calving rate. This coincided with an increase in the percentages of sequences of Micrometula sp. and Vellaria pellucidus. During the MW, major glaciers fronts retreated rapidly to the inner bays, limiting the iceberg discharge to the fjord centre and causing the shift in the foraminiferal community reflected in both fossil and aDNA records. Palaeoceanographic changes in the Hornsund Fjord over the last millennium were driven mainly by the inflow of shelf-originated water masses and glaciers' activity. However, the environmental changes were poorly evidenced in the micropalaeontological record, but well documented in our aDNA data. We considerably increased the number of potential proxy species by including monothalamous foraminifera in the palaeoecological

  13. Of Amoebae and Men: Extracellular DNA Traps as an Ancient Cell-Intrinsic Defense Mechanism

    PubMed Central

    Zhang, Xuezhi; Soldati, Thierry

    2016-01-01

    Since the discovery of the formation of DNA-based extracellular traps (ETs) by neutrophils as an innate immune defense mechanism (1), hundreds of articles describe the involvement of ETs in physiological and pathological human and animal conditions [reviewed in Ref. (2), and the previous Frontiers Research Topic on NETosis: http://www.frontiersin.org/books/NETosis_At_the_Intersection_of_Cell_Biology_Microbiology_and_Immunology/195]. Interestingly, a few reports reveal that ETs can be formed by immune cells of more ancient organisms, as far back as the common ancestor of vertebrates and invertebrates (3). Recently, we reported that the Sentinel cells of the multicellular slug of the social amoeba Dictyostelium discoideum also produce ETs to trap and kill slug-invading bacteria [see Box 1; and Figure 1 Ref. (4)]. This is a strong evidence that DNA-based cell-intrinsic defense mechanisms emerged much earlier than thought, about 1.3 billion years ago. Amazingly, using extrusion of DNA as a weapon to capture and kill uningestable microbes has its rationale. During the emergence of multicellularity, a primitive innate immune system developed in the form of a dedicated set of specialized phagocytic cells. This professionalization of immunity allowed the evolution of sophisticated defense mechanisms including the sacrifice of a small set of cells by a mechanism related to NETosis. This altruistic behavior likely emerged in steps, starting from the release of “dispensable” mitochondrial DNA by D. discoideum Sentinel cells. Grounded in this realization, one can anticipate that in the near future, many more examples of the invention and fine-tuning of ETs by early metazoan ancestors will be identified. Consequently, it can be expected that this more complete picture of the evolution of ETs will impact our views of the involvement and pathologies linked to ETs in human and animals. PMID:27458458

  14. Of Amoebae and Men: Extracellular DNA Traps as an Ancient Cell-Intrinsic Defense Mechanism.

    PubMed

    Zhang, Xuezhi; Soldati, Thierry

    2016-01-01

    Since the discovery of the formation of DNA-based extracellular traps (ETs) by neutrophils as an innate immune defense mechanism (1), hundreds of articles describe the involvement of ETs in physiological and pathological human and animal conditions [reviewed in Ref. (2), and the previous Frontiers Research Topic on NETosis: http://www.frontiersin.org/books/NETosis_At_the_Intersection_of_Cell_Biology_Microbiology_and_Immunology/195]. Interestingly, a few reports reveal that ETs can be formed by immune cells of more ancient organisms, as far back as the common ancestor of vertebrates and invertebrates (3). Recently, we reported that the Sentinel cells of the multicellular slug of the social amoeba Dictyostelium discoideum also produce ETs to trap and kill slug-invading bacteria [see Box 1; and Figure 1 Ref. (4)]. This is a strong evidence that DNA-based cell-intrinsic defense mechanisms emerged much earlier than thought, about 1.3 billion years ago. Amazingly, using extrusion of DNA as a weapon to capture and kill uningestable microbes has its rationale. During the emergence of multicellularity, a primitive innate immune system developed in the form of a dedicated set of specialized phagocytic cells. This professionalization of immunity allowed the evolution of sophisticated defense mechanisms including the sacrifice of a small set of cells by a mechanism related to NETosis. This altruistic behavior likely emerged in steps, starting from the release of "dispensable" mitochondrial DNA by D. discoideum Sentinel cells. Grounded in this realization, one can anticipate that in the near future, many more examples of the invention and fine-tuning of ETs by early metazoan ancestors will be identified. Consequently, it can be expected that this more complete picture of the evolution of ETs will impact our views of the involvement and pathologies linked to ETs in human and animals. PMID:27458458

  15. The genetic impact of Aztec imperialism: ancient mitochondrial DNA evidence from Xaltocan, Mexico.

    PubMed

    Mata-Míguez, Jaime; Overholtzer, Lisa; Rodríguez-Alegría, Enrique; Kemp, Brian M; Bolnick, Deborah A

    2012-12-01

    In AD 1428, the city-states of Tenochtitlan, Texcoco, and Tlacopan formed the Triple Alliance, laying the foundations of the Aztec empire. Although it is well documented that the Aztecs annexed numerous polities in the Basin of Mexico over the following years, the demographic consequences of this expansion remain unclear. At the city-state capital of Xaltocan, 16th century documents suggest that the site's conquest and subsequent incorporation into the Aztec empire led to a replacement of the original Otomí population, whereas archaeological evidence suggests that some of the original population may have remained at the town under Aztec rule. To help address questions about Xaltocan's demographic history during this period, we analyzed ancient DNA from 25 individuals recovered from three houses rebuilt over time and occupied between AD 1240 and 1521. These individuals were divided into two temporal groups that predate and postdate the site's conquest. We determined the mitochondrial DNA haplogroup of each individual and identified haplotypes based on 372 base pair sequences of first hypervariable region. Our results indicate that the residents of these houses before and after the Aztec conquest have distinct haplotypes that are not closely related, and the mitochondrial compositions of the temporal groups are statistically different. Altogether, these results suggest that the matrilines present in the households were replaced following the Aztec conquest. This study therefore indicates that the Aztec expansion may have been associated with significant demographic and genetic changes within Xaltocan. PMID:23076995

  16. Investigation of ancient DNA from Western Siberia and the Sargat culture.

    PubMed

    Bennett, Casey C; Kaestle, Frederika A

    2010-04-01

    Mitochondrial DNA from 14 archaeological samples at the Ural State University in Yekaterinburg, Russia, was extracted to test the feasibility of ancient DNA work on their collection. These samples come from a number of sites that fall into two groupings. Seven samples are from three sites, dating to the 8th-12th century AD, that belong to a northern group of what are thought to be Ugrians, who lived along the Ural Mountains in northwestern Siberia. The remaining seven samples are from two sites that belong to a southern group representing the Sargat culture, dating between roughly the 5th century BC and the 5th century AD, from southwestern Siberia near the Ural Mountains and the present-day Kazakhstan border. The samples are derived from several burial types, including kurgan burials. They also represent a number of different skeletal elements and a range of observed preservation. The northern sites repeatedly failed to amplify after multiple extraction and amplification attempts, but the samples from the southern sites were successfully extracted and amplified. The sequences obtained from the southern sites support the hypothesis that the Sargat culture was a potential zone of intermixture between native Ugrian and/or Siberian populations and steppe peoples from the south, possibly early Iranian or Indo-Iranian, which has been previously suggested by archaeological analysis. PMID:20649397

  17. Myth or relict: Does ancient DNA detect the enigmatic Upland seal?

    PubMed

    Salis, Alexander T; Easton, Luke J; Robertson, Bruce C; Gemmell, Neil; Smith, Ian W G; Weisler, Marshall I; Waters, Jonathan M; Rawlence, Nicolas J

    2016-04-01

    The biological status of the so-called 'Upland seal' has remained contentious ever since historical records described a distinct seal from the uplands of New Zealand's (NZ) remote sub-Antarctic islands. Subsequent genetic surveys of the NZ fur seal (Arctocephalus forsteri) detected two highly-divergent mtDNA clades, hypothesized to represent a post-sealing hybrid swarm between 'mainland' (Australia-NZ; A. forsteri) and sub-Antarctic (putative 'Upland'; A. snaresensis) lineages. We present ancient-DNA analyses of prehistoric mainland NZ and sub-Antarctic fur seals, revealing that both of these genetic lineages were already widely distributed across the region at the time of human arrival. These findings indicate that anthropogenic factors did not contribute to the admixture of these lineages, and cast doubt on the validity of the Upland seal. Human-mediated impacts on Arctocephalus genetic diversity are instead highlighted by a dramatic temporal haplotype frequency-shift due to genetic drift in heavily bottlenecked populations following the cessation of industrial-scale harvesting. These extinction-recolonisation dynamics add to a growing picture of human-mediated change in NZ's coastal and marine ecosystems. PMID:26768113

  18. Use DNA to learn from the past: how modern and ancient DNA studies may help reveal the past and predict the future distribution of species

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Edwards, M. E.; Alsos, I. G.; Sjögren, P.; Coissac, E.; Gielly, L.; Yoccoz, N.; Føreid, M. K.; Taberlet, P.

    2015-12-01

    Knowledge of how climate change affected species distribution in the past may help us predict the effect of ongoing environmental changes. We explore how the use of modern (AFLP fingerprinting techniques) and ancient DNA (metabarcoding P6 loop of chloroplast DNA) help to reveal past distribution of vascular plant species, dispersal processes, and effect of species traits. Based on studies of modern DNA combined with species distribution models, we show the dispersal routes and barriers to dispersal throughout the circumarctic/circumboreal region, likely dispersal vectors, the cost of dispersal in term of loss of genetic diversity, and how these relates to species traits, dispersal distance, and size of colonized region. We also estimate the expected future distribution and loss of genetic diversity and show how this relates to life form and adaptations to dispersal. To gain more knowledge on time lags in past range change events, we rely on palaeorecords. Current data on past distribution are limited by the taxonomic and time resolution of macrofossil and pollen records. We show how this may be improved by studying ancient DNA of lake sediments. DNA of lake sediments recorded about half of the flora surrounding the lake. Compared to macrofossil, the taxonomic resolution is similar but the detection rate is considerable improved. By taking into account main determinants of founder effect, dispersal vectors, and dispersal lags, we may improve our ability to forecast effects of climate change, whereas more studies on ancient DNA may provide us with knowledge on distribution time lags.

  19. Ancient DNA reveals extreme egg morphology and nesting behavior in New Zealand’s extinct moa

    PubMed Central

    Huynen, Leon; Gill, Brian J.; Millar, Craig D.; Lambert, David M.

    2010-01-01

    New Zealand's extinct flightless moa radiated rapidly into a large number of morphologically diverse species, which produced an equally large range of egg morphologies. The exact number of moa species, as well as the characteristics of the eggs they laid, remains contentious. Moreover, like most extinct species, we understand little about their nesting and incubation habits. We used a modified ancient DNA extraction procedure to recover exogenous mitochondrial and nuclear DNA from the inside and outside surfaces of moa eggs. We used sequences from the inside of 69 eggshells to directly assign these remains to seven of the 10 currently recognized moa species. In addition we were able to assign, to the species level, six of the rare reconstructed “whole” eggs. These molecular results enabled us to identify two distinct lineages within the genus Euryapteryx. Members of these lineages differed in eggshell thickness, with one lineage being characterized by a relatively thin eggshell. Unexpectedly, several thin-shelled eggs were also shown to belong to the heaviest moa of the genera Dinornis, Euryapteryx and Emeus, making these, to our knowledge, the most fragile of all avian eggs measured to date. Moreover, sex-specific DNA recovered from the outer surfaces of eggshells belonging to species of Dinornis and Euryapteryx suggest that these very thin eggs were likely to have been incubated by the lighter males. The thin nature of the eggshells of these larger species of moa, even if incubated by the male, suggests that egg breakage in these species would have been common if the typical contact method of avian egg incubation was used. PMID:20805485

  20. Ancient DNA reveals late survival of mammoth and horse in interior Alaska

    PubMed Central

    Haile, James; Froese, Duane G.; MacPhee, Ross D. E.; Roberts, Richard G.; Arnold, Lee J.; Reyes, Alberto V.; Rasmussen, Morten; Nielsen, Rasmus; Brook, Barry W.; Robinson, Simon; Demuro, Martina; Gilbert, M. Thomas P.; Munch, Kasper; Austin, Jeremy J.; Cooper, Alan; Barnes, Ian; Möller, Per; Willerslev, Eske

    2009-01-01

    Causes of late Quaternary extinctions of large mammals (“megafauna”) continue to be debated, especially for continental losses, because spatial and temporal patterns of extinction are poorly known. Accurate latest appearance dates (LADs) for such taxa are critical for interpreting the process of extinction. The extinction of woolly mammoth and horse in northwestern North America is currently placed at 15,000–13,000 calendar years before present (yr BP), based on LADs from dating surveys of macrofossils (bones and teeth). Advantages of using macrofossils to estimate when a species became extinct are offset, however, by the improbability of finding and dating the remains of the last-surviving members of populations that were restricted in numbers or confined to refugia. Here we report an alternative approach to detect ‘ghost ranges’ of dwindling populations, based on recovery of ancient DNA from perennially frozen and securely dated sediments (sedaDNA). In such contexts, sedaDNA can reveal the molecular presence of species that appear absent in the macrofossil record. We show that woolly mammoth and horse persisted in interior Alaska until at least 10,500 yr BP, several thousands of years later than indicated from macrofossil surveys. These results contradict claims that Holocene survival of mammoths in Beringia was restricted to ecologically isolated high-latitude islands. More importantly, our finding that mammoth and horse overlapped with humans for several millennia in the region where people initially entered the Americas challenges theories that megafaunal extinction occurred within centuries of human arrival or were due to an extraterrestrial impact in the late Pleistocene. PMID:20018740

  1. Ancient genomics

    PubMed Central

    Der Sarkissian, Clio; Allentoft, Morten E.; Ávila-Arcos, María C.; Barnett, Ross; Campos, Paula F.; Cappellini, Enrico; Ermini, Luca; Fernández, Ruth; da Fonseca, Rute; Ginolhac, Aurélien; Hansen, Anders J.; Jónsson, Hákon; Korneliussen, Thorfinn; Margaryan, Ashot; Martin, Michael D.; Moreno-Mayar, J. Víctor; Raghavan, Maanasa; Rasmussen, Morten; Velasco, Marcela Sandoval; Schroeder, Hannes; Schubert, Mikkel; Seguin-Orlando, Andaine; Wales, Nathan; Gilbert, M. Thomas P.; Willerslev, Eske; Orlando, Ludovic

    2015-01-01

    The past decade has witnessed a revolution in ancient DNA (aDNA) research. Although the field's focus was previously limited to mitochondrial DNA and a few nuclear markers, whole genome sequences from the deep past can now be retrieved. This breakthrough is tightly connected to the massive sequence throughput of next generation sequencing platforms and the ability to target short and degraded DNA molecules. Many ancient specimens previously unsuitable for DNA analyses because of extensive degradation can now successfully be used as source materials. Additionally, the analytical power obtained by increasing the number of sequence reads to billions effectively means that contamination issues that have haunted aDNA research for decades, particularly in human studies, can now be efficiently and confidently quantified. At present, whole genomes have been sequenced from ancient anatomically modern humans, archaic hominins, ancient pathogens and megafaunal species. Those have revealed important functional and phenotypic information, as well as unexpected adaptation, migration and admixture patterns. As such, the field of aDNA has entered the new era of genomics and has provided valuable information when testing specific hypotheses related to the past. PMID:25487338

  2. Revisiting the Zingiberales: using multiplexed exon capture to resolve ancient and recent phylogenetic splits in a charismatic plant lineage

    PubMed Central

    Iles, William J.D.; Barrett, Craig F.; Smith, Selena Y.; Specht, Chelsea D.

    2016-01-01

    The Zingiberales are an iconic order of monocotyledonous plants comprising eight families with distinctive and diverse floral morphologies and representing an important ecological element of tropical and subtropical forests. While the eight families are demonstrated to be monophyletic, phylogenetic relationships among these families remain unresolved. Neither combined morphological and molecular studies nor recent attempts to resolve family relationships using sequence data from whole plastomes has resulted in a well-supported, family-level phylogenetic hypothesis of relationships. Here we approach this challenge by leveraging the complete genome of one member of the order, Musa acuminata, together with transcriptome information from each of the other seven families to design a set of nuclear loci that can be enriched from highly divergent taxa with a single array-based capture of indexed genomic DNA. A total of 494 exons from 418 nuclear genes were captured for 53 ingroup taxa. The entire plastid genome was also captured for the same 53 taxa. Of the total genes captured, 308 nuclear and 68 plastid genes were used for phylogenetic estimation. The concatenated plastid and nuclear dataset supports the position of Musaceae as sister to the remaining seven families. Moreover, the combined dataset recovers known intra- and inter-family phylogenetic relationships with generally high bootstrap support. This is a flexible and cost effective method that gives the broader plant biology community a tool for generating phylogenomic scale sequence data in non-model systems at varying evolutionary depths. PMID:26819846

  3. Revisiting the Zingiberales: using multiplexed exon capture to resolve ancient and recent phylogenetic splits in a charismatic plant lineage.

    PubMed

    Sass, Chodon; Iles, William J D; Barrett, Craig F; Smith, Selena Y; Specht, Chelsea D

    2016-01-01

    The Zingiberales are an iconic order of monocotyledonous plants comprising eight families with distinctive and diverse floral morphologies and representing an important ecological element of tropical and subtropical forests. While the eight families are demonstrated to be monophyletic, phylogenetic relationships among these families remain unresolved. Neither combined morphological and molecular studies nor recent attempts to resolve family relationships using sequence data from whole plastomes has resulted in a well-supported, family-level phylogenetic hypothesis of relationships. Here we approach this challenge by leveraging the complete genome of one member of the order, Musa acuminata, together with transcriptome information from each of the other seven families to design a set of nuclear loci that can be enriched from highly divergent taxa with a single array-based capture of indexed genomic DNA. A total of 494 exons from 418 nuclear genes were captured for 53 ingroup taxa. The entire plastid genome was also captured for the same 53 taxa. Of the total genes captured, 308 nuclear and 68 plastid genes were used for phylogenetic estimation. The concatenated plastid and nuclear dataset supports the position of Musaceae as sister to the remaining seven families. Moreover, the combined dataset recovers known intra- and inter-family phylogenetic relationships with generally high bootstrap support. This is a flexible and cost effective method that gives the broader plant biology community a tool for generating phylogenomic scale sequence data in non-model systems at varying evolutionary depths. PMID:26819846

  4. Bona fide colour: DNA prediction of human eye and hair colour from ancient and contemporary skeletal remains

    PubMed Central

    2013-01-01

    Background DNA analysis of ancient skeletal remains is invaluable in evolutionary biology for exploring the history of species, including humans. Contemporary human bones and teeth, however, are relevant in forensic DNA analyses that deal with the identification of perpetrators, missing persons, disaster victims or family relationships. They may also provide useful information towards unravelling controversies that surround famous historical individuals. Retrieving information about a deceased person’s externally visible characteristics can be informative in both types of DNA analyses. Recently, we demonstrated that human eye and hair colour can be reliably predicted from DNA using the HIrisPlex system. Here we test the feasibility of the novel HIrisPlex system at establishing eye and hair colour of deceased individuals from skeletal remains of various post-mortem time ranges and storage conditions. Methods Twenty-one teeth between 1 and approximately 800 years of age and 5 contemporary bones were subjected to DNA extraction using standard organic protocol followed by analysis using the HIrisPlex system. Results Twenty-three out of 26 bone DNA extracts yielded the full 24 SNP HIrisPlex profile, therefore successfully allowing model-based eye and hair colour prediction. HIrisPlex analysis of a tooth from the Polish general Władysław Sikorski (1881 to 1943) revealed blue eye colour and blond hair colour, which was positively verified from reliable documentation. The partial profiles collected in the remaining three cases (two contemporary samples and a 14th century sample) were sufficient for eye colour prediction. Conclusions Overall, we demonstrate that the HIrisPlex system is suitable, sufficiently sensitive and robust to successfully predict eye and hair colour from ancient and contemporary skeletal remains. Our findings, therefore, highlight the HIrisPlex system as a promising tool in future routine forensic casework involving skeletal remains, including

  5. The detection of Escherichia coli DNA in the ancient remains of Lindow Man using the polymerase chain reaction.

    PubMed

    Fricker, E J; Spigelman, M; Fricker, C R

    1997-05-01

    The polymerase chain reaction has been applied to the detection of Escherichia coli DNA in the upper gut contents of Lindow Man, an Iron Age bog body dated to ca 300 BC. With sets of primers from the uidA and lacZ genes, E. coli DNA could be detected reproducibly. Initial attempts at detecting DNA from freshly voided faeces from a healthy volunteer were unsuccessful due to inhibition of the reaction. Development of a method, based on guanidine thiocyanate and silica extraction and purification of the DNA fragments, facilitated the detection of the E. coli DNA in both freshly voided faeces and the upper gut contents of Lindow Man. These findings indicate that it may be possible to study the existence of infectious diseases in ancient civilizations and to learn more about the evolution of microbes. PMID:9172441

  6. A conditional likelihood is required to estimate the selection coefficient in ancient DNA

    PubMed Central

    Valleriani, Angelo

    2016-01-01

    Time-series of allele frequencies are a useful and unique set of data to determine the strength of natural selection on the background of genetic drift. Technically, the selection coefficient is estimated by means of a likelihood function built under the hypothesis that the available trajectory spans a sufficiently large portion of the fitness landscape. Especially for ancient DNA, however, often only one single such trajectories is available and the coverage of the fitness landscape is very limited. In fact, one single trajectory is more representative of a process conditioned both in the initial and in the final condition than of a process free to visit the available fitness landscape. Based on two models of population genetics, here we show how to build a likelihood function for the selection coefficient that takes the statistical peculiarity of single trajectories into account. We show that this conditional likelihood delivers a precise estimate of the selection coefficient also when allele frequencies are close to fixation whereas the unconditioned likelihood fails. Finally, we discuss the fact that the traditional, unconditioned likelihood always delivers an answer, which is often unfalsifiable and appears reasonable also when it is not correct. PMID:27527811

  7. Ancient DNA provides new insights into the history of south Siberian Kurgan people.

    PubMed

    Keyser, Christine; Bouakaze, Caroline; Crubézy, Eric; Nikolaev, Valery G; Montagnon, Daniel; Reis, Tatiana; Ludes, Bertrand

    2009-09-01

    To help unravel some of the early Eurasian steppe migration movements, we determined the Y-chromosomal and mitochondrial haplotypes and haplogroups of 26 ancient human specimens from the Krasnoyarsk area dated from between the middle of the second millennium BC. to the fourth century AD. In order to go further in the search of the geographic origin and physical traits of these south Siberian specimens, we also typed phenotype-informative single nucleotide polymorphisms. Our autosomal, Y-chromosomal and mitochondrial DNA analyses reveal that whereas few specimens seem to be related matrilineally or patrilineally, nearly all subjects belong to haplogroup R1a1-M17 which is thought to mark the eastward migration of the early Indo-Europeans. Our results also confirm that at the Bronze and Iron Ages, south Siberia was a region of overwhelmingly predominant European settlement, suggesting an eastward migration of Kurgan people across the Russo-Kazakh steppe. Finally, our data indicate that at the Bronze and Iron Age timeframe, south Siberians were blue (or green)-eyed, fair-skinned and light-haired people and that they might have played a role in the early development of the Tarim Basin civilization. To the best of our knowledge, no equivalent molecular analysis has been undertaken so far. PMID:19449030

  8. Ancient DNA reveals lack of postglacial habitat tracking in the arctic fox

    PubMed Central

    Dalén, Love; Nyström, Veronica; Valdiosera, Cristina; Germonpré, Mietje; Sablin, Mikhail; Turner, Elaine; Angerbjörn, Anders; Arsuaga, Juan Luis; Götherström, Anders

    2007-01-01

    How species respond to an increased availability of habitat, for example at the end of the last glaciation, has been well established. In contrast, little is known about the opposite process, when the amount of habitat decreases. The hypothesis of habitat tracking predicts that species should be able to track both increases and decreases in habitat availability. The alternative hypothesis is that populations outside refugia become extinct during periods of unsuitable climate. To test these hypotheses, we used ancient DNA techniques to examine genetic variation in the arctic fox (Alopex lagopus) through an expansion/contraction cycle. The results show that the arctic fox in midlatitude Europe became extinct at the end of the Pleistocene and did not track the habitat when it shifted to the north. Instead, a high genetic similarity between the extant populations in Scandinavia and Siberia suggests an eastern origin for the Scandinavian population at the end of the last glaciation. These results provide new insights into how species respond to climate change, since they suggest that populations are unable to track decreases in habitat avaliability. This implies that arctic species may be particularly vulnerable to increases in global temperatures. PMID:17420452

  9. Genetic response to climatic change: insights from ancient DNA and phylochronology.

    PubMed

    Hadly, Elizabeth A; Ramakrishnan, Uma; Chan, Yvonne L; van Tuinen, Marcel; O'Keefe, Kim; Spaeth, Paula A; Conroy, Chris J

    2004-10-01

    Understanding how climatic change impacts biological diversity is critical to conservation. Yet despite demonstrated effects of climatic perturbation on geographic ranges and population persistence, surprisingly little is known of the genetic response of species. Even less is known over ecologically long time scales pertinent to understanding the interplay between microevolution and environmental change. Here, we present a study of population variation by directly tracking genetic change and population size in two geographically widespread mammal species (Microtus montanus and Thomomys talpoides) during late-Holocene climatic change. We use ancient DNA to compare two independent estimates of population size (ecological and genetic) and corroborate our results with gene diversity and serial coalescent simulations. Our data and analyses indicate that, with population size decreasing at times of climatic change, some species will exhibit declining gene diversity as expected from simple population genetic models, whereas others will not. While our results could be consistent with selection, independent lines of evidence implicate differences in gene flow, which depends on the life history strategy of species. PMID:15361933

  10. Use of pollen and ancient DNA as conservation baselines for offshore islands in New Zealand.

    PubMed

    Wilmshurst, Janet M; Moar, Neville T; Wood, Jamie R; Bellingham, Peter J; Findlater, Amy M; Robinson, James J; Stone, Clive

    2014-02-01

    Islands play a key role globally in the conservation of endemic species. Many island reserves have been highly modified since human colonization, and their restoration and management usually occur without knowledge of their prehuman state. However, conservation paleoecology is increasingly being recognized as a tool that can help to inform both restoration and conservation of island reserves by providing prehuman vegetation baselines. Many of New Zealand's mammal-free offshore islands are foci for biological diversity conservation and, like many islands in the Polynesian region, were deforested following initial human settlement. Therefore, their current restoration, replanting, and management are guided either by historic vegetation descriptions or the occurrence of species on forested islands. We analyzed pollen and ancient DNA in soil cores from an offshore island in northern New Zealand. The result was a 2000-year record of vegetation change that began >1200 years before human settlement and spanned 550 years of human occupation and 180 years of forest succession since human occupation ceased. Between prehuman and contemporary forests there was nearly a complete species turnover including the extirpation of a dominant conifer and a palm tree. The podocarp-dominated forests were replaced by a native but novel angiosperm-dominated forest. There is no modern analog of the prehuman forests on any northern New Zealand island, and those islands that are forested are dominated by angiosperms which are assumed to be climax forests. The pollen and DNA evidence for conifer- and palm-rich forests in the prehuman era challenge this climax forest assumption. Prehuman vegetation records can thus help to inform future restoration of degraded offshore islands by informing the likely rate and direction of successional change; helping to determine whether natural rates of succession are preferable to more costly replanting programs; and providing past species lists if

  11. Pulling out the 1%: Whole-Genome Capture for the Targeted Enrichment of Ancient DNA Sequencing Libraries

    PubMed Central

    Carpenter, Meredith L.; Buenrostro, Jason D.; Valdiosera, Cristina; Schroeder, Hannes; Allentoft, Morten E.; Sikora, Martin; Rasmussen, Morten; Gravel, Simon; Guillén, Sonia; Nekhrizov, Georgi; Leshtakov, Krasimir; Dimitrova, Diana; Theodossiev, Nikola; Pettener, Davide; Luiselli, Donata; Sandoval, Karla; Moreno-Estrada, Andrés; Li, Yingrui; Wang, Jun; Gilbert, M. Thomas P.; Willerslev, Eske; Greenleaf, William J.; Bustamante, Carlos D.

    2013-01-01

    Most ancient specimens contain very low levels of endogenous DNA, precluding the shotgun sequencing of many interesting samples because of cost. Ancient DNA (aDNA) libraries often contain <1% endogenous DNA, with the majority of sequencing capacity taken up by environmental DNA. Here we present a capture-based method for enriching the endogenous component of aDNA sequencing libraries. By using biotinylated RNA baits transcribed from genomic DNA libraries, we are able to capture DNA fragments from across the human genome. We demonstrate this method on libraries created from four Iron Age and Bronze Age human teeth from Bulgaria, as well as bone samples from seven Peruvian mummies and a Bronze Age hair sample from Denmark. Prior to capture, shotgun sequencing of these libraries yielded an average of 1.2% of reads mapping to the human genome (including duplicates). After capture, this fraction increased substantially, with up to 59% of reads mapped to human and enrichment ranging from 6- to 159-fold. Furthermore, we maintained coverage of the majority of regions sequenced in the precapture library. Intersection with the 1000 Genomes Project reference panel yielded an average of 50,723 SNPs (range 3,062–147,243) for the postcapture libraries sequenced with 1 million reads, compared with 13,280 SNPs (range 217–73,266) for the precapture libraries, increasing resolution in population genetic analyses. Our whole-genome capture approach makes it less costly to sequence aDNA from specimens containing very low levels of endogenous DNA, enabling the analysis of larger numbers of samples. PMID:24568772

  12. DNA typing of ancient parasite eggs from environmental samples identifies human and animal worm infections in Viking-age settlement.

    PubMed

    Søe, Martin Jensen; Nejsum, Peter; Fredensborg, Brian Lund; Kapel, Christian Moliin Outzen

    2015-02-01

    Ancient parasite eggs were recovered from environmental samples collected at a Viking-age settlement in Viborg, Denmark, dated 1018-1030 A.D. Morphological examination identified Ascaris sp., Trichuris sp., and Fasciola sp. eggs, but size and shape did not allow species identification. By carefully selecting genetic markers, PCR amplification and sequencing of ancient DNA (aDNA) isolates resulted in identification of: the human whipworm, Trichuris trichiura , using SSUrRNA sequence homology; Ascaris sp. with 100% homology to cox1 haplotype 07; and Fasciola hepatica using ITS1 sequence homology. The identification of T. trichiura eggs indicates that human fecal material is present and, hence, that the Ascaris sp. haplotype 07 was most likely a human variant in Viking-age Denmark. The location of the F. hepatica finding suggests that sheep or cattle are the most likely hosts. Further, we sequenced the Ascaris sp. 18S rRNA gene in recent isolates from humans and pigs of global distribution and show that this is not a suited marker for species-specific identification. Finally, we discuss ancient parasitism in Denmark and the implementation of aDNA analysis methods in paleoparasitological studies. We argue that when employing species-specific identification, soil samples offer excellent opportunities for studies of human parasite infections and of human and animal interactions of the past. PMID:25357228

  13. Geochemical Analyses of Macrophytes (Potamogeton sp.) and ancient DNA from Lake Karakul, Tajikistan

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Heinecke, Liv; Epp, Laura S.; Mischke, Steffen; Reschke, Maria; Stoof-Leichsenring, Kathleen; Rajabov, Ilhomjon; Herzschuh, Ulrike

    2016-04-01

    Mountain ecosystems are very sensitive towards changes in moisture and temperature and therefore most likely to be affected by climate change. To be able to get a closer insight into the alpine system of the Pamir Mountains, a 11.25 m long core was retrieved from the eastern basin of Lake Karakul (3,929 m asl), Tajikistan, in 2012. In order to gain insights into changes in the paleo-productivity of Lake Karakul over the last 29 cal kyrs BP, we investigate temporal gradients of elemental content (TOC, TN) and stable isotopes (δ13C, δ15N) of macrophyte remains (Potamogeton sp.) and plant communities obtained from ancient sedimentary DNA along the core. For the geochemical analyses we make use of the ability of submerged macrophytes, such as Potamogeton, to use HCO3- for photosynthesis in times of CO2 shortage and implement our results in a transfer function for paleo-productivity inferences. No data are available from 20 to 7 cal kyrs BP as no macrophyte remains are preserved, indicating unfavourable conditions for plant growth at the coring site or poor preservation conditions during this time. Biogeochemical analyses show significant variations from core base until approx. 20 cal kyrs BP with TOCPotamogeton 25-45 %, TNPotamogeton 0.5 % - 1.5 %, δ13CPotamogeton below -9 ‰ and δ15NPotamogeton of below 3.5 ‰ suggesting a cooler climate and reflecting the last glacial maximum. Sediments in the upper 4.5 m (approx. 6.7 cal kyrs BP) are rich in macrophyte remains. TOCPotamogeton and TNPotamogeton values from this part of the core are higher, and an enrichment of heavier isotopes with δ13CPotamogeton up to -7 ‰ and δ15NPotamogeton up to 6 ‰ indicating a higher productivity within the lake due to more favourable conditions for macrophyte growths on the lake floor. We assume shifts towards a warmer climate and changes in lake level as the dominating causes. Ancient sedimentary DNA was extracted from selected sediment slices and a metabarcoding approach (using

  14. Assessment of Species Diversity and Distribution of an Ancient Diatom Lineage Using a DNA Metabarcoding Approach

    PubMed Central

    Nanjappa, Deepak; Audic, Stephane; Romac, Sarah; Kooistra, Wiebe H. C. F.; Zingone, Adriana

    2014-01-01

    Background Continuous efforts to estimate actual diversity and to trace the species distribution and ranges in the natural environments have gone in equal pace with advancements of the technologies in the study of microbial species diversity from microscopic observations to DNA-based barcoding. DNA metabarcoding based on Next Generation Sequencing (NGS) constitutes the latest advancement in these efforts. Here we use NGS data from different sites to investigate the geographic range of six species of the diatom family Leptocylindraceae and to identify possible new taxa within the family. Methodology/Principal Findings We analysed the V4 and V9 regions of the nuclear-encoded SSU rDNA gene region in the NGS database of the European ERA-Biodiversa project BioMarKs, collected in plankton and sediments at six coastal sites in European coastal waters, as well as environmental sequences from the NCBI database. All species known in the family Leptocylindraceae were detected in both datasets, but the much larger Illumina V9 dataset showed a higher species coverage at the various sites than the 454 V4 dataset. Sequences identical or similar to the references of Leptocylindrus aporus, L. convexus, L. danicus/hargravesii and Tenuicylindrus belgicus were found in the Mediterranean Sea, North Atlantic Ocean and Black Sea as well as at locations outside Europe. Instead, sequences identical or close to that of L. minimus were found in the North Atlantic Ocean and the Black Sea but not in the Mediterranean Sea, while sequences belonging to a yet undescribed taxon were encountered only in Oslo Fjord and Baffin Bay. Conclusions/Significance Identification of Leptocylindraceae species in NGS datasets has expanded our knowledge of the species biogeographic distribution and of the overall diversity of this diatom family. Individual species appear to be widespread, but not all of them are found everywhere. Despite the sequencing depth allowed by NGS and the wide geographic area covered by

  15. Contesting the presence of wheat in the British Isles 8,000 years ago by assessing ancient DNA authenticity from low-coverage data

    PubMed Central

    Weiß, Clemens L; Dannemann, Michael; Prüfer, Kay; Burbano, Hernán A

    2015-01-01

    Contamination with exogenous DNA is a constant hazard to ancient DNA studies, since their validity greatly depend on the ancient origin of the retrieved sequences. Since contamination occurs sporadically, it is fundamental to show positive evidence for the authenticity of ancient DNA sequences even when preventive measures to avoid contamination are implemented. Recently the presence of wheat in the United Kingdom 8000 years before the present has been reported based on an analysis of sedimentary ancient DNA (Smith et al. 2015). Smith et al. did not present any positive evidence for the authenticity of their results due to the small number of sequencing reads that were confidently assigned to wheat. We developed a computational method that compares postmortem damage patterns of a test dataset with bona fide ancient and modern DNA. We applied this test to the putative wheat DNA and find that these reads are most likely not of ancient origin. DOI: http://dx.doi.org/10.7554/eLife.10005.001 PMID:26525598

  16. Reconstructing the history of a fragmented and heavily exploited red deer population using ancient and contemporary DNA

    PubMed Central

    2012-01-01

    Background Red deer (Cervus elaphus) have been an important human resource for millennia, experiencing intensive human influence through habitat alterations, hunting and translocation of animals. In this study we investigate a time series of ancient and contemporary DNA from Norwegian red deer spanning about 7,000 years. Our main aim was to investigate how increasing agricultural land use, hunting pressure and possibly human mediated translocation of animals have affected the genetic diversity on a long-term scale. Results We obtained mtDNA (D-loop) sequences from 73 ancient specimens. These show higher genetic diversity in ancient compared to extant samples, with the highest diversity preceding the onset of agricultural intensification in the Early Iron Age. Using standard diversity indices, Bayesian skyline plot and approximate Bayesian computation, we detected a population reduction which was more prolonged than, but not as severe as, historic documents indicate. There are signs of substantial changes in haplotype frequencies primarily due to loss of haplotypes through genetic drift. There is no indication of human mediated translocations into the Norwegian population. All the Norwegian sequences show a western European origin, from which the Norwegian lineage diverged approximately 15,000 years ago. Conclusions Our results provide direct insight into the effects of increasing habitat fragmentation and human hunting pressure on genetic diversity and structure of red deer populations. They also shed light on the northward post-glacial colonisation process of red deer in Europe and suggest increased precision in inferring past demographic events when including both ancient and contemporary DNA. PMID:23009643

  17. Novel DNA Extraction Method Unveiled the Ancient Hot Deep Biosphere Concealed in Terrestrial Sedimentary Rocks

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Kouduka, M.; Suko, T.; Okuzawa, K.; Fukuda, A.; Nanba, K.; Yamamoto, M.; Sakata, S.; Ito, K.; Suzuki, Y.

    2009-12-01

    thermophilic bacteria and the transformation of silica minerals in the deep subsurface. As intensive erosion is unlikely around the drilling site, a short period of hydrothermal activities rather than long-term burial at great depth caused high temperature conditions, which might explain the lack of maturity in hydrocarbon. A novel DNA-based approach coupled mineralogical and organic geochemical analyses has the potential to reconstruct ancient biogeochemical processes mediated in the deep subsurface as well as geothermal history. This study was supported by grants from the Nuclear and Industrial Safety Agency (NISA) and Japan Nuclear Energy Safety Organization (JNES).

  18. Time-resolved fluorescence spectroscopic investigation of cationic polymer/DNA complex formation

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    D'Andrea, Cosimo; Bassi, Andrea; Taroni, Paola; Pezzoli, Daniele; Volonterio, Alessandro; Candiani, Gabriele

    2011-07-01

    Since DNA is not internalized efficiently by cells, the success of gene therapy depends on the availability of carriers to efficiently deliver genetic material into target cells. Gene delivery vectors can be broadly categorized into viral and non-viral ones. Non-viral gene delivery systems are represented by cationic lipids and polymers rely on the basics of supramolecular chemistry termed "self-assembling": at physiological pH, they are cations and spontaneously form lipoplexes (for lipids) and polyplexes (for polymers) complexing nucleic acids. In this scenario, cationic polymers are commonly used as non-viral vehicles. Their effectiveness is strongly related to key parameters including DNA binding ability and stability in different environments. Time-resolved fluorescence spectroscopy of SYBR Green I (DNA dye) was carried out to characterize cationic polymer/DNA complex (polyplex) formation dispersed in aqueous solution. Both fluorescence amplitude and lifetime proved to be very sensitive to the polymer/DNA ratio (N/P ratio, +/-).

  19. Ancient DNA from European Early Neolithic Farmers Reveals Their Near Eastern Affinities

    PubMed Central

    Haak, Wolfgang; Balanovsky, Oleg; Sanchez, Juan J.; Koshel, Sergey; Zaporozhchenko, Valery; Adler, Christina J.; Der Sarkissian, Clio S. I.; Brandt, Guido; Schwarz, Carolin; Nicklisch, Nicole; Dresely, Veit; Fritsch, Barbara; Balanovska, Elena; Villems, Richard; Meller, Harald; Alt, Kurt W.; Cooper, Alan

    2010-01-01

    In Europe, the Neolithic transition (8,000–4,000 b.c.) from hunting and gathering to agricultural communities was one of the most important demographic events since the initial peopling of Europe by anatomically modern humans in the Upper Paleolithic (40,000 b.c.). However, the nature and speed of this transition is a matter of continuing scientific debate in archaeology, anthropology, and human population genetics. To date, inferences about the genetic make up of past populations have mostly been drawn from studies of modern-day Eurasian populations, but increasingly ancient DNA studies offer a direct view of the genetic past. We genetically characterized a population of the earliest farming culture in Central Europe, the Linear Pottery Culture (LBK; 5,500–4,900 calibrated b.c.) and used comprehensive phylogeographic and population genetic analyses to locate its origins within the broader Eurasian region, and to trace potential dispersal routes into Europe. We cloned and sequenced the mitochondrial hypervariable segment I and designed two powerful SNP multiplex PCR systems to generate new mitochondrial and Y-chromosomal data from 21 individuals from a complete LBK graveyard at Derenburg Meerenstieg II in Germany. These results considerably extend the available genetic dataset for the LBK (n = 42) and permit the first detailed genetic analysis of the earliest Neolithic culture in Central Europe (5,500–4,900 calibrated b.c.). We characterized the Neolithic mitochondrial DNA sequence diversity and geographical affinities of the early farmers using a large database of extant Western Eurasian populations (n = 23,394) and a wide range of population genetic analyses including shared haplotype analyses, principal component analyses, multidimensional scaling, geographic mapping of genetic distances, and Bayesian Serial Simcoal analyses. The results reveal that the LBK population shared an affinity with the modern-day Near East and Anatolia, supporting a major

  20. Ancient DNA from European early neolithic farmers reveals their near eastern affinities.

    PubMed

    Haak, Wolfgang; Balanovsky, Oleg; Sanchez, Juan J; Koshel, Sergey; Zaporozhchenko, Valery; Adler, Christina J; Der Sarkissian, Clio S I; Brandt, Guido; Schwarz, Carolin; Nicklisch, Nicole; Dresely, Veit; Fritsch, Barbara; Balanovska, Elena; Villems, Richard; Meller, Harald; Alt, Kurt W; Cooper, Alan

    2010-01-01

    In Europe, the Neolithic transition (8,000-4,000 B.C.) from hunting and gathering to agricultural communities was one of the most important demographic events since the initial peopling of Europe by anatomically modern humans in the Upper Paleolithic (40,000 B.C.). However, the nature and speed of this transition is a matter of continuing scientific debate in archaeology, anthropology, and human population genetics. To date, inferences about the genetic make up of past populations have mostly been drawn from studies of modern-day Eurasian populations, but increasingly ancient DNA studies offer a direct view of the genetic past. We genetically characterized a population of the earliest farming culture in Central Europe, the Linear Pottery Culture (LBK; 5,500-4,900 calibrated B.C.) and used comprehensive phylogeographic and population genetic analyses to locate its origins within the broader Eurasian region, and to trace potential dispersal routes into Europe. We cloned and sequenced the mitochondrial hypervariable segment I and designed two powerful SNP multiplex PCR systems to generate new mitochondrial and Y-chromosomal data from 21 individuals from a complete LBK graveyard at Derenburg Meerenstieg II in Germany. These results considerably extend the available genetic dataset for the LBK (n = 42) and permit the first detailed genetic analysis of the earliest Neolithic culture in Central Europe (5,500-4,900 calibrated B.C.). We characterized the Neolithic mitochondrial DNA sequence diversity and geographical affinities of the early farmers using a large database of extant Western Eurasian populations (n = 23,394) and a wide range of population genetic analyses including shared haplotype analyses, principal component analyses, multidimensional scaling, geographic mapping of genetic distances, and Bayesian Serial Simcoal analyses. The results reveal that the LBK population shared an affinity with the modern-day Near East and Anatolia, supporting a major

  1. DNA content and distribution in ancient feathers and potential to reconstruct the plumage of extinct avian taxa

    PubMed Central

    Rawlence, Nicolas J.; Wood, Jamie R.; Armstrong, Kyle N.; Cooper, Alan

    2009-01-01

    Feathers are known to contain amplifiable DNA at their base (calamus) and have provided an important genetic source from museum specimens. However, feathers in subfossil deposits generally only preserve the upper shaft and feather ‘vane’ which are thought to be unsuitable for DNA analysis. We analyse subfossil moa feathers from Holocene New Zealand rockshelter sites and demonstrate that both ancient DNA and plumage information can be recovered from their upper portion, allowing species identification and a means to reconstruct the appearance of extinct taxa. These ancient DNA sequences indicate that the distal portions of feathers are an untapped resource for studies of museum, palaeontological and modern specimens. We investigate the potential to reconstruct the plumage of pre-historically extinct avian taxa using subfossil remains, rather than assuming morphological uniformity with closely related extant taxa. To test the notion of colour persistence in subfossil feathers, we perform digital comparisons of feathers of the red-crowned parakeet (Cyanoramphus novaezelandiae novaezelandiae) excavated from the same horizons as the moa feathers, with modern samples. The results suggest that the coloration of the moa feathers is authentic, and computer software is used to perform plumage reconstructions of moa based on subfossil remains. PMID:19570784

  2. Absence of Ancient DNA in Sub-Fossil Insect Inclusions Preserved in ‘Anthropocene’ Colombian Copal

    PubMed Central

    Penney, David; Wadsworth, Caroline; Fox, Graeme; Kennedy, Sandra L.; Preziosi, Richard F.; Brown, Terence A.

    2013-01-01

    Insects preserved in copal, the sub-fossilized resin precursor of amber, have potential value in molecular ecological studies of recently-extinct species and of extant species that have never been collected as living specimens. The objective of the work reported in this paper was therefore to determine if ancient DNA is present in insects preserved in copal. We prepared DNA libraries from two stingless bees (Apidae: Meliponini: Trigonisca ameliae) preserved in ‘Anthropocene’ Colombian copal, dated to ‘post-Bomb’ and 10,612±62 cal yr BP, respectively, and obtained sequence reads using the GS Junior 454 System. Read numbers were low, but were significantly higher for DNA extracts prepared from crushed insects compared with extracts obtained by a non-destructive method. The younger specimen yielded sequence reads up to 535 nucleotides in length, but searches of these sequences against the nucleotide database revealed very few significant matches. None of these hits was to stingless bees though one read of 97 nucleotides aligned with two non-contiguous segments of the mitochondrial cytochrome oxidase subunit I gene of the East Asia bumblebee Bombus hypocrita. The most significant hit was for 452 nucleotides of a 470-nucleotide read that aligned with part of the genome of the root-nodulating bacterium Bradyrhizobium japonicum. The other significant hits were to proteobacteria and an actinomycete. Searches directed specifically at Apidae nucleotide sequences only gave short and insignificant alignments. All of the reads from the older specimen appeared to be artefacts. We were therefore unable to obtain any convincing evidence for the preservation of ancient DNA in either of the two copal inclusions that we studied, and conclude that DNA is not preserved in this type of material. Our results raise further doubts about claims of DNA extraction from fossil insects in amber, many millions of years older than copal. PMID:24039876

  3. Pre-Columbian population dynamics in coastal southern Peru: A diachronic investigation of mtDNA patterns in the Palpa region by ancient DNA analysis.

    PubMed

    Fehren-Schmitz, Lars; Reindel, Markus; Cagigao, Elsa Tomasto; Hummel, Susanne; Herrmann, Bernd

    2010-02-01

    Alternative models have been proposed to explain the formation and decline of the south Peruvian Nasca culture, ranging from migration or invasion to autochthonous development and ecological crisis. To reveal to what extent population dynamic processes accounted for cultural development in the Nasca mainland, or were influenced by them, we analyzed ancient mitochondrial DNA of 218 individuals, originating from chronologically successive archaeological sites in the Palpa region, the Paracas Peninsula, and the Andean highlands in southern Peru. The sampling strategy allowed a diachronic analysis in a time frame from approximately 800 BC to 800 AD. Mitochondrial coding region polymorphisms were successfully analyzed and replicated for 130 individuals and control region sequences (np 16021-16408) for 104 individuals to determine Native American mitochondrial DNA haplogroups and haplotypes. The results were compared with ancient and contemporary Peruvian populations to reveal genetic relations of the archaeological samples. Frequency data and statistics show clear proximity of the Nasca populations to the populations of the preceding Paracas culture from Palpa and the Peninsula, and suggest, along with archaeological data, that the Nasca culture developed autochthonously in the Rio Grande drainage. Furthermore, the influence of changes in socioeconomic complexity in the Palpa area on the genetic diversity of the local population could be observed. In all, a strong genetic affinity between pre-Columbian coastal populations from southern Peru could be determined, together with a significant differentiation from ancient highland and all present-day Peruvian reference populations, best shown in the differential distribution of mitochondrial haplogroups. PMID:19639639

  4. Pig Domestication and Human-Mediated Dispersal in Western Eurasia Revealed through Ancient DNA and Geometric Morphometrics

    PubMed Central

    Ottoni, Claudio; Girdland Flink, Linus; Evin, Allowen; Geörg, Christina; De Cupere, Bea; Van Neer, Wim; Bartosiewicz, László; Linderholm, Anna; Barnett, Ross; Peters, Joris; Decorte, Ronny; Waelkens, Marc; Vanderheyden, Nancy; Ricaut, François-Xavier; Çakırlar, Canan; Çevik, Özlem; Hoelzel, A. Rus; Mashkour, Marjan; Mohaseb Karimlu, Azadeh Fatemeh; Sheikhi Seno, Shiva; Daujat, Julie; Brock, Fiona; Pinhasi, Ron; Hongo, Hitomi; Perez-Enciso, Miguel; Rasmussen, Morten; Frantz, Laurent; Megens, Hendrik-Jan; Crooijmans, Richard; Groenen, Martien; Arbuckle, Benjamin; Benecke, Nobert; Strand Vidarsdottir, Una; Burger, Joachim; Cucchi, Thomas; Dobney, Keith; Larson, Greger

    2013-01-01

    Zooarcheological evidence suggests that pigs were domesticated in Southwest Asia ∼8,500 BC. They then spread across the Middle and Near East and westward into Europe alongside early agriculturalists. European pigs were either domesticated independently or more likely appeared so as a result of admixture between introduced pigs and European wild boar. As a result, European wild boar mtDNA lineages replaced Near Eastern/Anatolian mtDNA signatures in Europe and subsequently replaced indigenous domestic pig lineages in Anatolia. The specific details of these processes, however, remain unknown. To address questions related to early pig domestication, dispersal, and turnover in the Near East, we analyzed ancient mitochondrial DNA and dental geometric morphometric variation in 393 ancient pig specimens representing 48 archeological sites (from the Pre-Pottery Neolithic to the Medieval period) from Armenia, Cyprus, Georgia, Iran, Syria, and Turkey. Our results reveal the first genetic signatures of early domestic pigs in the Near Eastern Neolithic core zone. We also demonstrate that these early pigs differed genetically from those in western Anatolia that were introduced to Europe during the Neolithic expansion. In addition, we present a significantly more refined chronology for the introduction of European domestic pigs into Asia Minor that took place during the Bronze Age, at least 900 years earlier than previously detected. By the 5th century AD, European signatures completely replaced the endemic lineages possibly coinciding with the widespread demographic and societal changes that occurred during the Anatolian Bronze and Iron Ages. PMID:23180578

  5. Pig domestication and human-mediated dispersal in western Eurasia revealed through ancient DNA and geometric morphometrics.

    PubMed

    Ottoni, Claudio; Flink, Linus Girdland; Evin, Allowen; Geörg, Christina; De Cupere, Bea; Van Neer, Wim; Bartosiewicz, László; Linderholm, Anna; Barnett, Ross; Peters, Joris; Decorte, Ronny; Waelkens, Marc; Vanderheyden, Nancy; Ricaut, François-Xavier; Cakirlar, Canan; Cevik, Ozlem; Hoelzel, A Rus; Mashkour, Marjan; Karimlu, Azadeh Fatemeh Mohaseb; Seno, Shiva Sheikhi; Daujat, Julie; Brock, Fiona; Pinhasi, Ron; Hongo, Hitomi; Perez-Enciso, Miguel; Rasmussen, Morten; Frantz, Laurent; Megens, Hendrik-Jan; Crooijmans, Richard; Groenen, Martien; Arbuckle, Benjamin; Benecke, Nobert; Vidarsdottir, Una Strand; Burger, Joachim; Cucchi, Thomas; Dobney, Keith; Larson, Greger

    2013-04-01

    Zooarcheological evidence suggests that pigs were domesticated in Southwest Asia ~8,500 BC. They then spread across the Middle and Near East and westward into Europe alongside early agriculturalists. European pigs were either domesticated independently or more likely appeared so as a result of admixture between introduced pigs and European wild boar. As a result, European wild boar mtDNA lineages replaced Near Eastern/Anatolian mtDNA signatures in Europe and subsequently replaced indigenous domestic pig lineages in Anatolia. The specific details of these processes, however, remain unknown. To address questions related to early pig domestication, dispersal, and turnover in the Near East, we analyzed ancient mitochondrial DNA and dental geometric morphometric variation in 393 ancient pig specimens representing 48 archeological sites (from the Pre-Pottery Neolithic to the Medieval period) from Armenia, Cyprus, Georgia, Iran, Syria, and Turkey. Our results reveal the first genetic signatures of early domestic pigs in the Near Eastern Neolithic core zone. We also demonstrate that these early pigs differed genetically from those in western Anatolia that were introduced to Europe during the Neolithic expansion. In addition, we present a significantly more refined chronology for the introduction of European domestic pigs into Asia Minor that took place during the Bronze Age, at least 900 years earlier than previously detected. By the 5th century AD, European signatures completely replaced the endemic lineages possibly coinciding with the widespread demographic and societal changes that occurred during the Anatolian Bronze and Iron Ages. PMID:23180578

  6. Ancient DNA from the Schild site in Illinois: Implications for the Mississippian transition in the Lower Illinois River Valley.

    PubMed

    Reynolds, Austin W; Raff, Jennifer A; Bolnick, Deborah A; Cook, Della C; Kaestle, Frederika A

    2015-03-01

    Archaeologists have long debated whether rapid cultural change in the archaeological record is due to in situ developments, migration of a new group into the region, or the spread of new cultural practices into an area through existing social networks, with the local peoples adopting and adapting practices from elsewhere as they see fit (acculturation). Researchers have suggested each of these explanations for the major cultural transition that occurred at the beginning of the Mississippian period (AD 1050) across eastern North America. In this study, we used ancient DNA to test competing hypotheses of migration and acculturation for the culture change that occurred between the Late Woodland (AD 400-1050) and Mississippian (AD 1050-1500) periods in the Lower Illinois River Valley. We obtained sequences of the first hypervariable segment of the mitochondrial genome (mtDNA) from 39 individuals (17 Late Woodland, 22 Mississippian) interred in the Schild cemetery in western Illinois, and compared these lineages to ancient mtDNA lineages present at other sites in the region. Computer simulations were used to test a null hypothesis of population continuity from Late Woodland to Mississippian times at the Schild site and to investigate the possibility of gene flow from elsewhere in the region. Our results suggest that the Late Woodland to Mississippian cultural transition at Schild was not due to an influx of people from elsewhere. Instead, it is more likely that the transition to Mississippian cultural practices at this site was due to a process of acculturation. PMID:25418693

  7. Mitochondrial haplogroup C in ancient mitochondrial DNA from Ukraine extends the presence of East Eurasian genetic lineages in Neolithic Central and Eastern Europe.

    PubMed

    Nikitin, Alexey G; Newton, Jeremy R; Potekhina, Inna D

    2012-09-01

    Recent studies of ancient mitochondrial DNA (mtDNA) lineages have revealed the presence of East Eurasian mtDNA haplogroups in the Central European Neolithic. Here we report the finding of East Eurasian lineages in ancient mtDNA from two Neolithic cemeteries of the North Pontic Region (NPR) in Ukraine. In our study, comprehensive haplotyping information was obtained for 7 out of 18 specimens. Although the majority of identified mtDNA haplogroups belonged to the traditional West Eurasian lineages of H and U, three specimens were determined to belong to the lineages of mtDNA haplogroup C. This find extends the presence of East Eurasian lineages in Neolithic Europe from the Carpathian Mountains to the northern shores of the Black Sea and provides the first genetic account of Neolithic mtDNA lineages from the NPR. PMID:22673688

  8. Ancient DNA Reveals Prehistoric Gene-Flow from Siberia in the Complex Human Population History of North East Europe

    PubMed Central

    Der Sarkissian, Clio; Balanovsky, Oleg; Brandt, Guido; Khartanovich, Valery; Buzhilova, Alexandra; Koshel, Sergey; Zaporozhchenko, Valery; Gronenborn, Detlef; Moiseyev, Vyacheslav; Kolpakov, Eugen; Shumkin, Vladimir; Alt, Kurt W.; Balanovska, Elena; Cooper, Alan; Haak, Wolfgang

    2013-01-01

    North East Europe harbors a high diversity of cultures and languages, suggesting a complex genetic history. Archaeological, anthropological, and genetic research has revealed a series of influences from Western and Eastern Eurasia in the past. While genetic data from modern-day populations is commonly used to make inferences about their origins and past migrations, ancient DNA provides a powerful test of such hypotheses by giving a snapshot of the past genetic diversity. In order to better understand the dynamics that have shaped the gene pool of North East Europeans, we generated and analyzed 34 mitochondrial genotypes from the skeletal remains of three archaeological sites in northwest Russia. These sites were dated to the Mesolithic and the Early Metal Age (7,500 and 3,500 uncalibrated years Before Present). We applied a suite of population genetic analyses (principal component analysis, genetic distance mapping, haplotype sharing analyses) and compared past demographic models through coalescent simulations using Bayesian Serial SimCoal and Approximate Bayesian Computation. Comparisons of genetic data from ancient and modern-day populations revealed significant changes in the mitochondrial makeup of North East Europeans through time. Mesolithic foragers showed high frequencies and diversity of haplogroups U (U2e, U4, U5a), a pattern observed previously in European hunter-gatherers from Iberia to Scandinavia. In contrast, the presence of mitochondrial DNA haplogroups C, D, and Z in Early Metal Age individuals suggested discontinuity with Mesolithic hunter-gatherers and genetic influx from central/eastern Siberia. We identified remarkable genetic dissimilarities between prehistoric and modern-day North East Europeans/Saami, which suggests an important role of post-Mesolithic migrations from Western Europe and subsequent population replacement/extinctions. This work demonstrates how ancient DNA can improve our understanding of human population movements across

  9. A cautionary tale on ancient migration detection: mitochondrial DNA variation in Santa Cruz Islands, Solomon Islands.

    PubMed

    Friedlaender, J S; Gentz, Fred; Green, K; Merriwether, D A

    2002-06-01

    Over the past decade, the origin of the first Malayo-Polynesian settlers of the island Pacific has become a contentious issue in molecular anthropology as well as in archaeology and historical linguistics. Whether the descendants of the ancestral Malayo-Polynesian speakers moved rapidly through Indonesia and Island Melanesia in a few hundred years, or whether they were the product of considerable intermingling within the more westerly part of the latter region, it is widely accepted that they were the first humans to colonize the distant Pacific islands beyond the central Solomon Islands approximately 3,000 years ago. The Santa Cruz Islands in the Eastern Solomons would have most likely been the first in Remote Oceania to be colonized by them. Archaeologically, the first Oceanic Austronesian settlement of this region appears to have been overlain by various later influences from groups farther west in a complex manner. Molecular anthropologists have tended to equate the spread of various Austronesian-speaking groups with a particular mitochondrial variant (a 9-base-pair [bp] deletion with specific D-loop variants). We have shown before that this is an oversimplified picture, and assumed that the Santa Cruz situation, with its series of intrusions, would be informative as to the power of mitochondrial DNA haplotype interpretations. In the Santa Cruz Islands, the 9-bp deletion is associated with a small number of very closely related hypervariable D-loop haplotypes resulting in a star-shaped Bandelt median network, suggesting a recent population expansion. This network is similar to Polynesian median networks. In a pairwise mismatch comparison, the Santa Cruz haplotypes have a bimodal distribution, with the first cluster being composed almost entirely of the 9-bp-deleted haplotypes-again attesting to their recent origins. Conversely, the nondeleted haplogroups bear signatures of more ancient origins within the general region. Therefore, while the profiles of the two

  10. Time-resolved laser-induced fluorescence study on dyes used in DNA sequencing

    SciTech Connect

    Chang, Kaisyang; Force, R.K. )

    1993-01-01

    Research on the time-resolved fluorescence of fluorescein isothiocyanate, NBD, tetramethylrhodamine isothiocyanate, and Texas Red - the dyes used for fluorescence-based DNA sequencing - is described. Mean fluorescence lifetiems in both aqueous buffer solution and 5.3%T, 4.8%C polyacrylamide gel were determined as a function of excitation wave-lengths at 337, 470, and 550 nm and were found to be 3.5, 1.1, 2.5, and 4.3 ns; the detection limits are 10, 200, 200 and 200 amol for FITC, NBD, TEMR, and T. Red, respectively. Comparisons of fluorescence parameters between the conjugated dyes and the free dyes are also reported. Results on the optimization of the excitation source wavelengths to improve sensitivity and reduce background scattering in polyacrylamide gel are also reported. Time-resolved fluorescence was successfully applied to resolve spectral overlapping of emissions in both solution and in polyacrylamide gel. 12 refs., 6 figs., 1 tab.

  11. Evidence Supporting the Uptake and Genomic Incorporation of Environmental DNA in the "Ancient Asexual" Bdelloid Rotifer Philodina roseola.

    PubMed

    Bininda-Emonds, Olaf R P; Hinz, Claus; Ahlrichs, Wilko H

    2016-01-01

    Increasing evidence suggests that bdelloid rotifers regularly undergo horizontal gene transfer, apparently as a surrogate mechanism of genetic exchange in the absence of true sexual reproduction, in part because of their ability to withstand desiccation. We provide empirical support for this latter hypothesis using the bdelloid Philodina roseola, which we demonstrate to readily internalize environmental DNA in contrast to a representative monogonont rotifer (Brachionus rubens), which, like other monogononts, is facultative sexual and cannot withstand desiccation. In addition, environmental DNA that was more similar to the host DNA was retained more often and for a longer period of time. Indirect evidence (increased variance in the reproductive output of the untreated F1 generation) suggests that environmental DNA can be incorporated into the genome during desiccation and is thus heritable. Our observed fitness effects agree with sexual theory and also occurred when the animals were desiccated in groups (thereby acting as DNA donors), but not individually, indicating the mechanism could occur in nature. Thus, although DNA uptake and its genomic incorporation appears proximally related to anhydrobiosis in bdelloids, it might also facilitate accidental genetic exchange with closely related taxa, thereby maintaining higher levels of genetic diversity than is otherwise expected for this group of "ancient asexuals". PMID:27608044

  12. Genetic diversity loss in a biodiversity hotspot: ancient DNA quantifies genetic decline and former connectivity in a critically endangered marsupial.

    PubMed

    Pacioni, Carlo; Hunt, Helen; Allentoft, Morten E; Vaughan, Timothy G; Wayne, Adrian F; Baynes, Alexander; Haouchar, Dalal; Dortch, Joe; Bunce, Michael

    2015-12-01

    The extent of genetic diversity loss and former connectivity between fragmented populations are often unknown factors when studying endangered species. While genetic techniques are commonly applied in extant populations to assess temporal and spatial demographic changes, it is no substitute for directly measuring past diversity using ancient DNA (aDNA). We analysed both mitochondrial DNA (mtDNA) and nuclear microsatellite loci from 64 historical fossil and skin samples of the critically endangered Western Australian woylie (Bettongia penicillata ogilbyi), and compared them with 231 (n = 152 for mtDNA) modern samples. In modern woylie populations 15 mitochondrial control region (CR) haplotypes were identified. Interestingly, mtDNA CR data from only 29 historical samples demonstrated 15 previously unknown haplotypes and detected an extinct divergent clade. Through modelling, we estimated the loss of CR mtDNA diversity to be between 46% and 91% and estimated this to have occurred in the past 2000-4000 years in association with a dramatic population decline. In addition, we obtained near-complete 11-loci microsatellite profiles from 21 historical samples. In agreement with the mtDNA data, a number of 'new' microsatellite alleles was only detected in the historical populations despite extensive modern sampling, indicating a nuclear genetic diversity loss >20%. Calculations of genetic diversity (heterozygosity and allelic rarefaction) showed that these were significantly higher in the past and that there was a high degree of gene flow across the woylie's historical range. These findings have an immediate impact on how the extant populations are managed and we recommend the implementation of an assisted migration programme to prevent further loss of genetic diversity. Our study demonstrates the value of integrating aDNA data into current-day conservation strategies. PMID:26497007

  13. Low Mitochondrial DNA Diversity in an Ancient Population from China: Insight into Social Organization at the Fujia Site.

    PubMed

    Dong, Yu; Li, Chunxiang; Luan, Fengshi; Li, Zhenguang; Li, Hongjie; Cui, Yinqiu; Zhou, Hui; Malhi, Ripan S

    2015-01-01

    To gain insight into the social organization of a population associated with the Dawenkou period, we performed ancient DNA analysis of 18 individuals from human remains from the Fujia site in Shandong Province, China. Directly radiocarbon dated to 4800-4500 cal BP, the Fujia site is assumed to be associated with a transitional phase from matrilineal clans to patrilineal monogamous families. Our results reveal a low mitochondrial DNA diversity from the site and population. Combined with Y chromosome data, the pattern observed at the Fujia site is most consistent with a matrilineal community. The patterns also suggest that the bond of marriage was de-emphasized compared with the bonds of descent at Fujia. PMID:26416323

  14. The recovery of ancient DNA from Dasypus bellus provides new possibilities for investigating late Pleistocene mammal response to climate change

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Letts, Brandon; Shapiro, Beth

    2010-05-01

    Dasypus bellus, the 'beautiful armadillo,' is well known as a casualty of the Pleistocene megafaunal mass extinction event. Appearing in the fossil record about 2.5 Mya, D. bellus was widespread throughout the mid to southern United States and Mexico until it went extinct by about 10 kya. It was replaced by D. novemcinctus, the nine-banded armadillo, which is morphologically identical but smaller. The exact taxonomic status of D. bellus and its phylogenetic relationship with D. novemcinctus has been a subject of debate. In particular, it remains unresolved whether D. bellus was more closely related to North American than South American D. novemcinctus. To address this, we extracted and sequenced fragments of ancient mitochondrial DNA from surprisingly well-preserved remains of D. bellus recovered from Mefford Cave in Florida. Our results reveal a surprisingly close relationship between the extinct D. bellus and North American D. novemcinctus. Although southern climates have been considered inhospitable for the preservation of ancient DNA, thousands of bones per individual and the propensity of the armadillo to seek out shelter in caves makes preservation more likely than for other organisms. The armadillo may therefore make an excellent proxy organism for investigating the influence of climate change on animal populations south of the cold permafrost regions.

  15. Ancient DNA from South-East Europe Reveals Different Events during Early and Middle Neolithic Influencing the European Genetic Heritage.

    PubMed

    Hervella, Montserrat; Rotea, Mihai; Izagirre, Neskuts; Constantinescu, Mihai; Alonso, Santos; Ioana, Mihai; Lazăr, Cătălin; Ridiche, Florin; Soficaru, Andrei Dorian; Netea, Mihai G; de-la-Rua, Concepcion

    2015-01-01

    The importance of the process of Neolithization for the genetic make-up of European populations has been hotly debated, with shifting hypotheses from a demic diffusion (DD) to a cultural diffusion (CD) model. In this regard, ancient DNA data from the Balkan Peninsula, which is an important source of information to assess the process of Neolithization in Europe, is however missing. In the present study we show genetic information on ancient populations of the South-East of Europe. We assessed mtDNA from ten sites from the current territory of Romania, spanning a time-period from the Early Neolithic to the Late Bronze Age. mtDNA data from Early Neolithic farmers of the Starčevo Criş culture in Romania (Cârcea, Gura Baciului and Negrileşti sites), confirm their genetic relationship with those of the LBK culture (Linienbandkeramik Kultur) in Central Europe, and they show little genetic continuity with modern European populations. On the other hand, populations of the Middle-Late Neolithic (Boian, Zau and Gumelniţa cultures), supposedly a second wave of Neolithic migration from Anatolia, had a much stronger effect on the genetic heritage of the European populations. In contrast, we find a smaller contribution of Late Bronze Age migrations to the genetic composition of Europeans. Based on these findings, we propose that permeation of mtDNA lineages from a second wave of Middle-Late Neolithic migration from North-West Anatolia into the Balkan Peninsula and Central Europe represent an important contribution to the genetic shift between Early and Late Neolithic populations in Europe, and consequently to the genetic make-up of modern European populations. PMID:26053041

  16. Ancient DNA from South-East Europe Reveals Different Events during Early and Middle Neolithic Influencing the European Genetic Heritage

    PubMed Central

    Hervella, Montserrat; Rotea, Mihai; Izagirre, Neskuts; Constantinescu, Mihai; Alonso, Santos; Ioana, Mihai; Lazăr, Cătălin; Ridiche, Florin; Soficaru, Andrei Dorian; Netea, Mihai G.; de-la-Rua, Concepcion

    2015-01-01

    The importance of the process of Neolithization for the genetic make-up of European populations has been hotly debated, with shifting hypotheses from a demic diffusion (DD) to a cultural diffusion (CD) model. In this regard, ancient DNA data from the Balkan Peninsula, which is an important source of information to assess the process of Neolithization in Europe, is however missing. In the present study we show genetic information on ancient populations of the South-East of Europe. We assessed mtDNA from ten sites from the current territory of Romania, spanning a time-period from the Early Neolithic to the Late Bronze Age. mtDNA data from Early Neolithic farmers of the Starčevo Criş culture in Romania (Cârcea, Gura Baciului and Negrileşti sites), confirm their genetic relationship with those of the LBK culture (Linienbandkeramik Kultur) in Central Europe, and they show little genetic continuity with modern European populations. On the other hand, populations of the Middle-Late Neolithic (Boian, Zau and Gumelniţa cultures), supposedly a second wave of Neolithic migration from Anatolia, had a much stronger effect on the genetic heritage of the European populations. In contrast, we find a smaller contribution of Late Bronze Age migrations to the genetic composition of Europeans. Based on these findings, we propose that permeation of mtDNA lineages from a second wave of Middle-Late Neolithic migration from North-West Anatolia into the Balkan Peninsula and Central Europe represent an important contribution to the genetic shift between Early and Late Neolithic populations in Europe, and consequently to the genetic make-up of modern European populations. PMID:26053041

  17. Mitochondrial DNA and Y-chromosomal diversity in ancient populations of domestic sheep (Ovis aries) in Finland: comparison with contemporary sheep breeds

    PubMed Central

    2013-01-01

    Background Several molecular and population genetic studies have focused on the native sheep breeds of Finland. In this work, we investigated their ancestral sheep populations from Iron Age, Medieval and Post-Medieval periods by sequencing a partial mitochondrial DNA D-loop and the 5’-promoter region of the SRY gene. We compared the maternal (mitochondrial DNA haplotypes) and paternal (SNP oY1) genetic diversity of ancient sheep in Finland with modern domestic sheep populations in Europe and Asia to study temporal changes in genetic variation and affinities between ancient and modern populations. Results A 523-bp mitochondrial DNA sequence was successfully amplified for 26 of 36 sheep ancient samples i.e. five, seven and 14 samples representative of Iron Age, Medieval and Post-Medieval sheep, respectively. Genetic diversity was analyzed within the cohorts. This ancient dataset was compared with present-day data consisting of 94 animals from 10 contemporary European breeds and with GenBank DNA sequence data to carry out a haplotype sharing analysis. Among the 18 ancient mitochondrial DNA haplotypes identified, 14 were present in the modern breeds. Ancient haplotypes were assigned to the highly divergent ovine haplogroups A and B, haplogroup B being the major lineage within the cohorts. Only two haplotypes were detected in the Iron Age samples, while the genetic diversity of the Medieval and Post-Medieval cohorts was higher. For three of the ancient DNA samples, Y-chromosome SRY gene sequences were amplified indicating that they originated from rams. The SRY gene of these three ancient ram samples contained SNP G-oY1, which is frequent in modern north-European sheep breeds. Conclusions Our study did not reveal any sign of major population replacement of native sheep in Finland since the Iron Age. Variations in the availability of archaeological remains may explain differences in genetic diversity estimates and patterns within the cohorts rather than demographic

  18. Empirical calibrated radiocarbon sampler: a tool for incorporating radiocarbon-date and calibration error into Bayesian phylogenetic analyses of ancient DNA.

    PubMed

    Molak, Martyna; Suchard, Marc A; Ho, Simon Y W; Beilman, David W; Shapiro, Beth

    2015-01-01

    Studies of DNA from ancient samples provide a valuable opportunity to gain insight into past evolutionary and demographic processes. Bayesian phylogenetic methods can estimate evolutionary rates and timescales from ancient DNA sequences, with the ages of the samples acting as calibrations for the molecular clock. Sample ages are often estimated using radiocarbon dating, but the associated measurement error is rarely taken into account. In addition, the total uncertainty quantified by converting radiocarbon dates to calendar dates is typically ignored. Here, we present a tool for incorporating both of these sources of uncertainty into Bayesian phylogenetic analyses of ancient DNA. This empirical calibrated radiocarbon sampler (ECRS) integrates the age uncertainty for each ancient sequence over the calibrated probability density function estimated for its radiocarbon date and associated error. We use the ECRS to analyse three ancient DNA data sets. Accounting for radiocarbon-dating and calibration error appeared to have little impact on estimates of evolutionary rates and related parameters for these data sets. However, analyses of other data sets, particularly those with few or only very old radiocarbon dates, might be more sensitive to using artificially precise sample ages and should benefit from use of the ECRS. PMID:24964386

  19. All that is gold does not glitter? Age, taxonomy, and ancient plant DNA quality

    PubMed Central

    Choi, JinHee; Lee, HyeJi

    2015-01-01

    More than 600 herbarium samples from four distantly related groups of flowering plants were used for DNA extraction and subsequent measurements of DNA purity and concentration. We did not find any significant relation between DNA purity and the age of the sample. However, DNA yields were different between plant groups studied. We believe that there there should be no reservations about “old” samples if the goal is to extract more DNA of better purity. We argue that the older herbarium samples are the mine for the future DNA studies, and have the value not less than the “fresh” specimens. PMID:26244108

  20. All that is gold does not glitter? Age, taxonomy, and ancient plant DNA quality.

    PubMed

    Choi, JinHee; Lee, HyeJi; Shipunov, Alexey

    2015-01-01

    More than 600 herbarium samples from four distantly related groups of flowering plants were used for DNA extraction and subsequent measurements of DNA purity and concentration. We did not find any significant relation between DNA purity and the age of the sample. However, DNA yields were different between plant groups studied. We believe that there there should be no reservations about "old" samples if the goal is to extract more DNA of better purity. We argue that the older herbarium samples are the mine for the future DNA studies, and have the value not less than the "fresh" specimens. PMID:26244108

  1. Dirt, dates and DNA: Single-grain OSL and radiocarbon chronologies of perennially-frozen sediments, and their implications for sedimentary ancient DNA studies

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Arnold, Lee J.; Roberts, Richard G.; Demuro, Martina; Macphee, Ross D. E.; Froese, Duane G.; Brock, Fiona; Willerslev, Eske

    2010-05-01

    Recent studies using 'sedimentary' ancient DNA (sedaDNA) techniques have demonstrated that sequence-based taxonomic identifications can be reliably made from perennially-frozen bulk sediment samples that are up to several hundred thousand years old. Amongst other possible uses, this technique provides the opportunity to search for genetic traces of extinct fauna in contexts in which in situ macrofossils are exceedingly rare or absent. In well controlled circumstances, sedaDNA can provide a sensitive tool for investigating species evolution and extinction dynamics. The use of sedaDNA techniques for this purpose, however, is reliant on the provision of reliable numerical age control directly on the bulk sediments from which DNA is extracted for analysis. An implicit assumption of the sedaDNA approach is that the extracted DNA is autochthonous with the host deposit and that it has not been physically transported from older source deposits or reworked within the sedimentary profile by post-depositional mixing. In this paper we investigate whether these fundamental conditions are upheld for (i) a range of perennially-frozen wetland sites across the Taimyr Peninsula and adjacent coastal lowlands of north-central Siberia, and (ii) locally-derived, perennially-frozen, loess sediments exposed along a 14.5 m thick river bluff sequence at the Stevens Village site, interior Alaska. Single-grain optically stimulated luminescence (OSL) and radiocarbon (14C) dating are combined to constrain the ages of both the inorganic and organic fractions of perennially-frozen deposits from which sedaDNA of extinct and extant species have been recovered. In doing so, we aim to provide new insights into the physical processes that can affect perennially-frozen sedaDNA sequences in high-latitude regions. OSL and 14C age/depth profiles, as well as single-grain equivalent dose (De) distribution characteristics, are used to assess the stratigraphic integrity of these sedaDNA sequences by (i

  2. Differential Nuclear and Mitochondrial DNA Preservation in Post-Mortem Teeth with Implications for Forensic and Ancient DNA Studies

    PubMed Central

    Higgins, Denice; Rohrlach, Adam B.; Kaidonis, John; Townsend, Grant; Austin, Jeremy J.

    2015-01-01

    Major advances in genetic analysis of skeletal remains have been made over the last decade, primarily due to improvements in post-DNA-extraction techniques. Despite this, a key challenge for DNA analysis of skeletal remains is the limited yield of DNA recovered from these poorly preserved samples. Enhanced DNA recovery by improved sampling and extraction techniques would allow further advancements. However, little is known about the post-mortem kinetics of DNA degradation and whether the rate of degradation varies between nuclear and mitochondrial DNA or across different skeletal tissues. This knowledge, along with information regarding ante-mortem DNA distribution within skeletal elements, would inform sampling protocols facilitating development of improved extraction processes. Here we present a combined genetic and histological examination of DNA content and rates of DNA degradation in the different tooth tissues of 150 human molars over short-medium post-mortem intervals. DNA was extracted from coronal dentine, root dentine, cementum and pulp of 114 teeth via a silica column method and the remaining 36 teeth were examined histologically. Real time quantification assays based on two nuclear DNA fragments (67 bp and 156 bp) and one mitochondrial DNA fragment (77 bp) showed nuclear and mitochondrial DNA degraded exponentially, but at different rates, depending on post-mortem interval and soil temperature. In contrast to previous studies, we identified differential survival of nuclear and mtDNA in different tooth tissues. Futhermore histological examination showed pulp and dentine were rapidly affected by loss of structural integrity, and pulp was completely destroyed in a relatively short time period. Conversely, cementum showed little structural change over the same time period. Finally, we confirm that targeted sampling of cementum from teeth buried for up to 16 months can provide a reliable source of nuclear DNA for STR-based genotyping using standard

  3. Differential nuclear and mitochondrial DNA preservation in post-mortem teeth with implications for forensic and ancient DNA studies.

    PubMed

    Higgins, Denice; Rohrlach, Adam B; Kaidonis, John; Townsend, Grant; Austin, Jeremy J

    2015-01-01

    Major advances in genetic analysis of skeletal remains have been made over the last decade, primarily due to improvements in post-DNA-extraction techniques. Despite this, a key challenge for DNA analysis of skeletal remains is the limited yield of DNA recovered from these poorly preserved samples. Enhanced DNA recovery by improved sampling and extraction techniques would allow further advancements. However, little is known about the post-mortem kinetics of DNA degradation and whether the rate of degradation varies between nuclear and mitochondrial DNA or across different skeletal tissues. This knowledge, along with information regarding ante-mortem DNA distribution within skeletal elements, would inform sampling protocols facilitating development of improved extraction processes. Here we present a combined genetic and histological examination of DNA content and rates of DNA degradation in the different tooth tissues of 150 human molars over short-medium post-mortem intervals. DNA was extracted from coronal dentine, root dentine, cementum and pulp of 114 teeth via a silica column method and the remaining 36 teeth were examined histologically. Real time quantification assays based on two nuclear DNA fragments (67 bp and 156 bp) and one mitochondrial DNA fragment (77 bp) showed nuclear and mitochondrial DNA degraded exponentially, but at different rates, depending on post-mortem interval and soil temperature. In contrast to previous studies, we identified differential survival of nuclear and mtDNA in different tooth tissues. Furthermore histological examination showed pulp and dentine were rapidly affected by loss of structural integrity, and pulp was completely destroyed in a relatively short time period. Conversely, cementum showed little structural change over the same time period. Finally, we confirm that targeted sampling of cementum from teeth buried for up to 16 months can provide a reliable source of nuclear DNA for STR-based genotyping using standard

  4. Ancient DNA microsatellite analyses of the extinct New Zealand giant moa (Dinornis robustus) identify relatives within a single fossil site.

    PubMed

    Allentoft, M E; Heller, R; Holdaway, R N; Bunce, M

    2015-12-01

    By analysing ancient DNA (aDNA) from 74 (14)C-dated individuals of the extinct South Island giant moa (Dinornis robustus) of New Zealand, we identified four dyads of closely related adult females. Although our total sample included bones from four fossil deposits located within a 10 km radius, these eight individuals had all been excavated from the same locality. Indications of kinship were based on high pairwise genetic relatedness (rXY) in six microsatellite markers genotyped from aDNA, coupled with overlapping radiocarbon ages. The observed rXY values in the four dyads exceeded a conservative cutoff value for potential relatives obtained from simulated data. In three of the four dyads, the kinship was further supported by observing shared and rare mitochondrial haplotypes. Simulations demonstrated that the proportion of observed dyads above the cutoff value was at least 20 times higher than expected in a randomly mating population with temporal sampling, also when introducing population structure in the simulations. We conclude that the results must reflect social structure in the moa population and we discuss the implications for future aDNA research. PMID:26039408

  5. CMOS Time-Resolved, Contact, and Multispectral Fluorescence Imaging for DNA Molecular Diagnostics

    PubMed Central

    Guo, Nan; Cheung, Ka Wai; Wong, Hiu Tung; Ho, Derek

    2014-01-01

    Instrumental limitations such as bulkiness and high cost prevent the fluorescence technique from becoming ubiquitous for point-of-care deoxyribonucleic acid (DNA) detection and other in-field molecular diagnostics applications. The complimentary metal-oxide-semiconductor (CMOS) technology, as benefited from process scaling, provides several advanced capabilities such as high integration density, high-resolution signal processing, and low power consumption, enabling sensitive, integrated, and low-cost fluorescence analytical platforms. In this paper, CMOS time-resolved, contact, and multispectral imaging are reviewed. Recently reported CMOS fluorescence analysis microsystem prototypes are surveyed to highlight the present state of the art. PMID:25365460

  6. Time-resolved FRET and PCT in cationic conjugated polymer/dye-labeled DNA complex

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Kim, Inhong; Kim, Jihoon; Kim, Bumjin; Kang, Mijeong; Woo, Han Young; Kyhm, Kwangseuk

    2011-12-01

    The energy transfer mechanism between cationic conjugated polyelectrolytes and a single stranded DNA labeled with fluorescein was investigated in terms of Förster resonance energy transfer (FRET) and photo-induced charge transfer (PCT) by time-resolved fluorescence. Both FRET and PCT rate efficiencies were obtained by phenomenological coupled rate equations, which are in excellent agreement with experiments. We found the total energy transfer in the complex is maximized as a consequence of FRET and PCT at an optimum distance 32.7Å.

  7. Proxy comparison in ancient peat sediments: pollen, macrofossil and plant DNA

    PubMed Central

    Parducci, Laura; Väliranta, Minna; Salonen, J. Sakari; Ronkainen, Tiina; Matetovici, Irina; Fontana, Sonia L.; Eskola, Tiina; Sarala, Pertti; Suyama, Yoshihisa

    2015-01-01

    We compared DNA, pollen and macrofossil data obtained from Weichselian interstadial (age more than 40 kyr) and Holocene (maximum age 8400 cal yr BP) peat sediments from northern Europe and used them to reconstruct contemporary floristic compositions at two sites. The majority of the samples provided plant DNA sequences of good quality with success amplification rates depending on age. DNA and sequencing analysis provided five plant taxa from the older site and nine taxa from the younger site, corresponding to 7% and 15% of the total number of taxa identified by the three proxies together. At both sites, pollen analysis detected the largest (54) and DNA the lowest (10) number of taxa, but five of the DNA taxa were not detected by pollen and macrofossils. The finding of a larger overlap between DNA and pollen than between DNA and macrofossils proxies seems to go against our previous suggestion based on lacustrine sediments that DNA originates principally from plant tissues and less from pollen. At both sites, we also detected Quercus spp. DNA, but few pollen grains were found in the record, and these are normally interpreted as long-distance dispersal. We confirm that in palaeoecological investigations, sedimentary DNA analysis is less comprehensive than classical morphological analysis, but is a complementary and important tool to obtain a more complete picture of past flora. PMID:25487333

  8. Ancient DNA Analysis Suggests Negligible Impact of the Wari Empire Expansion in Peru's Central Coast during the Middle Horizon.

    PubMed

    Valverde, Guido; Barreto Romero, María Inés; Flores Espinoza, Isabel; Cooper, Alan; Fehren-Schmitz, Lars; Llamas, Bastien; Haak, Wolfgang

    2016-01-01

    The analysis of ancient human DNA from South America allows the exploration of pre-Columbian population history through time and to directly test hypotheses about cultural and demographic evolution. The Middle Horizon (650-1100 AD) represents a major transitional period in the Central Andes, which is associated with the development and expansion of ancient Andean empires such as Wari and Tiwanaku. These empires facilitated a series of interregional interactions and socio-political changes, which likely played an important role in shaping the region's demographic and cultural profiles. We analyzed individuals from three successive pre-Columbian cultures present at the Huaca Pucllana archaeological site in Lima, Peru: Lima (Early Intermediate Period, 500-700 AD), Wari (Middle Horizon, 800-1000 AD) and Ychsma (Late Intermediate Period, 1000-1450 AD). We sequenced 34 complete mitochondrial genomes to investigate the potential genetic impact of the Wari Empire in the Central Coast of Peru. The results indicate that genetic diversity shifted only slightly through time, ruling out a complete population discontinuity or replacement driven by the Wari imperialist hegemony, at least in the region around present-day Lima. However, we caution that the very subtle genetic contribution of Wari imperialism at the particular Huaca Pucllana archaeological site might not be representative for the entire Wari territory in the Peruvian Central Coast. PMID:27248693

  9. Ancient DNA analysis of the oldest canid species from the Siberian Arctic and genetic contribution to the domestic dog.

    PubMed

    Lee, Esther J; Merriwether, D Andrew; Kasparov, Alexei K; Nikolskiy, Pavel A; Sotnikova, Marina V; Pavlova, Elena Yu; Pitulko, Vladimir V

    2015-01-01

    Modern Arctic Siberia provides a wealth of resources for archaeological, geological, and paleontological research to investigate the population dynamics of faunal communities from the Pleistocene, particularly as the faunal material coming from permafrost has proven suitable for genetic studies. In order to examine the history of the Canid species in the Siberian Arctic, we carried out genetic analysis of fourteen canid remains from various sites, including the well-documented Upper Paleolithic Yana RHS and Early Holocene Zhokhov Island sites. Estimated age of samples range from as recent as 1,700 years before present (YBP) to at least 360,000 YBP for the remains of the extinct wolf, Canis cf. variabilis. In order to examine the genetic affinities of ancient Siberian canids species to the domestic dog and modern wolves, we obtained mitochondrial DNA control region sequences and compared them to published ancient and modern canid sequences. The older canid specimens illustrate affinities with pre-domestic dog/wolf lineages while others appear in the major phylogenetic clades of domestic dogs. Our results suggest a European origin of domestic dog may not be conclusive and illustrates an emerging complexity of genetic contribution of regional wolf breeds to the modern Canis gene pool. PMID:26018528

  10. Ancient DNA Analysis of the Oldest Canid Species from the Siberian Arctic and Genetic Contribution to the Domestic Dog

    PubMed Central

    Lee, Esther J.; Merriwether, D. Andrew; Kasparov, Alexei K.; Nikolskiy, Pavel A.; Sotnikova, Marina V.; Pavlova, Elena Yu; Pitulko, Vladimir V.

    2015-01-01

    Modern Arctic Siberia provides a wealth of resources for archaeological, geological, and paleontological research to investigate the population dynamics of faunal communities from the Pleistocene, particularly as the faunal material coming from permafrost has proven suitable for genetic studies. In order to examine the history of the Canid species in the Siberian Arctic, we carried out genetic analysis of fourteen canid remains from various sites, including the well-documented Upper Paleolithic Yana RHS and Early Holocene Zhokhov Island sites. Estimated age of samples range from as recent as 1,700 years before present (YBP) to at least 360,000 YBP for the remains of the extinct wolf, Canis cf. variabilis. In order to examine the genetic affinities of ancient Siberian canids species to the domestic dog and modern wolves, we obtained mitochondrial DNA control region sequences and compared them to published ancient and modern canid sequences. The older canid specimens illustrate affinities with pre-domestic dog/wolf lineages while others appear in the major phylogenetic clades of domestic dogs. Our results suggest a European origin of domestic dog may not be conclusive and illustrates an emerging complexity of genetic contribution of regional wolf breeds to the modern Canis gene pool. PMID:26018528

  11. Structure, distribution, and expression of an ancient murine endogenous retroviruslike DNA family.

    PubMed Central

    Obata, M M; Khan, A S

    1988-01-01

    An endogenous retroviruslike DNA, B-26, was cloned from a BALB/c mouse embryo gene library by using a generalized murine leukemia virus DNA probe. Southern blot hybridization and nucleotide sequence analyses indicated that B-26 DNA might be a novel member of the GLN DNA family (A. Itin and E. Keshet, J. Virol. 59:301-307, 1986) which contains murine leukemia virus-related pol and env sequences. Northern analysis indicated that B-26-related RNAs of 8.4 and 3.0 kilobases were transcribed in thymus, spleen, brain, and liver tissues of 6-week-old BALB/c mice. Images PMID:3172346

  12. Crystal Structure of a Eukaryotic GEN1 Resolving Enzyme Bound to DNA

    PubMed Central

    Liu, Yijin; Freeman, Alasdair D.J.; Déclais, Anne-Cécile; Wilson, Timothy J.; Gartner, Anton; Lilley, David M.J.

    2015-01-01

    Summary We present the crystal structure of the junction-resolving enzyme GEN1 bound to DNA at 2.5 Å resolution. The structure of the GEN1 protein reveals it to have an elaborated FEN-XPG family fold that is modified for its role in four-way junction resolution. The functional unit in the crystal is a monomer of active GEN1 bound to the product of resolution cleavage, with an extensive DNA binding interface for both helical arms. Within the crystal lattice, a GEN1 dimer interface juxtaposes two products, whereby they can be reconnected into a four-way junction, the structure of which agrees with that determined in solution. The reconnection requires some opening of the DNA structure at the center, in agreement with permanganate probing and 2-aminopurine fluorescence. The structure shows that a relaxation of the DNA structure accompanies cleavage, suggesting how second-strand cleavage is accelerated to ensure productive resolution of the junction. PMID:26686639

  13. Scanning Tunneling Microscopy and Spectroscopy: I. Semimetals and Semiconductors. I. Atom-Resolved Imaging of DNA.

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Driscoll, Robert James

    1993-01-01

    The topographic and electronic structure of semimetal and semiconductor surfaces were investigated using scanning tunneling microscopy (STM) and scanning tunneling spectroscopy (STS), respectively. The long-range morphology and atomic -scale characteristics of cleaved materials, including highly oriented pyrolitic graphite (HOPG), boronated pyrolitic graphite (BPG), titanium disulfide, and gallium arsenide (GaAs), were revealed by STM performed in ultrahigh vacuum (UHV). Atom-resolved constant current topographs and current -imaging data, as well as barrier height information, are presented. Both point and line defects were observed on these surfaces. Visual evidence of coulombic screening caused by adsorption of charged species on n-GaAs(110) is provided. On BPG samples, containing up to 0.5% boron, boron substituent atoms appeared as protrusions approximately 3 A in diameter, with a density consistent with the known concentration. The BPG surface contained numerous line defects, including large-angle grain boundaries, and monolayer -deep etch pits. The effects of stress on the morphology of an annealed vicinal Si(111) wafer were explored. The height and orientation of step bunches, as well as terrace widths, on the (7 x 7) surface were determined. Line fault defects at step kinks were observed; theories for the origin and structure of these features based on stress relief are proposed. Current imaging tunneling spectroscopy (CITS) revealed differences between the adatom sites of the (7 x 7) surface. Atom-resolved barrier height images were also obtained. The measured barrier height was seen to depend strongly on the "cleanliness" of the STM tip. In addition, atom-resolved STM images of duplex DNA supported on a HOPG surface were obtained in UHV. These images revealed double-helical structure, major and minor groove alternation, base pairs, and atomic-scale substructure. The DNA dimensions derived from the STM data were in agreement with dimensions from x

  14. An ancient icon reveals new mysteries: mummy DNA resurrects a cryptic species within the Nile crocodile.

    PubMed

    Hekkala, Evon; Shirley, Matthew H; Amato, George; Austin, James D; Charter, Suellen; Thorbjarnarson, John; Vliet, Kent A; Houck, Marlys L; Desalle, Rob; Blum, Michael J

    2011-10-01

    The Nile crocodile (Crocodylus niloticus) is an ancient icon of both cultural and scientific interest. The species is emblematic of the great civilizations of the Nile River valley and serves as a model for international wildlife conservation. Despite its familiarity, a centuries-long dispute over the taxonomic status of the Nile crocodile remains unresolved. This dispute not only confounds our understanding of the origins and biogeography of the 'true crocodiles' of the crown genus Crocodylus, but also complicates conservation and management of this commercially valuable species. We have taken a total evidence approach involving phylogenetic analysis of mitochondrial and nuclear markers, as well as karyotype analysis of chromosome number and structure, to assess the monophyletic status of the Nile crocodile. Samples were collected from throughout Africa, covering all major bioregions. We also utilized specimens from museum collections, including mummified crocodiles from the ancient Egyptian temples at Thebes and the Grottes de Samoun, to reconstruct the genetic profiles of extirpated populations. Our analyses reveal a cryptic evolutionary lineage within the Nile crocodile that elucidates the biogeographic history of the genus and clarifies long-standing arguments over the species' taxonomic identity and conservation status. An examination of crocodile mummy haplotypes indicates that the cryptic lineage corresponds to an earlier description of C. suchus and suggests that both African Crocodylus lineages historically inhabited the Nile River. Recent survey efforts indicate that C. suchus is declining or extirpated throughout much of its distribution. Without proper recognition of this cryptic species, current sustainable use-based management policies for the Nile crocodile may do more harm than good. PMID:21906195

  15. Mitochondrial DNA Reveals the Trace of the Ancient Settlers of a Violently Devastated Late Bronze and Iron Ages Village.

    PubMed

    Núñez, Carolina; Baeta, Miriam; Cardoso, Sergio; Palencia-Madrid, Leire; García-Romero, Noemí; Llanos, Armando; M de Pancorbo, Marian

    2016-01-01

    La Hoya (Alava, Basque Country) was one of the most important villages of the Late Bronze and Iron Ages of the north of the Iberian Peninsula, until it was violently devastated around the 4th century and abandoned in the 3rd century B.C. Archaeological evidences suggest that descendants from La Hoya placed their new settlement in a nearby hill, which gave rise to the current village of Laguardia. In this study, we have traced the genetic imprints of the extinct inhabitants of La Hoya through the analysis of maternal lineages. In particular, we have analyzed the mitochondrial DNA (mtDNA) control region of 41 human remains recovered from the archaeological site for comparison with a sample of 51 individuals from the geographically close present-day population of Laguardia, as well as 56 individuals of the general population of the province of Alava, where the archaeological site and Laguardia village are located. MtDNA haplotypes were successfully obtained in 25 out of 41 ancient samples, and 14 different haplotypes were identified. The major mtDNA subhaplogroups observed in La Hoya were H1, H3, J1 and U5, which show a distinctive frequency pattern in the autochthonous populations of the north of the Iberian Peninsula. Approximate Bayesian Computation analysis was performed to test the most likely model for the local demographic history. The results did not sustain a genealogical continuity between Laguardia and La Hoya at the haplotype level, although factors such as sampling effects, recent admixture events, and genetic bottlenecks need to be considered. Likewise, the highly similar subhaplogroup composition detected between La Hoya and Laguardia and Alava populations do not allow us to reject a maternal genetic continuity in the human groups of the area since at least the Iron Age to present times. Broader analyses, based on a larger collection of samples and genetic markers, would be required to study fine-scale population events in these human groups. PMID

  16. Mitochondrial DNA Reveals the Trace of the Ancient Settlers of a Violently Devastated Late Bronze and Iron Ages Village

    PubMed Central

    Núñez, Carolina; Baeta, Miriam; Cardoso, Sergio; Palencia-Madrid, Leire; García-Romero, Noemí; Llanos, Armando; M. de Pancorbo, Marian

    2016-01-01

    La Hoya (Alava, Basque Country) was one of the most important villages of the Late Bronze and Iron Ages of the north of the Iberian Peninsula, until it was violently devastated around the 4th century and abandoned in the 3rd century B.C. Archaeological evidences suggest that descendants from La Hoya placed their new settlement in a nearby hill, which gave rise to the current village of Laguardia. In this study, we have traced the genetic imprints of the extinct inhabitants of La Hoya through the analysis of maternal lineages. In particular, we have analyzed the mitochondrial DNA (mtDNA) control region of 41 human remains recovered from the archaeological site for comparison with a sample of 51 individuals from the geographically close present-day population of Laguardia, as well as 56 individuals of the general population of the province of Alava, where the archaeological site and Laguardia village are located. MtDNA haplotypes were successfully obtained in 25 out of 41 ancient samples, and 14 different haplotypes were identified. The major mtDNA subhaplogroups observed in La Hoya were H1, H3, J1 and U5, which show a distinctive frequency pattern in the autochthonous populations of the north of the Iberian Peninsula. Approximate Bayesian Computation analysis was performed to test the most likely model for the local demographic history. The results did not sustain a genealogical continuity between Laguardia and La Hoya at the haplotype level, although factors such as sampling effects, recent admixture events, and genetic bottlenecks need to be considered. Likewise, the highly similar subhaplogroup composition detected between La Hoya and Laguardia and Alava populations do not allow us to reject a maternal genetic continuity in the human groups of the area since at least the Iron Age to present times. Broader analyses, based on a larger collection of samples and genetic markers, would be required to study fine-scale population events in these human groups. PMID

  17. Ancient DNA analyses reveal high mitochondrial DNA sequence diversity and parallel morphological evolution of late pleistocene cave bears.

    PubMed

    Hofreiter, Michael; Capelli, Cristian; Krings, Matthias; Waits, Lisette; Conard, Nicholas; Münzel, Susanne; Rabeder, Gernot; Nagel, Doris; Paunovic, Maja; Jambrĕsić, Gordana; Meyer, Sonja; Weiss, Gunter; Pääbo, Svante

    2002-08-01

    Cave bears (Ursus spelaeus) existed in Europe and western Asia until the end of the last glaciation some 10,000 years ago. To investigate the genetic diversity, population history, and relationship among different cave bear populations, we have determined mitochondrial DNA sequences from 12 cave bears that range in age from about 26,500 to at least 49,000 years and originate from nine caves. The samples include one individual from the type specimen population, as well as two small-sized high-Alpine bears. The results show that about 49,000 years ago, the mtDNA diversity among cave bears was about 1.8-fold lower than the current species-wide diversity of brown bears (Ursus arctos). However, the current brown bear mtDNA gene pool consists of three clades, and cave bear mtDNA diversity is similar to the diversity observed within each of these clades. The results also show that geographically separated populations of the high-Alpine cave bear form were polyphyletic with respect to their mtDNA. This suggests that small size may have been an ancestral trait in cave bears and that large size evolved at least twice independently. PMID:12140236

  18. Whole genome amplification and microsatellite genotyping of herbarium DNA revealed the identity of an ancient grapevine cultivar.

    PubMed

    Malenica, Nenad; Simon, Silvio; Besendorfer, Višnja; Maletić, Edi; Kontić, Jasminka Karoglan; Pejić, Ivan

    2011-09-01

    Reconstruction of the grapevine cultivation history has advanced tremendously during the last decade. Identification of grapevine cultivars by using microsatellite DNA markers has mostly become a routine. The parentage of several renowned grapevine cultivars, like Cabernet Sauvignon and Chardonnay, has been elucidated. However, the assembly of a complete grapevine genealogy is not yet possible because missing links might no longer be in cultivation or are even extinct. This problem could be overcome by analyzing ancient DNA from grapevine herbarium specimens and other historical remnants of once cultivated varieties. Here, we present the first successful genotyping of a grapevine herbarium specimen and the identification of the corresponding grapevine cultivar. Using a set of nine grapevine microsatellite markers, in combination with a whole genome amplification procedure, we found the 90-year-old Tribidrag herbarium specimen to display the same microsatellite profile as the popular American cultivar Zinfandel. This work, together with information from several historical documents, provides a new clue of Zinfandel cultivation in Croatia as early as the beginning of fifteenth century, under the native name Tribidrag. Moreover, it emphasizes substantial information potential of existing grapevine and other herbarium collections worldwide. PMID:21833713

  19. Whole genome amplification and microsatellite genotyping of herbarium DNA revealed the identity of an ancient grapevine cultivar

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Malenica, Nenad; Šimon, Silvio; Besendorfer, Višnja; Maletić, Edi; Karoglan Kontić, Jasminka; Pejić, Ivan

    2011-09-01

    Reconstruction of the grapevine cultivation history has advanced tremendously during the last decade. Identification of grapevine cultivars by using microsatellite DNA markers has mostly become a routine. The parentage of several renowned grapevine cultivars, like Cabernet Sauvignon and Chardonnay, has been elucidated. However, the assembly of a complete grapevine genealogy is not yet possible because missing links might no longer be in cultivation or are even extinct. This problem could be overcome by analyzing ancient DNA from grapevine herbarium specimens and other historical remnants of once cultivated varieties. Here, we present the first successful genotyping of a grapevine herbarium specimen and the identification of the corresponding grapevine cultivar. Using a set of nine grapevine microsatellite markers, in combination with a whole genome amplification procedure, we found the 90-year-old Tribidrag herbarium specimen to display the same microsatellite profile as the popular American cultivar Zinfandel. This work, together with information from several historical documents, provides a new clue of Zinfandel cultivation in Croatia as early as the beginning of fifteenth century, under the native name Tribidrag. Moreover, it emphasizes substantial information potential of existing grapevine and other herbarium collections worldwide.

  20. The ancient and evolving roles of cohesin in DNA repair and gene expression

    PubMed Central

    Dorsett, Dale; Ström, Lena

    2012-01-01

    The cohesin complex, named for its key role in sister chromatid cohesion, also plays critical roles in DNA repair and gene regulation. It performs all three functions in single cell eukaryotes such as yeasts, and in higher organisms such as man. Minor disruption of cohesin function has significant consequences for human development, even in the absence of measurable effects on chromatid cohesion or chromosome segregation. Here we survey the roles of cohesin in DNA repair and gene regulation, and how these functions vary from yeast to man. PMID:22497943

  1. Protein analysis by time-resolved measurements with an electro-switchable DNA chip

    PubMed Central

    Langer, Andreas; Hampel, Paul A.; Kaiser, Wolfgang; Knezevic, Jelena; Welte, Thomas; Villa, Valentina; Maruyama, Makiko; Svejda, Matej; Jähner, Simone; Fischer, Frank; Strasser, Ralf; Rant, Ulrich

    2013-01-01

    Measurements in stationary or mobile phases are fundamental principles in protein analysis. Although the immobilization of molecules on solid supports allows for the parallel analysis of interactions, properties like size or shape are usually inferred from the molecular mobility under the influence of external forces. However, as these principles are mutually exclusive, a comprehensive characterization of proteins usually involves a multi-step workflow. Here we show how these measurement modalities can be reconciled by tethering proteins to a surface via dynamically actuated nanolevers. Short DNA strands, which are switched by alternating electric fields, are employed as capture probes to bind target proteins. By swaying the proteins over nanometre amplitudes and comparing their motional dynamics to a theoretical model, the protein diameter can be quantified with Angström accuracy. Alterations in the tertiary protein structure (folding) and conformational changes are readily detected, and even post-translational modifications are revealed by time-resolved molecular dynamics measurements. PMID:23839273

  2. Time-resolved Förster-resonance-energy-transfer DNA assay on an active CMOS microarray

    PubMed Central

    Schwartz, David Eric; Gong, Ping; Shepard, Kenneth L.

    2008-01-01

    We present an active oligonucleotide microarray platform for time-resolved Förster resonance energy transfer (TR-FRET) assays. In these assays, immobilized probe is labeled with a donor fluorophore and analyte target is labeled with a fluorescence quencher. Changes in the fluorescence decay lifetime of the donor are measured to determine the extent of hybridization. In this work, we demonstrate that TR-FRET assays have reduced sensitivity to variances in probe surface density compared with standard fluorescence-based microarray assays. Use of an active array substrate, fabricated in a standard complementary metal-oxide-semiconductor (CMOS) process, provides the additional benefits of reduced system complexity and cost. The array consists of 4096 independent single-photon avalanche diode (SPAD) pixel sites and features on-chip time-to-digital conversion. We demonstrate the functionality of our system by measuring a DNA target concentration series using TR-FRET with semiconductor quantum dot donors. PMID:18515059

  3. Ancient mitochondrial DNA provides high-resolution time scale of the peopling of the Americas

    PubMed Central

    Llamas, Bastien; Fehren-Schmitz, Lars; Valverde, Guido; Soubrier, Julien; Mallick, Swapan; Rohland, Nadin; Nordenfelt, Susanne; Valdiosera, Cristina; Richards, Stephen M.; Rohrlach, Adam; Romero, Maria Inés Barreto; Espinoza, Isabel Flores; Cagigao, Elsa Tomasto; Jiménez, Lucía Watson; Makowski, Krzysztof; Reyna, Ilán Santiago Leboreiro; Lory, Josefina Mansilla; Torrez, Julio Alejandro Ballivián; Rivera, Mario A.; Burger, Richard L.; Ceruti, Maria Constanza; Reinhard, Johan; Wells, R. Spencer; Politis, Gustavo; Santoro, Calogero M.; Standen, Vivien G.; Smith, Colin; Reich, David; Ho, Simon Y. W.; Cooper, Alan; Haak, Wolfgang

    2016-01-01

    The exact timing, route, and process of the initial peopling of the Americas remains uncertain despite much research. Archaeological evidence indicates the presence of humans as far as southern Chile by 14.6 thousand years ago (ka), shortly after the Pleistocene ice sheets blocking access from eastern Beringia began to retreat. Genetic estimates of the timing and route of entry have been constrained by the lack of suitable calibration points and low genetic diversity of Native Americans. We sequenced 92 whole mitochondrial genomes from pre-Columbian South American skeletons dating from 8.6 to 0.5 ka, allowing a detailed, temporally calibrated reconstruction of the peopling of the Americas in a Bayesian coalescent analysis. The data suggest that a small population entered the Americas via a coastal route around 16.0 ka, following previous isolation in eastern Beringia for ~2.4 to 9 thousand years after separation from eastern Siberian populations. Following a rapid movement throughout the Americas, limited gene flow in South America resulted in a marked phylogeographic structure of populations, which persisted through time. All of the ancient mitochondrial lineages detected in this study were absent from modern data sets, suggesting a high extinction rate. To investigate this further, we applied a novel principal components multiple logistic regression test to Bayesian serial coalescent simulations. The analysis supported a scenario in which European colonization caused a substantial loss of pre-Columbian lineages. PMID:27051878

  4. Ancient mitochondrial DNA provides high-resolution time scale of the peopling of the Americas.

    PubMed

    Llamas, Bastien; Fehren-Schmitz, Lars; Valverde, Guido; Soubrier, Julien; Mallick, Swapan; Rohland, Nadin; Nordenfelt, Susanne; Valdiosera, Cristina; Richards, Stephen M; Rohrlach, Adam; Romero, Maria Inés Barreto; Espinoza, Isabel Flores; Cagigao, Elsa Tomasto; Jiménez, Lucía Watson; Makowski, Krzysztof; Reyna, Ilán Santiago Leboreiro; Lory, Josefina Mansilla; Torrez, Julio Alejandro Ballivián; Rivera, Mario A; Burger, Richard L; Ceruti, Maria Constanza; Reinhard, Johan; Wells, R Spencer; Politis, Gustavo; Santoro, Calogero M; Standen, Vivien G; Smith, Colin; Reich, David; Ho, Simon Y W; Cooper, Alan; Haak, Wolfgang

    2016-04-01

    The exact timing, route, and process of the initial peopling of the Americas remains uncertain despite much research. Archaeological evidence indicates the presence of humans as far as southern Chile by 14.6 thousand years ago (ka), shortly after the Pleistocene ice sheets blocking access from eastern Beringia began to retreat. Genetic estimates of the timing and route of entry have been constrained by the lack of suitable calibration points and low genetic diversity of Native Americans. We sequenced 92 whole mitochondrial genomes from pre-Columbian South American skeletons dating from 8.6 to 0.5 ka, allowing a detailed, temporally calibrated reconstruction of the peopling of the Americas in a Bayesian coalescent analysis. The data suggest that a small population entered the Americas via a coastal route around 16.0 ka, following previous isolation in eastern Beringia for ~2.4 to 9 thousand years after separation from eastern Siberian populations. Following a rapid movement throughout the Americas, limited gene flow in South America resulted in a marked phylogeographic structure of populations, which persisted through time. All of the ancient mitochondrial lineages detected in this study were absent from modern data sets, suggesting a high extinction rate. To investigate this further, we applied a novel principal components multiple logistic regression test to Bayesian serial coalescent simulations. The analysis supported a scenario in which European colonization caused a substantial loss of pre-Columbian lineages. PMID:27051878

  5. Highly skewed sex ratios and biased fossil deposition of moa: ancient DNA provides new insight on New Zealand's extinct megafauna

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Allentoft, Morten E.; Bunce, Michael; Scofield, R. Paul; Hale, Marie L.; Holdaway, Richard N.

    2010-03-01

    Ancient DNA was isolated from the bones of 267 individuals of the extinct New Zealand moa (Aves: Dinornithiformes) from two late Holocene deposits [Pyramid Valley (PV) and Bell Hill Vineyard (BHV)] located 5.7 km apart in North Canterbury, South Island. The two sites' combined fossil record cover the last 3000 years of pre-human New Zealand and mitochondrial DNA confirmed that four species ( Dinornis robustus, Euryapteryx curtus, Emeus crassus, and Pachyornis elephantopus) were sympatric in the region. However, the relative species compositions in the two deposits differed significantly with D. robustus and E. crassus being most abundant at PV while E. curtus outnumbered the other three moa taxa combined at BHV. A subsample of 227 individuals had sufficient nuclear DNA preservation to warrant the use of molecular sexing techniques, and the analyses uncovered a remarkable excess of females in both deposits with an overall male to female ratio of 1:5.1. Among juveniles of E. curtus, the only species which was represented by a substantial fraction of juveniles, the sex ratio was not skewed (10 ♂, 10 ♀), suggesting that the observed imbalance arose as a result of differential mortality during maturation. Surprisingly, sex ratios proved significantly different between sites with a 1:2.2 ratio at BHV ( n = 90) and 1:14.2 at PV ( n = 137). Given the mobility of large ratites, and the proximity of the two fossil assemblages in space and time, these differences in taxonomic and gender composition indicate that moa biology and the local environment have affected the fossil representation dramatically and several possible explanations are offered. Apart from adding to our understanding of moa biology, these discoveries reinforce the need for caution when basing interpretation of the fossil record on material from a single site.

  6. Multivariate analysis for resolving interactions of carbidopa with dsDNA at a fullerene-C60/GCE.

    PubMed

    Gholivand, Mohammad-Bagher; Jalalvand, Ali R; Goicoechea, Hector C

    2014-08-01

    For the first time, interactions of carbidopa (CD) with double-stranded calf thymus DNA (dsDNA) in a phosphate buffered solution (PBS, 0.05M, pH=4.0) at a fullerene-C60/glassy carbon electrode (FLR/GCE) has been studied by cyclic voltammetry (CV), linear sweep voltammetry (LSV), and square wave voltammetry (SWV). The interaction of CD with dsDNA was also monitored using fluorescence (F) and UV-vis spectroscopic techniques. New information was obtained when a row- and column-wise augmented matrix consisting of SWV, LSV, F and UV-vis data was resolved using multivariate curve resolution-alternating least squares (MCR-ALS) as a powerful chemometric tool. Pure electrochemical and spectroscopic signals of CD, dsDNA and dsDNA-CD2 complex, and their concentration profiles were then successfully resolved. Molecular docking studies confirmed that the binding of CD with dsDNA shows minor groove binding mode which was in accordance with experimental results. Under optimized conditions, the SWV responses were linearly related to dsDNA concentration between 0.1 and 25.0nM and a limit of detection (LOD) of 0.03nM was calculated (3Sb/b=3). Moreover, the modified electrode exhibited long term stability, good repeatability, and reproducibility, and high sensitivity and selectivity toward dsDNA determination in human serum samples, demonstrating its feasibility toward dsDNA sensing. PMID:24907508

  7. Resolving genomic disorder–associated breakpoints within segmental DNA duplications using massively parallel sequencing

    PubMed Central

    Nuttle, Xander; Itsara, Andy; Shendure, Jay; Eichler, Evan E.

    2014-01-01

    The most common recurrent copy number variants associated with autism, developmental delay, and epilepsy are flanked by segmental duplications. Complete genetic characterization of these events is challenging because their breakpoints often occur within high-identity, copy number polymorphic paralogous sequences that cannot be specifically assayed using hybridization-based methods. Here, we provide a protocol for breakpoint resolution with sequence-level precision. Massively parallel sequencing is performed on libraries generated from haplotype-resolved chromosomes, genomic DNA, or molecular inversion probe–captured breakpoint-informative regions harboring paralog-distinguishing variants. Quantifying sequencing depth over informative sites enables breakpoint localization, typically within several kilobases to tens of kilobases. Depending on the approach employed, the sequencing platform, and the accuracy and completeness of the reference genome sequence, this protocol takes from a few days to several months to complete. Once established for a specific genomic disorder, it is possible to process thousands of DNA samples within as little as 3–4 weeks. PMID:24874815

  8. First ancient DNA sequences from the Late Pleistocene red deer (Cervus elaphus) in the Crimea, Ukraine

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Stanković, Ana; Nadachowski, Adam; Doan, Karolina; Stefaniak, Krzysztof; Baca, Mateusz; Socha, Paweł; Wegleński, Piotr; Ridush, Bogdan

    2010-05-01

    The Late Pleistocene has been a period of significant population and species turnover and extinctions among the large mammal fauna. Massive climatic and environmental changes during Pleistocene significantly influenced the distribution and also genetic diversity of plants and animals. The model of glacial refugia and habitat contraction to southern peninsulas in Europe as areas for the survival of temperate animal species during unfavourable Pleistocene glaciations is at present widely accepted. However, both molecular data and the fossil record indicate the presence of northern and perhaps north-eastern refugia in Europe. In recent years, much new palaeontological data have been obtained in the Crimean Peninsula, Ukraine, following extensive investigations. The red deer (Cervus elaphus) samples for aDNA studies were collected in Emine-Bair-Khosar Cave, situated on the north edge of Lower Plateau of the Chatyrdag Massif (Crimean Mountains). The cave is a vertical shaft, which functioned as a huge mega-trap over a long period of time (probably most of the Pleistocene). The bone assemblages provided about 5000 bones belonging to more than 40 species. The C. elaphus bones were collected from three different stratigraphical levels, radiocarbon dated by accelerator mass spectrometry (AMS) method. The bone fragments of four specimens of red deer were used for the DNA isolation and analysis. The mtDNA (Cytochome b) was successfully isolated from three bone fragments and the cytochrome b sequences were amplified by multiplex PCR. The sequences obtained so far allowed for the reconstruction of only preliminary phylogenetic trees. A fragment of metatarsus from level dated to ca. 48,500±2,000 years BP, yielded a sequence of 513 bp, allowing to locate the specimen on the phylogenetic tree within modern C. elaphus specimens from southern and middle Europe. The second bone fragment, a fragment of mandible, collected from level dated approximately to ca. 33,500±400 years BP

  9. Phylogeny and ancient DNA of Sus provides insights into neolithic expansion in Island Southeast Asia and Oceania

    PubMed Central

    Larson, Greger; Cucchi, Thomas; Fujita, Masakatsu; Matisoo-Smith, Elizabeth; Robins, Judith; Anderson, Atholl; Rolett, Barry; Spriggs, Matthew; Dolman, Gaynor; Kim, Tae-Hun; Thuy, Nguyen Thi Dieu; Randi, Ettore; Doherty, Moira; Due, Rokus Awe; Bollt, Robert; Djubiantono, Tony; Griffin, Bion; Intoh, Michiko; Keane, Emile; Kirch, Patrick; Li, Kuang-Ti; Morwood, Michael; Pedriña, Lolita M.; Piper, Philip J.; Rabett, Ryan J.; Shooter, Peter; Van den Bergh, Gert; West, Eric; Wickler, Stephen; Yuan, Jing; Cooper, Alan; Dobney, Keith

    2007-01-01

    Human settlement of Oceania marked the culmination of a global colonization process that began when humans first left Africa at least 90,000 years ago. The precise origins and dispersal routes of the Austronesian peoples and the associated Lapita culture remain contentious, and numerous disparate models of dispersal (based primarily on linguistic, genetic, and archeological data) have been proposed. Here, through the use of mtDNA from 781 modern and ancient Sus specimens, we provide evidence for an early human-mediated translocation of the Sulawesi warty pig (Sus celebensis) to Flores and Timor and two later separate human-mediated dispersals of domestic pig (Sus scrofa) through Island Southeast Asia into Oceania. Of the later dispersal routes, one is unequivocally associated with the Neolithic (Lapita) and later Polynesian migrations and links modern and archeological Javan, Sumatran, Wallacean, and Oceanic pigs with mainland Southeast Asian S. scrofa. Archeological and genetic evidence shows these pigs were certainly introduced to islands east of the Wallace Line, including New Guinea, and that so-called “wild” pigs within this region are most likely feral descendants of domestic pigs introduced by early agriculturalists. The other later pig dispersal links mainland East Asian pigs to western Micronesia, Taiwan, and the Philippines. These results provide important data with which to test current models for human dispersal in the region. PMID:17360400

  10. Ancient DNA suggests the leading role played by men in the Neolithic dissemination

    PubMed Central

    Lacan, Marie; Keyser, Christine; Ricaut, François-Xavier; Brucato, Nicolas; Tarrús, Josep; Bosch, Angel; Guilaine, Jean; Crubézy, Eric; Ludes, Bertrand

    2011-01-01

    The impact of the Neolithic dispersal on the western European populations is subject to continuing debate. To trace and date genetic lineages potentially brought during this transition and so understand the origin of the gene pool of current populations, we studied DNA extracted from human remains excavated in a Spanish funeral cave dating from the beginning of the fifth millennium B.C. Thanks to a “multimarkers” approach based on the analysis of mitochondrial and nuclear DNA (autosomes and Y-chromosome), we obtained information on the early Neolithic funeral practices and on the biogeographical origin of the inhumed individuals. No close kinship was detected. Maternal haplogroups found are consistent with pre-Neolithic settlement, whereas the Y-chromosomal analyses permitted confirmation of the existence in Spain approximately 7,000 y ago of two haplogroups previously associated with the Neolithic transition: G2a and E1b1b1a1b. These results are highly consistent with those previously found in Neolithic individuals from French Late Neolithic individuals, indicating a surprising temporal genetic homogeneity in these groups. The high frequency of G2a in Neolithic samples in western Europe could suggest, furthermore, that the role of men during Neolithic dispersal could be greater than currently estimated. PMID:22042855

  11. Ancient DNA suggests the leading role played by men in the Neolithic dissemination.

    PubMed

    Lacan, Marie; Keyser, Christine; Ricaut, François-Xavier; Brucato, Nicolas; Tarrús, Josep; Bosch, Angel; Guilaine, Jean; Crubézy, Eric; Ludes, Bertrand

    2011-11-01

    The impact of the Neolithic dispersal on the western European populations is subject to continuing debate. To trace and date genetic lineages potentially brought during this transition and so understand the origin of the gene pool of current populations, we studied DNA extracted from human remains excavated in a Spanish funeral cave dating from the beginning of the fifth millennium B.C. Thanks to a "multimarkers" approach based on the analysis of mitochondrial and nuclear DNA (autosomes and Y-chromosome), we obtained information on the early Neolithic funeral practices and on the biogeographical origin of the inhumed individuals. No close kinship was detected. Maternal haplogroups found are consistent with pre-Neolithic settlement, whereas the Y-chromosomal analyses permitted confirmation of the existence in Spain approximately 7,000 y ago of two haplogroups previously associated with the Neolithic transition: G2a and E1b1b1a1b. These results are highly consistent with those previously found in Neolithic individuals from French Late Neolithic individuals, indicating a surprising temporal genetic homogeneity in these groups. The high frequency of G2a in Neolithic samples in western Europe could suggest, furthermore, that the role of men during Neolithic dispersal could be greater than currently estimated. PMID:22042855

  12. Ancient DNA analysis reveals high frequency of European lactase persistence allele (T-13910) in medieval central europe.

    PubMed

    Krüttli, Annina; Bouwman, Abigail; Akgül, Gülfirde; Della Casa, Philippe; Rühli, Frank; Warinner, Christina

    2014-01-01

    Ruminant milk and dairy products are important food resources in many European, African, and Middle Eastern societies. These regions are also associated with derived genetic variants for lactase persistence. In mammals, lactase, the enzyme that hydrolyzes the milk sugar lactose, is normally down-regulated after weaning, but at least five human populations around the world have independently evolved mutations regulating the expression of the lactase-phlorizin-hydrolase gene. These mutations result in a dominant lactase persistence phenotype and continued lactase tolerance in adulthood. A single nucleotide polymorphism (SNP) at C/T-13910 is responsible for most lactase persistence in European populations, but when and where the T-13910 polymorphism originated and the evolutionary processes by which it rose to high frequency in Europe have been the subject of strong debate. A history of dairying is presumed to be a prerequisite, but archaeological evidence is lacking. In this study, DNA was extracted from the dentine of 36 individuals excavated at a medieval cemetery in Dalheim, Germany. Eighteen individuals were successfully genotyped for the C/T-13910 SNP by molecular cloning and sequencing, of which 13 (72%) exhibited a European lactase persistence genotype: 44% CT, 28% TT. Previous ancient DNA-based studies found that lactase persistence genotypes fall below detection levels in most regions of Neolithic Europe. Our research shows that by AD 1200, lactase persistence frequency had risen to over 70% in this community in western Central Europe. Given that lactase persistence genotype frequency in present-day Germany and Austria is estimated at 71-80%, our results suggest that genetic lactase persistence likely reached modern levels before the historic population declines associated with the Black Death, thus excluding plague-associated evolutionary forces in the rise of lactase persistence in this region. This new evidence sheds light on the dynamic evolutionary

  13. Ancient DNA Analysis Reveals High Frequency of European Lactase Persistence Allele (T-13910) in Medieval Central Europe

    PubMed Central

    Akgül, Gülfirde; Della Casa, Philippe; Rühli, Frank; Warinner, Christina

    2014-01-01

    Ruminant milk and dairy products are important food resources in many European, African, and Middle Eastern societies. These regions are also associated with derived genetic variants for lactase persistence. In mammals, lactase, the enzyme that hydrolyzes the milk sugar lactose, is normally down-regulated after weaning, but at least five human populations around the world have independently evolved mutations regulating the expression of the lactase-phlorizin-hydrolase gene. These mutations result in a dominant lactase persistence phenotype and continued lactase tolerance in adulthood. A single nucleotide polymorphism (SNP) at C/T-13910 is responsible for most lactase persistence in European populations, but when and where the T-13910 polymorphism originated and the evolutionary processes by which it rose to high frequency in Europe have been the subject of strong debate. A history of dairying is presumed to be a prerequisite, but archaeological evidence is lacking. In this study, DNA was extracted from the dentine of 36 individuals excavated at a medieval cemetery in Dalheim, Germany. Eighteen individuals were successfully genotyped for the C/T-13910 SNP by molecular cloning and sequencing, of which 13 (72%) exhibited a European lactase persistence genotype: 44% CT, 28% TT. Previous ancient DNA-based studies found that lactase persistence genotypes fall below detection levels in most regions of Neolithic Europe. Our research shows that by AD 1200, lactase persistence frequency had risen to over 70% in this community in western Central Europe. Given that lactase persistence genotype frequency in present-day Germany and Austria is estimated at 71–80%, our results suggest that genetic lactase persistence likely reached modern levels before the historic population declines associated with the Black Death, thus excluding plague-associated evolutionary forces in the rise of lactase persistence in this region. This new evidence sheds light on the dynamic evolutionary

  14. Biogeography and taxonomy of extinct and endangered monk seals illuminated by ancient DNA and skull morphology

    PubMed Central

    Scheel, Dirk-Martin; Slater, Graham J.; Kolokotronis, Sergios-Orestis; Potter, Charles W.; Rotstein, David S.; Tsangaras, Kyriakos; Greenwood, Alex D.; Helgen, Kristofer M.

    2014-01-01

    Abstract Extinctions and declines of large marine vertebrates have major ecological impacts and are of critical concern in marine environments. The Caribbean monk seal, Monachus tropicalis, last definitively reported in 1952, was one of the few marine mammal species to become extinct in historical times. Despite its importance for understanding the evolutionary biogeography of southern phocids, the relationships of M. tropicalis to the two living species of critically endangered monk seals have not been resolved. In this study we present the first molecular data for M. tropicalis, derived from museum skins. Phylogenetic analysis of cytochrome b sequences indicates that M. tropicalis was more closely related to the Hawaiian rather than the Mediterranean monk seal. Divergence time estimation implicates the formation of the Panamanian Isthmus in the speciation of Caribbean and Hawaiian monk seals. Molecular, morphological and temporal divergence between the Mediterranean and “New World monk seals” (Hawaiian and Caribbean) is profound, equivalent to or greater than between sister genera of phocids. As a result, we classify the Caribbean and Hawaiian monk seals together in a newly erected genus, Neomonachus. The two genera of extant monk seals (Monachus and Neomonachus) represent old evolutionary lineages each represented by a single critically endangered species, both warranting continuing and concerted conservation attention and investment if they are to avoid the fate of their Caribbean relative. PMID:24899841

  15. Ancient mitochondrial DNA analysis reveals complexity of indigenous North American turkey domestication.

    PubMed

    Speller, Camilla F; Kemp, Brian M; Wyatt, Scott D; Monroe, Cara; Lipe, William D; Arndt, Ursula M; Yang, Dongya Y

    2010-02-16

    Although the cultural and nutritive importance of the turkey (Meleagris gallopavo) to precontact Native Americans and contemporary people worldwide is clear, little is known about the domestication of this bird compared to other domesticates. Mitochondrial DNA analysis of 149 turkey bones and 29 coprolites from 38 archaeological sites (200 BC-AD 1800) reveals a unique domesticated breed in the precontact Southwestern United States. Phylogeographic analyses indicate that this domestic breed originated from outside the region, but rules out the South Mexican domestic turkey (Meleagris gallopavo gallopavo) as a progenitor. A strong genetic bottleneck within the Southwest turkeys also reflects intensive human selection and breeding. This study points to at least two occurrences of turkey domestication in precontact North America and illuminates the intensity and sophistication of New World animal breeding practices. PMID:20133614

  16. Ancient mitochondrial DNA analysis reveals complexity of indigenous North American turkey domestication

    PubMed Central

    Speller, Camilla F.; Kemp, Brian M.; Wyatt, Scott D.; Monroe, Cara; Lipe, William D.; Arndt, Ursula M.; Yang, Dongya Y.

    2010-01-01

    Although the cultural and nutritive importance of the turkey (Meleagris gallopavo) to precontact Native Americans and contemporary people worldwide is clear, little is known about the domestication of this bird compared to other domesticates. Mitochondrial DNA analysis of 149 turkey bones and 29 coprolites from 38 archaeological sites (200 BC–AD 1800) reveals a unique domesticated breed in the precontact Southwestern United States. Phylogeographic analyses indicate that this domestic breed originated from outside the region, but rules out the South Mexican domestic turkey (Meleagris gallopavo gallopavo) as a progenitor. A strong genetic bottleneck within the Southwest turkeys also reflects intensive human selection and breeding. This study points to at least two occurrences of turkey domestication in precontact North America and illuminates the intensity and sophistication of New World animal breeding practices. PMID:20133614

  17. Ancient DNA from 8400 Year-Old Çatalhöyük Wheat: Implications for the Origin of Neolithic Agriculture

    PubMed Central

    Bilgic, Hatice; Hakki, Erdogan E.; Akkaya, Mahinur S.

    2016-01-01

    Human history was transformed with the advent of agriculture in the Fertile Crescent with wheat as one of the founding crops. Although the Fertile Crescent is renowned as the center of wheat domestication, archaeological studies have shown the crucial involvement of Çatalhöyük in this process. This site first gained attention during the 1961–65 excavations due to the recovery of primitive hexaploid wheat. However, despite the seeds being well preserved, a detailed archaeobotanical description of the samples is missing. In this article, we report on the DNA isolation, amplification and sequencing of ancient DNA of charred wheat grains from Çatalhöyük and other Turkish archaeological sites and the comparison of these wheat grains with contemporary wheat species including T. monococcum, T. dicoccum, T. dicoccoides, T. durum and T. aestivum at HMW glutenin protein loci. These ancient samples represent the oldest wheat sample sequenced to date and the first ancient wheat sample from the Middle East. Remarkably, the sequence analysis of the short DNA fragments preserved in seeds that are approximately 8400 years old showed that the Çatalhöyük wheat stock contained hexaploid wheat, which is similar to contemporary hexaploid wheat species including both naked (T. aestivum) and hulled (T. spelta) wheat. This suggests an early transitory state of hexaploid wheat agriculture from the Fertile Crescent towards Europe spanning present-day Turkey. PMID:26998604

  18. Effect of X-ray irradiation on ancient DNA in sub-fossil bones - Guidelines for safe X-ray imaging.

    PubMed

    Immel, Alexander; Le Cabec, Adeline; Bonazzi, Marion; Herbig, Alexander; Temming, Heiko; Schuenemann, Verena J; Bos, Kirsten I; Langbein, Frauke; Harvati, Katerina; Bridault, Anne; Pion, Gilbert; Julien, Marie-Anne; Krotova, Oleksandra; Conard, Nicholas J; Münzel, Susanne C; Drucker, Dorothée G; Viola, Bence; Hublin, Jean-Jacques; Tafforeau, Paul; Krause, Johannes

    2016-01-01

    Sub-fossilised remains may still contain highly degraded ancient DNA (aDNA) useful for palaeogenetic investigations. Whether X-ray computed [micro-] tomography ([μ]CT) imaging of these fossils may further damage aDNA remains debated. Although the effect of X-ray on DNA in living organisms is well documented, its impact on aDNA molecules is unexplored. Here we investigate the effects of synchrotron X-ray irradiation on aDNA from Pleistocene bones. A clear correlation appears between decreasing aDNA quantities and accumulating X-ray dose-levels above 2000 Gray (Gy). We further find that strong X-ray irradiation reduces the amount of nucleotide misincorporations at the aDNA molecule ends. No representative effect can be detected for doses below 200 Gy. Dosimetry shows that conventional μCT usually does not reach the risky dose level, while classical synchrotron imaging can degrade aDNA significantly. Optimised synchrotron protocols and simple rules introduced here are sufficient to ensure that fossils can be scanned without impairing future aDNA studies. PMID:27615365

  19. Role of polyplex intermediate species on gene transfer efficiency: polyethylenimine-DNA complexes and time-resolved fluorescence spectroscopy.

    PubMed

    Ketola, Tiia-Maaria; Hanzlíková, Martina; Urtti, Arto; Lemmetyinen, Helge; Yliperttula, Marjo; Vuorimaa, Elina

    2011-03-01

    Polyethylenimine (PEI) is a cationic DNA condensing polymer that facilitates gene transfer into the mammalian cells. The highest gene transfer with branched PEI is obtained at high nitrogen/phosphate (N/P) ratios with free PEI present. The small molecular weight PEI alone is not able to mediate DNA transfection. Here, we used recently developed time-resolved fluorescence spectroscopic method to study the mechanism of PEI-DNA complex formation and to investigate how free PEI, mean molecular weight, and branching of PEI affect the complexes. Analysis of fluorescence lifetimes and time-resolved spectra revealed that for both linear and branched high-molecular-weight PEI the complexation takes place in two steps, but the small-molecular-weight branched PEI complexed DNA at a single step. According to the binding constants obtained from time-resolved spectroscopic measurements, the affinity of N/P complexation per nitrogen atom is highest for LPEI and weakest for BPEI, whereas SPEI-DNA complexation showed intermediate values. Thus, the binding constant alone does not give adequate measure for transfection efficiency. On the other hand, the presence of intermediate states during the polyplex formation seems to be favorable for the gene transfection. Free PEI had no impact on the physical state of PEI-DNA complexes, even though it was essential for gene transfection in the cell culture. In conclusion, the molecular size and topology of PEI have direct influence on the DNA complexation but the free PEI does not. Free PEI must facilitate transfection at the cellular level and not via indirect effects on the PEI-DNA complexes. PMID:21291220

  20. A critical evaluation of how ancient DNA bulk bone metabarcoding complements traditional morphological analysis of fossil assemblages

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Grealy, Alicia C.; McDowell, Matthew C.; Scofield, Paul; Murray, Dáithí C.; Fusco, Diana A.; Haile, James; Prideaux, Gavin J.; Bunce, Michael

    2015-11-01

    When pooled for extraction as a bulk sample, the DNA within morphologically unidentifiable fossil bones can, using next-generation sequencing, yield valuable taxonomic data. This method has been proposed as a means to rapidly and cost-effectively assess general ancient DNA preservation at a site, and to investigate temporal and spatial changes in biodiversity; however, several caveats have yet to be considered. We critically evaluated the bulk bone metabarcoding (BBM) method in terms of its: (i) repeatability, by quantifying sampling and technical variance through a nested experimental design containing sub-samples and replicates at several stages; (ii) accuracy, by comparing morphological and molecular family-level identifications; and (iii) overall utility, by applying the approach to two independent Holocene fossil deposits, Bat Cave (Kangaroo Island, Australia) and Finsch's Folly (Canterbury, New Zealand). For both sites, bone and bone powder sub-sampling were found to contribute significantly to variance in molecularly identified family assemblage, while the contribution of library preparation and sequencing was almost negligible. Nevertheless, total variance was small. Sampling over 80% fewer bones than was required to morphologically identify the taxonomic assemblages, we found that the families identified molecularly are a subset of the families identified morphologically and, for the most part, represent the most abundant families in the fossil record. In addition, we detected a range of extinct, extant and endangered taxa, including some that are rare in the fossil record. Given the relatively low sampling effort of the BBM approach compared with morphological approaches, these results suggest that BBM is largely consistent, accurate, sensitive, and therefore widely applicable. Furthermore, we assessed the overall benefits and caveats of the method, and suggest a workflow for palaeontologists, archaeologists, and geneticists that will help mitigate these

  1. Where are the Caribs? Ancient DNA from ceramic period human remains in the Lesser Antilles

    PubMed Central

    Mendisco, F.; Pemonge, M. H.; Leblay, E.; Romon, T.; Richard, G.; Courtaud, P.; Deguilloux, M. F.

    2015-01-01

    The identity and history of the indigenous groups who occupied the Lesser Antilles during the ceramic periods remain highly controversial. Although recent archaeological evidence has challenged hypotheses concerning the organization of human groups in this region, more biological data are needed to fully inform the discussion. Our study provides, to our knowledge, the first palaeogenetic data for Late Ceramic groups of the Guadeloupe archipelago, yielding crucial information concerning the identities of these groups. Despite the generally poor DNA preservation in the tested remains, we were able to retrieve Hypervariable Region 1 sequences from 11 individuals and mitochondrial single-nucleotide polymorphisms from 13 individuals. These novel data provide interesting preliminary results in favour of a common origin for all Saladoid Caribbean communities, i.e. the first ceramic groups of the region, as well as for a local continuity between the Saladoid and post-Saladoid groups. A combination of the genetic data obtained and several pieces of cultural evidence allows us to propose that two different groups inhabited the Guadeloupe archipelago during the Late Ceramic period, with the possible occupation of the La Désirade and Marie-Galante islands by groups affiliated with the Taíno communities. The working hypotheses proposed here appear consistent with recent archaeological evidence. PMID:25487339

  2. Ancient DNA Suggests Dwarf and ‘Giant’ Emu Are Conspecific

    PubMed Central

    Heupink, Tim H.; Huynen, Leon; Lambert, David M.

    2011-01-01

    Background The King Island Emu (Dromaius ater) of Australia is one of several extinct emu taxa whose taxonomic relationship to the modern Emu (D. novaehollandiae) is unclear. King Island Emu were mainly distinguished by their much smaller size and a reported darker colour compared to modern Emu. Methodology and Results We investigated the evolutionary relationships between the King Island and modern Emu by the recovery of both nuclear and mitochondrial DNA sequences from sub-fossil remains. The complete mitochondrial control (1,094 bp) and cytochrome c oxidase subunit I (COI) region (1,544 bp), as well as a region of the melanocortin 1 receptor gene (57 bp) were sequenced using a multiplex PCR approach. The results show that haplotypes for King Island Emu fall within the diversity of modern Emu. Conclusions These data show the close relationship of these emu when compared to other congeneric bird species and indicate that the King Island and modern Emu share a recent common ancestor. King Island emu possibly underwent insular dwarfism as a result of phenotypic plasticity. The close relationship between the King Island and the modern Emu suggests it is most appropriate that the former should be considered a subspecies of the latter. Although both taxa show a close genetic relationship they differ drastically in size. This study also suggests that rates of morphological and neutral molecular evolution are decoupled. PMID:21494561

  3. The origin of European cattle: Evidence from modern and ancient DNA

    PubMed Central

    Beja-Pereira, Albano; Caramelli, David; Lalueza-Fox, Carles; Vernesi, Cristiano; Ferrand, Nuno; Casoli, Antonella; Goyache, Felix; Royo, Luis J.; Conti, Serena; Lari, Martina; Martini, Andrea; Ouragh, Lahousine; Magid, Ayed; Atash, Abdulkarim; Zsolnai, Attila; Boscato, Paolo; Triantaphylidis, Costas; Ploumi, Konstantoula; Sineo, Luca; Mallegni, Francesco; Taberlet, Pierre; Erhardt, Georg; Sampietro, Lourdes; Bertranpetit, Jaume; Barbujani, Guido; Luikart, Gordon; Bertorelle, Giorgio

    2006-01-01

    Cattle domestication from wild aurochsen was among the most important innovations during the Neolithic agricultural revolution. The available genetic and archaeological evidence points to at least two major sites of domestication in India and in the Near East, where zebu and the taurine breeds would have emerged independently. Under this hypothesis, all present-day European breeds would be descended from cattle domesticated in the Near East and subsequently spread during the diffusion of herding and farming lifestyles. We present here previously undescribed genetic evidence in contrast with this view, based on mtDNA sequences from five Italian aurochsen dated between 7,000 and 17,000 years B.P. and >1,000 modern cattle from 51 breeds. Our data are compatible with local domestication events in Europe and support at least some levels of introgression from the aurochs in Italy. The distribution of genetic variation in modern cattle suggest also that different south European breeds were affected by introductions from northern Africa. If so, the European cattle may represent a more variable and valuable genetic resource than previously realized, and previous simple hypotheses regarding the domestication process and the diffusion of selected breeds should be revised. PMID:16690747

  4. Assessment of the Extirpated Maritimes Walrus Using Morphological and Ancient DNA Analysis

    PubMed Central

    McLeod, Brenna A.; Frasier, Timothy R.; Lucas, Zoe

    2014-01-01

    Species biogeography is a result of complex events and factors associated with climate change, ecological interactions, anthropogenic impacts, physical geography, and evolution. To understand the contemporary biogeography of a species, it is necessary to understand its history. Specimens from areas of localized extinction are important, as extirpation of species from these areas may represent the loss of unique adaptations and a distinctive evolutionary trajectory. The walrus (Odobenus rosmarus) has a discontinuous circumpolar distribution in the arctic and subarctic that once included the southeastern Canadian Maritimes region. However, exploitation of the Maritimes population during the 16th-18th centuries led to extirpation, and the species has not inhabited areas south of 55°N for ∼250 years. We examined genetic and morphological characteristics of specimens from the Maritimes, Atlantic (O. r. rosmarus) and Pacific (O. r. divergens) populations to test the hypothesis that the first group was distinctive. Analysis of Atlantic and Maritimes specimens indicated that most skull and mandibular measurements were significantly different between the Maritimes and Atlantic groups and discriminant analysis of principal components confirmed them as distinctive groups, with complete isolation of skull features. The Maritimes walrus appear to have been larger animals, with larger and more robust tusks, skulls and mandibles. The mtDNA control region haplotypes identified in Maritimes specimens were unique to the region and a greater average number of nucleotide differences were found between the regions (Atlantic and Maritimes) than within either group. Levels of diversity (h and π) were lower in the Maritimes, consistent with other studies of species at range margins. Our data suggest that the Maritimes walrus was a morphologically and genetically distinctive group that was on a different evolutionary path from other walrus found in the north Atlantic. PMID:24924490

  5. Assessment of the extirpated Maritimes walrus using morphological and ancient DNA analysis.

    PubMed

    McLeod, Brenna A; Frasier, Timothy R; Lucas, Zoe

    2014-01-01

    Species biogeography is a result of complex events and factors associated with climate change, ecological interactions, anthropogenic impacts, physical geography, and evolution. To understand the contemporary biogeography of a species, it is necessary to understand its history. Specimens from areas of localized extinction are important, as extirpation of species from these areas may represent the loss of unique adaptations and a distinctive evolutionary trajectory. The walrus (Odobenus rosmarus) has a discontinuous circumpolar distribution in the arctic and subarctic that once included the southeastern Canadian Maritimes region. However, exploitation of the Maritimes population during the 16th-18th centuries led to extirpation, and the species has not inhabited areas south of 55°N for ∼250 years. We examined genetic and morphological characteristics of specimens from the Maritimes, Atlantic (O. r. rosmarus) and Pacific (O. r. divergens) populations to test the hypothesis that the first group was distinctive. Analysis of Atlantic and Maritimes specimens indicated that most skull and mandibular measurements were significantly different between the Maritimes and Atlantic groups and discriminant analysis of principal components confirmed them as distinctive groups, with complete isolation of skull features. The Maritimes walrus appear to have been larger animals, with larger and more robust tusks, skulls and mandibles. The mtDNA control region haplotypes identified in Maritimes specimens were unique to the region and a greater average number of nucleotide differences were found between the regions (Atlantic and Maritimes) than within either group. Levels of diversity (h and π) were lower in the Maritimes, consistent with other studies of species at range margins. Our data suggest that the Maritimes walrus was a morphologically and genetically distinctive group that was on a different evolutionary path from other walrus found in the north Atlantic. PMID:24924490

  6. Ancient DNA Analysis of 8000 B.C. Near Eastern Farmers Supports an Early Neolithic Pioneer Maritime Colonization of Mainland Europe through Cyprus and the Aegean Islands

    PubMed Central

    Fernández, Eva; Pérez-Pérez, Alejandro; Gamba, Cristina; Prats, Eva; Cuesta, Pedro; Anfruns, Josep; Molist, Miquel; Arroyo-Pardo, Eduardo; Turbón, Daniel

    2014-01-01

    The genetic impact associated to the Neolithic spread in Europe has been widely debated over the last 20 years. Within this context, ancient DNA studies have provided a more reliable picture by directly analyzing the protagonist populations at different regions in Europe. However, the lack of available data from the original Near Eastern farmers has limited the achieved conclusions, preventing the formulation of continental models of Neolithic expansion. Here we address this issue by presenting mitochondrial DNA data of the original Near-Eastern Neolithic communities with the aim of providing the adequate background for the interpretation of Neolithic genetic data from European samples. Sixty-three skeletons from the Pre Pottery Neolithic B (PPNB) sites of Tell Halula, Tell Ramad and Dja'de El Mughara dating between 8,700–6,600 cal. B.C. were analyzed, and 15 validated mitochondrial DNA profiles were recovered. In order to estimate the demographic contribution of the first farmers to both Central European and Western Mediterranean Neolithic cultures, haplotype and haplogroup diversities in the PPNB sample were compared using phylogeographic and population genetic analyses to available ancient DNA data from human remains belonging to the Linearbandkeramik-Alföldi Vonaldiszes Kerámia and Cardial/Epicardial cultures. We also searched for possible signatures of the original Neolithic expansion over the modern Near Eastern and South European genetic pools, and tried to infer possible routes of expansion by comparing the obtained results to a database of 60 modern populations from both regions. Comparisons performed among the 3 ancient datasets allowed us to identify K and N-derived mitochondrial DNA haplogroups as potential markers of the Neolithic expansion, whose genetic signature would have reached both the Iberian coasts and the Central European plain. Moreover, the observed genetic affinities between the PPNB samples and the modern populations of Cyprus and

  7. Ancient DNA analysis of 8000 B.C. near eastern farmers supports an early neolithic pioneer maritime colonization of Mainland Europe through Cyprus and the Aegean Islands.

    PubMed

    Fernández, Eva; Pérez-Pérez, Alejandro; Gamba, Cristina; Prats, Eva; Cuesta, Pedro; Anfruns, Josep; Molist, Miquel; Arroyo-Pardo, Eduardo; Turbón, Daniel

    2014-06-01

    The genetic impact associated to the Neolithic spread in Europe has been widely debated over the last 20 years. Within this context, ancient DNA studies have provided a more reliable picture by directly analyzing the protagonist populations at different regions in Europe. However, the lack of available data from the original Near Eastern farmers has limited the achieved conclusions, preventing the formulation of continental models of Neolithic expansion. Here we address this issue by presenting mitochondrial DNA data of the original Near-Eastern Neolithic communities with the aim of providing the adequate background for the interpretation of Neolithic genetic data from European samples. Sixty-three skeletons from the Pre Pottery Neolithic B (PPNB) sites of Tell Halula, Tell Ramad and Dja'de El Mughara dating between 8,700-6,600 cal. B.C. were analyzed, and 15 validated mitochondrial DNA profiles were recovered. In order to estimate the demographic contribution of the first farmers to both Central European and Western Mediterranean Neolithic cultures, haplotype and haplogroup diversities in the PPNB sample were compared using phylogeographic and population genetic analyses to available ancient DNA data from human remains belonging to the Linearbandkeramik-Alföldi Vonaldiszes Kerámia and Cardial/Epicardial cultures. We also searched for possible signatures of the original Neolithic expansion over the modern Near Eastern and South European genetic pools, and tried to infer possible routes of expansion by comparing the obtained results to a database of 60 modern populations from both regions. Comparisons performed among the 3 ancient datasets allowed us to identify K and N-derived mitochondrial DNA haplogroups as potential markers of the Neolithic expansion, whose genetic signature would have reached both the Iberian coasts and the Central European plain. Moreover, the observed genetic affinities between the PPNB samples and the modern populations of Cyprus and Crete

  8. The study of polyplex formation and stability by time-resolved fluorescence spectroscopy of SYBR Green I-stained DNA.

    PubMed

    D'Andrea, Cosimo; Pezzoli, Daniele; Malloggi, Chiara; Candeo, Alessia; Capelli, Giulio; Bassi, Andrea; Volonterio, Alessandro; Taroni, Paola; Candiani, Gabriele

    2014-12-01

    Polyplexes are nanoparticles formed by the self-assembly of DNA/RNA and cationic polymers specifically designed to deliver exogenous genetic material to cells by a process called transfection. There is a general consensus that a subtle balance between sufficient extracellular protection and intracellular release of nucleic acids is a key factor for successful gene delivery. Therefore, there is a strong need to develop suitable tools and techniques for enabling the monitoring of the stability of polyplexes in the biological environment they face during transfection. In this work we propose time-resolved fluorescence spectroscopy in combination with SYBR Green I-DNA dye as a reliable tool for the in-depth characterization of the DNA/vector complexation state. As a proof of concept, we provide essential information on the assembly and disassembly of complexes formed between DNA and each of three cationic polymers, namely a novel promising chitosan-graft-branched polyethylenimine copolymer (Chi-g-bPEI), one of its building block 2 kDa bPEI and the gold standard transfectant 25 kDa bPEI. Our results highlight the higher information content provided by the time-resolved studies of SYBR Green I/DNA, as compared to conventional steady state measurements of ethidium bromide/DNA that enabled us to draw relationships among fluorescence lifetime, polyplex structural changes and transfection efficiency. PMID:25308511

  9. Phylogeographic, ancient DNA, fossil and morphometric analyses reveal ancient and modern introductions of a large mammal: the complex case of red deer (Cervus elaphus) in Ireland

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Carden, Ruth F.; McDevitt, Allan D.; Zachos, Frank E.; Woodman, Peter C.; O'Toole, Peter; Rose, Hugh; Monaghan, Nigel T.; Campana, Michael G.; Bradley, Daniel G.; Edwards, Ceiridwen J.

    2012-05-01

    The problem of how and when the island of Ireland attained its contemporary fauna has remained a key question in understanding Quaternary faunal assemblages. We assessed the complex history and origins of the red deer (Cervus elaphus) in Ireland using a multi-disciplinary approach. Mitochondrial sequences of contemporary and ancient red deer (dating from c 30,000 to 1700 cal. yr BP) were compared to decipher possible source populations of red deer in Ireland, in addition to craniometric analyses of skulls from candidate regions to distinguish between different colonization scenarios. Radiocarbon dating was undertaken on all bone fragments that were previously undated. Finally, a comprehensive review of the scientific literature, unpublished reports and other sources of data were also searched for red deer remains within Irish palaeontological and archaeological contexts. Despite being present in Ireland prior to the Last Glacial Maximum (LGM), there is a notable scarcity of red deer from the Younger Dryas stadial period until the Neolithic. The presence of red deer in Irish archaeological sites then occurs more frequently relative to other species. One population in the southwest of Ireland (Co. Kerry) shared haplotypes with the ancient Irish specimens and molecular dating and craniometric analysis suggests its persistence in Ireland since the Neolithic period. The synthesis of the results from this multi-disciplinary study all indicate that red deer were introduced by humans during the Irish Neolithic period and that one of these populations persists today. In conjunction with recent results from other species, Neolithic people from Ireland's nearest landmass, Britain, played a vital role in establishing its contemporary fauna and flora.

  10. Ancient DNA reveals genetic stability despite demographic decline: 3,000 years of population history in the endemic Hawaiian petrel.

    PubMed

    Welch, Andreanna J; Wiley, Anne E; James, Helen F; Ostrom, Peggy H; Stafford, Thomas W; Fleischer, Robert C

    2012-12-01

    In the Hawaiian Islands, human colonization, which began approximately 1,200 to 800 years ago, marks the beginning of a period in which nearly 75% of the endemic avifauna became extinct and the population size and range of many additional species declined. It remains unclear why some species persisted whereas others did not. The endemic Hawaiian petrel (Pterodroma sandwichensis) has escaped extinction, but colonies on two islands have been extirpated and populations on remaining islands have contracted. We obtained mitochondrial DNA sequences from 100 subfossil bones, 28 museum specimens, and 289 modern samples to investigate patterns of gene flow and temporal changes in the genetic diversity of this endangered species over the last 3,000 years, as Polynesians and then Europeans colonized the Hawaiian Islands. Genetic differentiation was found to be high between both modern and ancient petrel populations. However, gene flow was substantial between the extirpated colonies on Oahu and Molokai and modern birds from the island of Lanai. No significant reductions in genetic diversity occurred over this period, despite fears in the mid-1900s that this species may have been extinct. Simulations show that even a decline to a stable effective population size of 100 individuals would result in the loss of only 5% of the expected heterozygosity. Simulations also show that high levels of genetic diversity may be retained due to the long generation time of this species. Such decoupling between population size and genetic diversity in long-lived species can have important conservation implications. It appears that a pattern of dispersal from declining colonies, in addition to long generation time, may have allowed the Hawaiian petrel to escape a severe genetic bottleneck, and the associated extinction vortex, and persist despite a large population decline after human colonization. PMID:22844071

  11. Influence of Climate Warming on Arctic Mammals? New Insights from Ancient DNA Studies of the collared lemming Dicrostonyx torquatus.

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Prost, Stefan; Smirnov, Nickolay; Fedorov, Vadim B.; Sommer, Robert S.; Stiller, Mathias; Nagel, Doris; Knapp, Michael; Hofreiter, Michael

    2010-05-01

    Global temperature increased by approximately half a degree (Celsius) within the last 150 years. Even this moderate warming had major impacts on Earth's ecological and biological systems, especially in the Arctic where the magnitude of abiotic changes even exceeds those in temperate and tropical biomes. Therefore, understanding the biological consequences of climate change on high latitudes is of critical importance for future conservation of the species living in this habitat. The past 25,000 years can be used as a model for such changes, as they were marked by prominent climatic changes that influenced geographic distribution, demographic history and pattern of genetic variation of many extant species. We sequenced ancient and modern DNA of the collared lemming (Dicrostonyx torquatus), which is a key species of the arctic biota, from a single site (Pymva Shor, Northern Pre Urals, Russia) to see if climate warming events after the Last Glacial Maximum (LGM) had detectable effects on the genetic variation of this arctic rodent species, which is strongly associated with cold and dry climate. Using three dimensional network reconstruction and model-based approaches such as Approximate Bayesian Computation and Markov Chain Monte Carlo based Bayesian inference we show that there is evidence for a population decline in the collared lemming following the LGM, with the population size dropping to a minimum during the Greenland Interstadial 1 (Blling/Allerd) warming phase at 14.5 kyrs BP. Our results show that previous climate warming events had a strong influence on collard lemming populations. A similar population reduction due to predicted future climate change would have severe effects on the arctic ecosystem, as collared lemmings are a key species in the trophic interactions and ecosystem processes in the Arctic.

  12. Kinship and Y-Chromosome Analysis of 7th Century Human Remains: Novel DNA Extraction and Typing Procedure for Ancient Material

    PubMed Central

    Vanek, Daniel; Saskova, Lenka; Koch, Hubert

    2009-01-01

    Aim To develop novel DNA extraction and typing procedure for DNA identification of the 7th century human remains, determine the familiar relationship between the individuals, estimate the Y-chromosome haplogroup, and compare the Y-chromosome haplotype with the contemporary populations. Methods DNA from preserved femur samples was extracted using the modified silica-based extraction technique. Polymerase chain reaction amplification was performed using human identification kits MiniFiler, Identifiler, and Y-filer and also laboratory-developed and validated Y-chromosome short tandem repeat (STR) pentaplexes with short amplicons. Results For 244A, 244B, 244C samples, full autosomal DNA profiles (15 STR markers and Amelogenin) and for 244D, 244E, 244F samples, MiniFiler profiles were produced. Y-chromosome haplotypes consisting of up to 24 STR markers were determined and used to predict the Y-chromosome haplogroups and compare the resulting haplotypes with the current population. Samples 244A, 244B, 244C, and 244D belong to Y-chromosome haplogroup R1b and the samples 244E and 244F to haplogroup G2a. Comparison of ancient haplotypes with the current population yielded numerous close matches with genetic distance bellow 2. Conclusion Application of forensic genetics in archaeology enables retrieving new types of information and helps in data interpretation. The number of successfully typed autosomal and Y-STR loci from ancient specimens in this study is one of the largest published so far for aged samples. PMID:19480023

  13. Phylogeographic genomics of mitochondrial DNA: Highly-resolved patterns of intraspecific evolution and a multi-species, microarray-based DNA sequencing strategy for biodiversity studies.

    PubMed

    Carr, Steven M; Marshall, H Dawn; Duggan, Ana T; Flynn, Sarah M C; Johnstone, Kimberley A; Pope, Angela M; Wilkerson, Corinne D

    2008-03-01

    Phylogeographic genomics, based on multiple complete mtDNA genome sequences from within individual vertebrate species, provides highly-resolved intraspecific trees for the detailed study of evolutionary biology. We describe new biogeographic and historical insights from our studies of the genomes of codfish, wolffish, and harp seal populations in the Northwest Atlantic, and from the descendants of the founding human population of Newfoundland. Population genomics by conventional sequencing methods remains laborious. A new biotechnology, iterative DNA "re-sequencing", uses a DNA microarray to recover 30-300 kb of contiguous DNA sequence in a single experiment. Experiments with a single-species mtDNA microarray show that the method is accurate and efficient, and sufficiently species-specific to discriminate mtDNA genomes of moderately-divergent taxa. Experiments with a multi-species DNA microarray (the "ArkChip") show that simultaneous sequencing of species in different orders and classes detects SNPs within each taxon with equal accuracy as single-species-specific experiments. Iterative DNA sequencing offers a practical method for high-throughput biodiversity genomics that will enable standardized, coordinated investigation of multiple species of interest to Species at Risk and conservation biologists. PMID:20483203

  14. Ancient DNA Reveals That the Genetic Structure of the Northern Han Chinese Was Shaped Prior to 3,000 Years Ago

    PubMed Central

    Zhang, Quan-Chao; Li, Hong-Jie; Cui, Ying-Qiu; Xu, Zhi; Jin, Li; Zhou, Hui; Zhu, Hong

    2015-01-01

    The Han Chinese are the largest ethnic group in the world, and their origins, development, and expansion are complex. Many genetic studies have shown that Han Chinese can be divided into two distinct groups: northern Han Chinese and southern Han Chinese. The genetic history of the southern Han Chinese has been well studied. However, the genetic history of the northern Han Chinese is still obscure. In order to gain insight into the genetic history of the northern Han Chinese, 89 human remains were sampled from the Hengbei site which is located in the Central Plain and dates back to a key transitional period during the rise of the Han Chinese (approximately 3,000 years ago). We used 64 authentic mtDNA data obtained in this study, 27 Y chromosome SNP data profiles from previously studied Hengbei samples, and genetic datasets of the current Chinese populations and two ancient northern Chinese populations to analyze the relationship between the ancient people of Hengbei and present-day northern Han Chinese. We used a wide range of population genetic analyses, including principal component analyses, shared mtDNA haplotype analyses, and geographic mapping of maternal genetic distances. The results show that the ancient people of Hengbei bore a strong genetic resemblance to present-day northern Han Chinese and were genetically distinct from other present-day Chinese populations and two ancient populations. These findings suggest that the genetic structure of northern Han Chinese was already shaped 3,000 years ago in the Central Plain area. PMID:25938511

  15. The utility of ancient human DNA for improving allele age estimates, with implications for demographic models and tests of natural selection

    PubMed Central

    Sams, Aaron J.; Hawks, John; Keinan, Alon

    2015-01-01

    The age of polymorphic alleles in humans is often estimated from population genetic patterns in extant human populations, such as allele frequencies, linkage disequilibrium, and rate of mutations. Ancient DNA can improve the accuracy of such estimates, as well as facilitate testing the validity of demographic models underlying many population genetic methods. Specifically, the presence of an allele in a genome derived from an ancient sample testifies that the allele is at least as old as that sample. In this study, we consider a common method for estimating allele age based on allele frequency as applied to variants from the US National Institutes of Health (NIH) Heart, Lung, and Blood Institute (NHLBI) Exome Sequencing Project. We view these estimates in the context of the presence or absence of each allele in the genomes of the 5300 year old Tyrolean Iceman, Ötzi, and of the 50,000 year old Altai Neandertal. Our results illuminate the accuracy of these estimates and their sensitivity to demographic events that were not included in the model underlying age estimation. Specifically, allele presence in the Iceman genome provides a good fit of allele age estimates to the expectation based on the age of that specimen. The equivalent based on the Neandertal genome leads to a poorer fit. This is likely due in part to the older age of the Neandertal and the older time of the split between modern humans and Neandertals, but also due to gene flow from Neandertals to modern humans not being considered in the underlying demographic model. Thus, the incorporation of ancient DNA can improve allele age estimation, demographic modeling, and tests of natural selection. Our results also point to the importance of considering a more diverse set of ancient samples for understanding the geographic and temporal range of individual alleles. PMID:25467111

  16. The utility of ancient human DNA for improving allele age estimates, with implications for demographic models and tests of natural selection.

    PubMed

    Sams, Aaron J; Hawks, John; Keinan, Alon

    2015-02-01

    The age of polymorphic alleles in humans is often estimated from population genetic patterns in extant human populations, such as allele frequencies, linkage disequilibrium, and rate of mutations. Ancient DNA can improve the accuracy of such estimates, as well as facilitate testing the validity of demographic models underlying many population genetic methods. Specifically, the presence of an allele in a genome derived from an ancient sample testifies that the allele is at least as old as that sample. In this study, we consider a common method for estimating allele age based on allele frequency as applied to variants from the US National Institutes of Health (NIH) Heart, Lung, and Blood Institute (NHLBI) Exome Sequencing Project. We view these estimates in the context of the presence or absence of each allele in the genomes of the 5300 year old Tyrolean Iceman, Ötzi, and of the 50,000 year old Altai Neandertal. Our results illuminate the accuracy of these estimates and their sensitivity to demographic events that were not included in the model underlying age estimation. Specifically, allele presence in the Iceman genome provides a good fit of allele age estimates to the expectation based on the age of that specimen. The equivalent based on the Neandertal genome leads to a poorer fit. This is likely due in part to the older age of the Neandertal and the older time of the split between modern humans and Neandertals, but also due to gene flow from Neandertals to modern humans not being considered in the underlying demographic model. Thus, the incorporation of ancient DNA can improve allele age estimation, demographic modeling, and tests of natural selection. Our results also point to the importance of considering a more diverse set of ancient samples for understanding the geographic and temporal range of individual alleles. PMID:25467111

  17. Aprataxin resolves adenylated RNA–DNA junctions to maintain genome integrity

    SciTech Connect

    Tumbale, Percy; Williams, Jessica S.; Schellenberg, Matthew J.; Kunkel, Thomas A.; Williams, R. Scott

    2013-12-22

    Faithful maintenance and propagation of eukaryotic genomes is ensured by three-step DNA ligation reactions used by ATP-dependent DNA ligases. Paradoxically, when DNA ligases encounter nicked DNA structures with abnormal DNA termini, DNA ligase catalytic activity can generate and/or exacerbate DNA damage through abortive ligation that produces chemically adducted, toxic 5'-adenylated (5'-AMP) DNA lesions. Aprataxin (APTX) reverses DNA adenylation but the context for deadenylation repair is unclear. Here we examine the importance of APTX to RNase-H2-dependent excision repair (RER) of a lesion that is very frequently introduced into DNA, a ribonucleotide. We show that ligases generate adenylated 5' ends containing a ribose characteristic of RNase H2 incision. APTX efficiently repairs adenylated RNA–DNA, and acting in an RNA–DNA damage response (RDDR), promotes cellular survival and prevents S-phase checkpoint activation in budding yeast undergoing RER. Structure–function studies of human APTX–RNA–DNA–AMP–Zn complexes define a mechanism for detecting and reversing adenylation at RNA–DNA junctions. This involves A-form RNA binding, proper protein folding and conformational changes, all of which are affected by heritable APTX mutations in ataxia with oculomotor apraxia 1. Together, these results indicate that accumulation of adenylated RNA–DNA may contribute to neurological disease.

  18. Influence of Climate Warming on Arctic Mammals? New Insights from Ancient DNA Studies of the Collared Lemming Dicrostonyx torquatus

    PubMed Central

    Prost, Stefan; Smirnov, Nickolay; Fedorov, Vadim B.; Sommer, Robert S.; Stiller, Mathias; Nagel, Doris; Knapp, Michael; Hofreiter, Michael

    2010-01-01

    Background Global temperature increased by approximately half a degree (Celsius) within the last 150 years. Even this moderate warming had major impacts on Earth's ecological and biological systems, especially in the Arctic where the magnitude of abiotic changes even exceeds those in temperate and tropical biomes. Therefore, understanding the biological consequences of climate change on high latitudes is of critical importance for future conservation of the species living in this habitat. The past 25,000 years can be used as a model for such changes, as they were marked by prominent climatic changes that influenced geographical distribution, demographic history and pattern of genetic variation of many extant species. We sequenced ancient and modern DNA of the collared lemming (Dicrostonyx torquatus), which is a key species of the arctic biota, from a single site (Pymva Shor, Northern Pre Urals, Russia) to see if climate warming events after the Last Glacial Maximum had detectable effects on the genetic variation of this arctic rodent species, which is strongly associated with a cold and dry climate. Results Using three dimensional network reconstructions we found a dramatic decline in genetic diversity following the LGM. Model-based approaches such as Approximate Bayesian Computation and Markov Chain Monte Carlo based Bayesian inference show that there is evidence for a population decline in the collared lemming following the LGM, with the population size dropping to a minimum during the Greenland Interstadial 1 (Bølling/Allerød) warming phase at 14.5 kyrs BP. Conclusion Our results show that previous climate warming events had a strong influence on genetic diversity and population size of collared lemmings. Due to its already severely compromised genetic diversity a similar population reduction as a result of the predicted future climate change could completely abolish the remaining genetic diversity in this population. Local population extinctions of collared

  19. The globalization of naval provisioning: ancient DNA and stable isotope analyses of stored cod from the wreck of the Mary Rose, AD 1545

    PubMed Central

    Hutchinson, William F.; Culling, Mark; Orton, David C.; Hänfling, Bernd; Lawson Handley, Lori; Hamilton-Dyer, Sheila; O'Connell, Tamsin C.; Richards, Michael P.; Barrett, James H.

    2015-01-01

    A comparison of ancient DNA (single-nucleotide polymorphisms) and carbon and nitrogen stable isotope evidence suggests that stored cod provisions recovered from the wreck of the Tudor warship Mary Rose, which sank in the Solent, southern England, in 1545, had been caught in northern and transatlantic waters such as the northern North Sea and the fishing grounds of Iceland and Newfoundland. This discovery, underpinned by control data from archaeological samples of cod bones from potential source regions, illuminates the role of naval provisioning in the early development of extensive sea fisheries, with their long-term economic and ecological impacts. PMID:26473047

  20. Optical Tweezers Experiments Resolve Distinct Modes of DNA-Protein Binding

    PubMed Central

    McCauley, Micah J.; Williams, Mark C.

    2009-01-01

    Optical tweezers are ideally suited to perform force microscopy experiments that isolate a single biomolecule, which then provides multiple binding sites for ligands. The captured complex may be subjected to a spectrum of forces, inhibiting or facilitating ligand activity. In the following experiments, we utilize optical tweezers to characterize and quantify DNA binding of various ligands. High Mobility Group Type B (HMGB) proteins, which bind to double-stranded DNA, are shown to serve the dual purpose of stabilizing and enhancing the flexibility of double stranded DNA. Unusual intercalating ligands are observed to thread into and lengthen the double-stranded structure. Proteins binding to both double- and single-stranded DNA, such as the alpha polymerase subunit of E. coli Pol III, are characterized and the subdomains containing the distinct sites responsible for binding are isolated. Finally, DNA binding of bacteriophage T4 and T7 single-stranded DNA (ssDNA) binding proteins are measured for a range of salt concentrations, illustrating a binding model for proteins that slide along double-stranded DNA, ultimately binding tightly to ssDNA. These recently developed methods quantify both the binding activity of the ligand as well as the mode of binding. PMID:19173290

  1. Complete mtDNA genomes of Filipino ethnolinguistic groups: a melting pot of recent and ancient lineages in the Asia-Pacific region.

    PubMed

    Delfin, Frederick; Min-Shan Ko, Albert; Li, Mingkun; Gunnarsdóttir, Ellen D; Tabbada, Kristina A; Salvador, Jazelyn M; Calacal, Gayvelline C; Sagum, Minerva S; Datar, Francisco A; Padilla, Sabino G; De Ungria, Maria Corazon A; Stoneking, Mark

    2014-02-01

    The Philippines is a strategic point in the Asia-Pacific region for the study of human diversity, history and origins, as it is a cross-road for human migrations and consequently exhibits enormous ethnolinguistic diversity. Following on a previous in-depth study of Y-chromosome variation, here we provide new insights into the maternal genetic history of Filipino ethnolinguistic groups by surveying complete mitochondrial DNA (mtDNA) genomes from a total of 14 groups (11 groups in this study and 3 groups previously published) including previously published mtDNA hypervariable segment (HVS) data from Filipino regional center groups. Comparison of HVS data indicate genetic differences between ethnolinguistic and regional center groups. The complete mtDNA genomes of 14 ethnolinguistic groups reveal genetic aspects consistent with the Y-chromosome, namely: diversity and heterogeneity of groups, no support for a simple dichotomy between Negrito and non-Negrito groups, and different genetic affinities with Asia-Pacific groups that are both ancient and recent. Although some mtDNA haplogroups can be associated with the Austronesian expansion, there are others that associate with South Asia, Near Oceania and Australia that are consistent with a southern migration route for ethnolinguistic group ancestors into the Asia-Pacific, with a timeline that overlaps with the initial colonization of the Asia-Pacific region, the initial colonization of the Philippines and a possible separate post-colonization migration into the Philippine archipelago. PMID:23756438

  2. Complete mtDNA genomes of Filipino ethnolinguistic groups: a melting pot of recent and ancient lineages in the Asia-Pacific region

    PubMed Central

    Delfin, Frederick; Min-Shan Ko, Albert; Li, Mingkun; Gunnarsdóttir, Ellen D; Tabbada, Kristina A; Salvador, Jazelyn M; Calacal, Gayvelline C; Sagum, Minerva S; Datar, Francisco A; Padilla, Sabino G; De Ungria, Maria Corazon A; Stoneking, Mark

    2014-01-01

    The Philippines is a strategic point in the Asia-Pacific region for the study of human diversity, history and origins, as it is a cross-road for human migrations and consequently exhibits enormous ethnolinguistic diversity. Following on a previous in-depth study of Y-chromosome variation, here we provide new insights into the maternal genetic history of Filipino ethnolinguistic groups by surveying complete mitochondrial DNA (mtDNA) genomes from a total of 14 groups (11 groups in this study and 3 groups previously published) including previously published mtDNA hypervariable segment (HVS) data from Filipino regional center groups. Comparison of HVS data indicate genetic differences between ethnolinguistic and regional center groups. The complete mtDNA genomes of 14 ethnolinguistic groups reveal genetic aspects consistent with the Y-chromosome, namely: diversity and heterogeneity of groups, no support for a simple dichotomy between Negrito and non-Negrito groups, and different genetic affinities with Asia-Pacific groups that are both ancient and recent. Although some mtDNA haplogroups can be associated with the Austronesian expansion, there are others that associate with South Asia, Near Oceania and Australia that are consistent with a southern migration route for ethnolinguistic group ancestors into the Asia-Pacific, with a timeline that overlaps with the initial colonization of the Asia-Pacific region, the initial colonization of the Philippines and a possible separate post-colonization migration into the Philippine archipelago. PMID:23756438

  3. Mitochondrial DNA Diversity of Modern, Ancient and Wild Sheep (Ovis gmelinii anatolica) from Turkey: New Insights on the Evolutionary History of Sheep

    PubMed Central

    Pişkin, Evangelia; Engin, Atilla; Özer, Füsun; Yüncü, Eren; Doğan, Şükrü Anıl; Togan, İnci

    2013-01-01

    In the present study, to contribute to the understanding of the evolutionary history of sheep, the mitochondrial (mt) DNA polymorphisms occurring in modern Turkish native domestic (n = 628), modern wild (Ovis gmelinii anatolica) (n = 30) and ancient domestic sheep from Oylum Höyük in Kilis (n = 33) were examined comparatively with the accumulated data in the literature. The lengths (75 bp/76 bp) of the second and subsequent repeat units of the mtDNA control region (CR) sequences differentiated the five haplogroups (HPGs) observed in the domestic sheep into two genetic clusters as was already implied by other mtDNA markers: the first cluster being composed of HPGs A, B, D and the second cluster harboring HPGs C, E. To manifest genetic relatedness between wild Ovis gmelinii and domestic sheep haplogroups, their partial cytochrome B sequences were examined together on a median-joining network. The two parallel but wider aforementioned clusters were observed also on the network of Ovis gmelenii individuals, within which domestic haplogroups were embedded. The Ovis gmelinii wilds of the present day appeared to be distributed on two partially overlapping geographic areas parallel to the genetic clusters that they belong to (the first cluster being in the western part of the overall distribution). Thus, the analyses suggested that the domestic sheep may be the products of two maternally distinct ancestral Ovis gmelinii populations. Furthermore, Ovis gmelinii anatolica individuals exhibited a haplotype of HPG A (n = 22) and another haplotype (n = 8) from the second cluster which was not observed among the modern domestic sheep. HPG E, with the newly observed members (n = 11), showed signs of expansion. Studies of ancient and modern mtDNA suggest that HPG C frequency increased in the Southeast Anatolia from 6% to 22% some time after the beginning of the Hellenistic period, 500 years Before Common Era (BCE). PMID:24349158

  4. Mitochondrial DNA diversity of modern, ancient and wild sheep(Ovis gmelinii anatolica) from Turkey: new insights on the evolutionary history of sheep.

    PubMed

    Demirci, Sevgin; Koban Baştanlar, Evren; Dağtaş, Nihan Dilşad; Pişkin, Evangelia; Engin, Atilla; Ozer, Füsun; Yüncü, Eren; Doğan, Sükrü Anıl; Togan, Inci

    2013-01-01

    In the present study, to contribute to the understanding of the evolutionary history of sheep, the mitochondrial (mt) DNA polymorphisms occurring in modern Turkish native domestic (n = 628), modern wild (Ovis gmelinii anatolica) (n = 30) and ancient domestic sheep from Oylum Höyük in Kilis (n = 33) were examined comparatively with the accumulated data in the literature. The lengths (75 bp/76 bp) of the second and subsequent repeat units of the mtDNA control region (CR) sequences differentiated the five haplogroups (HPGs) observed in the domestic sheep into two genetic clusters as was already implied by other mtDNA markers: the first cluster being composed of HPGs A, B, D and the second cluster harboring HPGs C, E. To manifest genetic relatedness between wild Ovis gmelinii and domestic sheep haplogroups, their partial cytochrome B sequences were examined together on a median-joining network. The two parallel but wider aforementioned clusters were observed also on the network of Ovis gmelenii individuals, within which domestic haplogroups were embedded. The Ovis gmelinii wilds of the present day appeared to be distributed on two partially overlapping geographic areas parallel to the genetic clusters that they belong to (the first cluster being in the western part of the overall distribution). Thus, the analyses suggested that the domestic sheep may be the products of two maternally distinct ancestral Ovis gmelinii populations. Furthermore, Ovis gmelinii anatolica individuals exhibited a haplotype of HPG A (n = 22) and another haplotype (n = 8) from the second cluster which was not observed among the modern domestic sheep. HPG E, with the newly observed members (n = 11), showed signs of expansion. Studies of ancient and modern mtDNA suggest that HPG C frequency increased in the Southeast Anatolia from 6% to 22% some time after the beginning of the Hellenistic period, 500 years Before Common Era (BCE). PMID:24349158

  5. Analysis of the Intrinsically Disordered N-Terminus of the DNA Junction-Resolving Enzyme T7 Endonuclease I: Identification of Structure Formed upon DNA Binding.

    PubMed

    Freeman, Alasdair D J; Stevens, Michael; Declais, Anne-Cecile; Leahy, Adam; Mackay, Katherine; El Mkami, Hassane; Lilley, David M J; Norman, David G

    2016-08-01

    The four-way (Holliday) DNA junction of homologous recombination is processed by the symmetrical cleavage of two strands by a nuclease. These junction-resolving enzymes bind to four-way junctions in dimeric form, distorting the structure of the junction in the process. Crystal structures of T7 endonuclease I have been determined as free protein, and the complex with a DNA junction. In neither crystal structure was the N-terminal 16-amino acid peptide visible, yet deletion of this peptide has a marked effect on the resolution process. Here we have investigated the N-terminal peptide by inclusion of spin-label probes at unique sites within this region, studied by electron paramagnetic resonance. Continuous wave experiments show that these labels are mobile in the free protein but become constrained on binding a DNA junction, with the main interaction occurring for residues 7-10 and 12. Distance measurements between equivalent positions within the two peptides of a dimer using PELDOR showed that the intermonomeric distances for residues 2-12 are long and broadly distributed in the free protein but are significantly shortened and become more defined on binding to DNA. These results suggest that the N-terminal peptides become more organized on binding to the DNA junction and nestle into the minor grooves at the branchpoint, consistent with the biochemical data indicating an important role in the resolution process. This study demonstrates the presence of structure within a protein region that cannot be viewed by crystallography. PMID:27387136

  6. Analysis of the Intrinsically Disordered N-Terminus of the DNA Junction-Resolving Enzyme T7 Endonuclease I: Identification of Structure Formed upon DNA Binding

    PubMed Central

    2016-01-01

    The four-way (Holliday) DNA junction of homologous recombination is processed by the symmetrical cleavage of two strands by a nuclease. These junction-resolving enzymes bind to four-way junctions in dimeric form, distorting the structure of the junction in the process. Crystal structures of T7 endonuclease I have been determined as free protein, and the complex with a DNA junction. In neither crystal structure was the N-terminal 16-amino acid peptide visible, yet deletion of this peptide has a marked effect on the resolution process. Here we have investigated the N-terminal peptide by inclusion of spin-label probes at unique sites within this region, studied by electron paramagnetic resonance. Continuous wave experiments show that these labels are mobile in the free protein but become constrained on binding a DNA junction, with the main interaction occurring for residues 7–10 and 12. Distance measurements between equivalent positions within the two peptides of a dimer using PELDOR showed that the intermonomeric distances for residues 2–12 are long and broadly distributed in the free protein but are significantly shortened and become more defined on binding to DNA. These results suggest that the N-terminal peptides become more organized on binding to the DNA junction and nestle into the minor grooves at the branchpoint, consistent with the biochemical data indicating an important role in the resolution process. This study demonstrates the presence of structure within a protein region that cannot be viewed by crystallography. PMID:27387136

  7. Highly sensitive detection of human papillomavirus type 16 DNA using time-resolved fluorescence microscopy and long lifetime probes

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Wang, Xue F.; Periasamy, Ammasi; Wodnicki, Pawel; Siadat-Pajouh, M.; Herman, Brian

    1995-04-01

    We have been interested in the role of Human Papillomavirus (HPV) in cervical cancer and its diagnosis; to that end we have been developing microscopic imaging and fluorescent in situ hybridization (FISH) techniques to genotype and quantitate the amount of HPV present at a single cell level in cervical PAP smears. However, we have found that low levels of HPV DNA are difficult to detect accurately because theoretically obtainable sensitivity is never achieved due to nonspecific autofluorescence, fixative induced fluorescence of cells and tissues, and autofluorescence of the optical components in the microscopic system. In addition, the absorption stains used for PAP smears are intensely autofluorescent. Autofluorescence is a rapidly decaying process with lifetimes in the range of 1-100 nsec, whereas phosphorescence and delayed fluorescence have lifetimes in the range of 1 microsecond(s) ec-10 msec. The ability to discriminate between specific fluorescence and autofluorescence in the time-domain has improved the sensitivity of diagnostic test such that they perform comparably to, or even more sensitive than radioisotopic assays. We have developed a novel time-resolved fluorescence microscope to improve the sensitivity of detection of specific molecules of interest in slide based specimens. This time-resolved fluorescence microscope is based on our recently developed fluorescence lifetime imaging microscopy (FILM) in conjunction with the use of long lifetime fluorescent labels. By using fluorescence in situ hybridization and the long lifetime probe (europium), we have demonstrated the utility of this technique for detection of HPV DNA in cervicovaginal cells. Our results indicate that the use of time-resolved fluorescence microscopy and long lifetime probes increases the sensitivity of detection by removing autofluorescence and will thus lead to improved early diagnosis of cervical cancer. Since the highly sensitive detection of DNA in clinical samples using

  8. A Well-Resolved Phylogeny of the Trees of Puerto Rico Based on DNA Barcode Sequence Data

    PubMed Central

    Muscarella, Robert; Uriarte, María; Erickson, David L.; Swenson, Nathan G.; Zimmerman, Jess K.; Kress, W. John

    2014-01-01

    Background The use of phylogenetic information in community ecology and conservation has grown in recent years. Two key issues for community phylogenetics studies, however, are (i) low terminal phylogenetic resolution and (ii) arbitrarily defined species pools. Methodology/principal findings We used three DNA barcodes (plastid DNA regions rbcL, matK, and trnH-psbA) to infer a phylogeny for 527 native and naturalized trees of Puerto Rico, representing the vast majority of the entire tree flora of the island (89%). We used a maximum likelihood (ML) approach with and without a constraint tree that enforced monophyly of recognized plant orders. Based on 50% consensus trees, the ML analyses improved phylogenetic resolution relative to a comparable phylogeny generated with Phylomatic (proportion of internal nodes resolved: constrained ML = 74%, unconstrained ML = 68%, Phylomatic = 52%). We quantified the phylogenetic composition of 15 protected forests in Puerto Rico using the constrained ML and Phylomatic phylogenies. We found some evidence that tree communities in areas of high water stress were relatively phylogenetically clustered. Reducing the scale at which the species pool was defined (from island to soil types) changed some of our results depending on which phylogeny (ML vs. Phylomatic) was used. Overall, the increased terminal resolution provided by the ML phylogeny revealed additional patterns that were not observed with a less-resolved phylogeny. Conclusions/significance With the DNA barcode phylogeny presented here (based on an island-wide species pool), we show that a more fully resolved phylogeny increases power to detect nonrandom patterns of community composition in several Puerto Rican tree communities. Especially if combined with additional information on species functional traits and geographic distributions, this phylogeny will (i) facilitate stronger inferences about the role of historical processes in governing the assembly and

  9. Mechanism of the nucleotidyl-transfer reaction in DNA polymerase revealed by time-resolved protein crystallography

    PubMed Central

    Nakamura, Teruya; Zhao, Ye; Yamagata, Yuriko; Hua, Yue-jin; Yang, Wei

    2013-01-01

    Nucleotidyl-transfer reaction catalyzed by DNA polymerase is a fundamental enzymatic reaction for DNA synthesis. Until now, a number of structural and kinetic studies on DNA polymerases have proposed a two-metalion mechanism of the nucleotidyl-transfer reaction. However, the actual reaction process has never been visualized. Recently, we have followed the nucleotidyl-transfer reaction process by human DNA polymerase η using time-resolved protein crystallography. In sequence, two Mg2+ ions bind to the active site, the nucleophile 3′-OH is deprotonated, the deoxyribose at the primer end converts from C2′-endo to C3′-endo, and the nucleophile and the α-phosphate of the substrate dATP approach each other to form the new bond. In this process, we observed transient elements, which are a water molecule to deprotonate the 3′-OH and an additional Mg2+ ion to stabilize the intermediate state. Particularly, the third Mg2+ ion observed in this study may be a general feature of the two-metalion mechanism.

  10. Time-resolved fluorescence of 2-aminopurine as a probe of base flipping in M.HhaI–DNA complexes

    PubMed Central

    Neely, Robert K.; Daujotyte, Dalia; Grazulis, Saulius; Magennis, Steven W.; Dryden, David T. F.; Klimašauskas, Saulius; Jones, Anita C.

    2005-01-01

    DNA base flipping is an important mechanism in molecular enzymology, but its study is limited by the lack of an accessible and reliable diagnostic technique. A series of crystalline complexes of a DNA methyltransferase, M.HhaI, and its cognate DNA, in which a fluorescent nucleobase analogue, 2-aminopurine (AP), occupies defined positions with respect the target flipped base, have been prepared and their structures determined at higher than 2 Å resolution. From time-resolved fluorescence measurements of these single crystals, we have established that the fluorescence decay function of AP shows a pronounced, characteristic response to base flipping: the loss of the very short (∼100 ps) decay component and the large increase in the amplitude of the long (∼10 ns) component. When AP is positioned at sites other than the target site, this response is not seen. Most significantly, we have shown that the same clear response is apparent when M.HhaI complexes with DNA in solution, giving an unambiguous signal of base flipping. Analysis of the AP fluorescence decay function reveals conformational heterogeneity in the DNA–enzyme complexes that cannot be discerned from the present X-ray structures. PMID:16340006

  11. Tamil merchant in ancient Mesopotamia.

    PubMed

    Palanichamy, Malliya Gounder; Mitra, Bikash; Debnath, Monojit; Agrawal, Suraksha; Chaudhuri, Tapas Kumar; Zhang, Ya-Ping

    2014-01-01

    Recent analyses of ancient Mesopotamian mitochondrial genomes have suggested a genetic link between the Indian subcontinent and Mesopotamian civilization. There is no consensus on the origin of the ancient Mesopotamians. They may be descendants of migrants, who founded regional Mesopotamian groups like that of Terqa or they may be merchants who were involved in trans Mesopotamia trade. To identify the Indian source population showing linkage to the ancient Mesopotamians, we screened a total of 15,751 mitochondrial DNAs (11,432 from the literature and 4,319 from this study) representing all major populations of India. Our results although suggest that south India (Tamil Nadu) and northeast India served as the source of the ancient Mesopotamian mtDNA gene pool, mtDNA of these ancient Mesopotamians probably contributed by Tamil merchants who were involved in the Indo-Roman trade. PMID:25299580

  12. Tamil Merchant in Ancient Mesopotamia

    PubMed Central

    Palanichamy, Malliya gounder; Mitra, Bikash; Debnath, Monojit; Agrawal, Suraksha; Chaudhuri, Tapas Kumar; Zhang, Ya-Ping

    2014-01-01

    Recent analyses of ancient Mesopotamian mitochondrial genomes have suggested a genetic link between the Indian subcontinent and Mesopotamian civilization. There is no consensus on the origin of the ancient Mesopotamians. They may be descendants of migrants, who founded regional Mesopotamian groups like that of Terqa or they may be merchants who were involved in trans Mesopotamia trade. To identify the Indian source population showing linkage to the ancient Mesopotamians, we screened a total of 15,751 mitochondrial DNAs (11,432 from the literature and 4,319 from this study) representing all major populations of India. Our results although suggest that south India (Tamil Nadu) and northeast India served as the source of the ancient Mesopotamian mtDNA gene pool, mtDNA of these ancient Mesopotamians probably contributed by Tamil merchants who were involved in the Indo-Roman trade. PMID:25299580

  13. Ancient Egypt.

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Evers, Virginia

    This four-week fourth grade social studies unit dealing with religious dimensions in ancient Egyptian culture was developed by the Public Education Religion Studies Center at Wright State University. It seeks to help students understand ancient Egypt by looking at the people, the culture, and the people's world view. The unit begins with outlines…

  14. Ancient DNA Analysis Suggests Negligible Impact of the Wari Empire Expansion in Peru’s Central Coast during the Middle Horizon

    PubMed Central

    Barreto Romero, María Inés; Flores Espinoza, Isabel; Cooper, Alan; Fehren-Schmitz, Lars

    2016-01-01

    The analysis of ancient human DNA from South America allows the exploration of pre-Columbian population history through time and to directly test hypotheses about cultural and demographic evolution. The Middle Horizon (650–1100 AD) represents a major transitional period in the Central Andes, which is associated with the development and expansion of ancient Andean empires such as Wari and Tiwanaku. These empires facilitated a series of interregional interactions and socio-political changes, which likely played an important role in shaping the region’s demographic and cultural profiles. We analyzed individuals from three successive pre-Columbian cultures present at the Huaca Pucllana archaeological site in Lima, Peru: Lima (Early Intermediate Period, 500–700 AD), Wari (Middle Horizon, 800–1000 AD) and Ychsma (Late Intermediate Period, 1000–1450 AD). We sequenced 34 complete mitochondrial genomes to investigate the potential genetic impact of the Wari Empire in the Central Coast of Peru. The results indicate that genetic diversity shifted only slightly through time, ruling out a complete population discontinuity or replacement driven by the Wari imperialist hegemony, at least in the region around present-day Lima. However, we caution that the very subtle genetic contribution of Wari imperialism at the particular Huaca Pucllana archaeological site might not be representative for the entire Wari territory in the Peruvian Central Coast. PMID:27248693

  15. MERIT40 cooperates with BRCA2 to resolve DNA interstrand cross-links

    PubMed Central

    Jiang, Qinqin; Paramasivam, Manikandan; Aressy, Bernadette; Wu, Junmin; Bellani, Marina; Tong, Wei; Seidman, Michael M.; Greenberg, Roger A.

    2015-01-01

    MERIT40 is an essential component of the RAP80 ubiquitin recognition complex that targets BRCA1 to DNA damage sites. Although this complex is required for BRCA1 foci formation, its physiologic role in DNA repair has remained enigmatic, as has its relationship to canonical DNA repair mechanisms. Surprisingly, we found that Merit40−/− mice displayed marked hypersensitivity to DNA interstrand cross-links (ICLs) but not whole-body irradiation. MERIT40 was rapidly recruited to ICL lesions prior to FANCD2, and Merit40-null cells exhibited delayed ICL unhooking coupled with reduced end resection and homologous recombination at ICL damage. Interestingly, Merit40 mutation exacerbated ICL-induced chromosome instability in the context of concomitant Brca2 deficiency but not in conjunction with Fancd2 mutation. These findings implicate MERIT40 in the earliest stages of ICL repair and define specific functional interactions between RAP80 complex-dependent ubiquitin recognition and the Fanconi anemia (FA)–BRCA ICL repair network. PMID:26338419

  16. MERIT40 cooperates with BRCA2 to resolve DNA interstrand cross-links.

    PubMed

    Jiang, Qinqin; Paramasivam, Manikandan; Aressy, Bernadette; Wu, Junmin; Bellani, Marina; Tong, Wei; Seidman, Michael M; Greenberg, Roger A

    2015-09-15

    MERIT40 is an essential component of the RAP80 ubiquitin recognition complex that targets BRCA1 to DNA damage sites. Although this complex is required for BRCA1 foci formation, its physiologic role in DNA repair has remained enigmatic, as has its relationship to canonical DNA repair mechanisms. Surprisingly, we found that Merit40(-/-) mice displayed marked hypersensitivity to DNA interstrand cross-links (ICLs) but not whole-body irradiation. MERIT40 was rapidly recruited to ICL lesions prior to FANCD2, and Merit40-null cells exhibited delayed ICL unhooking coupled with reduced end resection and homologous recombination at ICL damage. Interestingly, Merit40 mutation exacerbated ICL-induced chromosome instability in the context of concomitant Brca2 deficiency but not in conjunction with Fancd2 mutation. These findings implicate MERIT40 in the earliest stages of ICL repair and define specific functional interactions between RAP80 complex-dependent ubiquitin recognition and the Fanconi anemia (FA)-BRCA ICL repair network. PMID:26338419

  17. Dynamics of Water and Ions near DNA: Comparison of Simulation to Time-Resolved Stokes-Shift Experiments

    PubMed Central

    Sen, Sobhan; Andreatta, Daniele; Ponomarev, Sergei Y.; Beveridge, David L.; Berg, Mark A.

    2009-01-01

    Time-resolved Stokes-shift experiments measure the dynamics of biomolecules and of the perturbed solvent near them on subnanosecond time scales, but molecular dynamics simulations are needed to provide a clear interpretation of the results. Here we show that simulations using standard methods quantitatively reproduce the main features of TRSS experiments in DNA and provide a molecular assignment for the dynamics. The simulations reproduce the magnitude and unusual power-law dynamics of the Stokes shift seen in recent experiments [D. Andreatta, et al., J. Am. Chem. Soc. 127, 7270 (2005)]. A polarization model is introduced to eliminate cross correlations between the different components contributing to the signal. Using this model, well-defined contributions of the DNA, water and counterion to the experimental signal are extracted. Water is found to have the largest contribution and to be responsible for the power-law dynamics. The counterions have a smaller, but non-negligible contribution with a time constant of 220 ps. The contribution to the signal of the DNA itself is minor and fits a 30 ps stretched exponential. Both time-averaged and dynamic distributions are calculated. They show a small subset of ions with a different coupling, but no other evidence of substates or dynamic heterogeneity. PMID:19191698

  18. MtDNA Haplogroup A10 Lineages in Bronze Age Samples Suggest That Ancient Autochthonous Human Groups Contributed to the Specificity of the Indigenous West Siberian Population

    PubMed Central

    Pilipenko, Aleksandr S.; Trapezov, Rostislav O.; Zhuravlev, Anton A.; Molodin, Vyacheslav I.; Romaschenko, Aida G.

    2015-01-01

    Background The craniometric specificity of the indigenous West Siberian human populations cannot be completely explained by the genetic interactions of the western and eastern Eurasian groups recorded in the archaeology of the area from the beginning of the 2nd millennium BC. Anthropologists have proposed another probable explanation: contribution to the genetic structure of West Siberian indigenous populations by ancient human groups, which separated from western and eastern Eurasian populations before the final formation of their phenotypic and genetic features and evolved independently in the region over a long period of time. This hypothesis remains untested. From the genetic point of view, it could be confirmed by the presence in the gene pool of indigenous populations of autochthonous components that evolved in the region over long time periods. The detection of such components, particularly in the mtDNA gene pool, is crucial for further clarification of early regional genetic history. Results and Conclusion We present the results of analysis of mtDNA samples (n = 10) belonging to the A10 haplogroup, from Bronze Age populations of West Siberian forest-steppe (V—I millennium BC), that were identified in a screening study of a large diachronic sample (n = 96). A10 lineages, which are very rare in modern Eurasian populations, were found in all the Bronze Age groups under study. Data on the A10 lineages’ phylogeny and phylogeography in ancient West Siberian and modern Eurasian populations suggest that A10 haplogroup underwent a long-term evolution in West Siberia or arose there autochthonously; thus, the presence of A10 lineages indicates the possible contribution of early autochthonous human groups to the genetic specificity of modern populations, in addition to contributions of later interactions of western and eastern Eurasian populations. PMID:25950581

  19. Ancient DNA analyses of early archaeological sites in New Zealand reveal extreme exploitation of moa (Aves: Dinornithiformes) at all life stages

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Oskam, Charlotte L.; Allentoft, Morten E.; Walter, Richard; Scofield, R. Paul; Haile, James; Holdaway, Richard N.; Bunce, Michael; Jacomb, Chris

    2012-10-01

    The human colonisation of New Zealand in the late thirteenth century AD led to catastrophic impacts on the local biota and is among the most compelling examples of human over-exploitation of native fauna, including megafauna. Nearly half of the species in New Zealand' s pre-human avifauna are now extinct, including all nine species of large, flightless moa (Aves: Dinornithiformes). The abundance of moa in early archaeological sites demonstrates the significance of these megaherbivores in the diet of the first New Zealanders. Combining moa assemblage data, based on DNA identification of eggshell and bone, with morphological identification of bone (literature and museum catalogued specimens), we present the most comprehensive audit of moa to date from several significant 13th-15th century AD archaeological deposits across the east coast of the South Island. Mitochondrial DNA (mtDNA) was amplified from 251 of 323 (78%) eggshell fragments and 22 of 27 (88%) bone samples, and the analyses revealed the presence of four moa species: Anomalopteryx didiformis; Dinornis robustus; Emeus crassus and Euryapteryx curtus. The mtDNA, along with polymorphic microsatellite markers, enabled an estimate of the minimum number of individual eggs consumed at each site. Remarkably, in one deposit over 50 individual eggs were identified - a number that likely represents a considerable proportion of the total reproductive output of moa in the area and emphasises that human predation of all life stages of moa was intense. Molecular sexing was conducted on bones (n = 11). Contrary to previous ancient DNA studies from natural sites that consistently report an excess of female moa, we observed an excess of males (2.7:1), suggestive that males were preferential targets. This could be related to different behaviour between the two highly size-dimorphic sexes in moa. Lastly, we investigated the moa species from recovered skeletal and eggshell remains from seven Wairau Bar burials, and identified

  20. Pre-Whaling Genetic Diversity and Population Ecology in Eastern Pacific Gray Whales: Insights from Ancient DNA and Stable Isotopes

    PubMed Central

    Alter, S. Elizabeth; Newsome, Seth D.; Palumbi, Stephen R.

    2012-01-01

    Commercial whaling decimated many whale populations, including the eastern Pacific gray whale, but little is known about how population dynamics or ecology differed prior to these removals. Of particular interest is the possibility of a large population decline prior to whaling, as such a decline could explain the ∼5-fold difference between genetic estimates of prior abundance and estimates based on historical records. We analyzed genetic (mitochondrial control region) and isotopic information from modern and prehistoric gray whales using serial coalescent simulations and Bayesian skyline analyses to test for a pre-whaling decline and to examine prehistoric genetic diversity, population dynamics and ecology. Simulations demonstrate that significant genetic differences observed between ancient and modern samples could be caused by a large, recent population bottleneck, roughly concurrent with commercial whaling. Stable isotopes show minimal differences between modern and ancient gray whale foraging ecology. Using rejection-based Approximate Bayesian Computation, we estimate the size of the population bottleneck at its minimum abundance and the pre-bottleneck abundance. Our results agree with previous genetic studies suggesting the historical size of the eastern gray whale population was roughly three to five times its current size. PMID:22590499

  1. Resolving the bulk δ 15N values of ancient human and animal bone collagen via compound-specific nitrogen isotope analysis of constituent amino acids

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Styring, Amy K.; Sealy, Judith C.; Evershed, Richard P.

    2010-01-01

    Stable nitrogen isotope analysis is a fundamental tool in assessing dietary preferences and trophic positions within contemporary and ancient ecosystems. In order to assess more fully the dietary contributions to human tissue isotope values, a greater understanding of the complex biochemical and physiological factors which underpin bulk collagen δ 15N values is necessary. Determinations of δ 15N values of the individual amino acids which constitute bone collagen are necessary to unravel these relationships, since different amino acids display different δ 15N values according to their biosynthetic origins. A range of collagen isolates from archaeological faunal and human bone ( n = 12 and 11, respectively), representing a spectrum of terrestrial and marine protein origins and diets, were selected from coastal and near-coastal sites at the south-western tip of Africa. The collagens were hydrolysed and δ 15N values of their constituent amino acids determined as N-acetylmethyl esters (NACME) via gas chromatography-combustion-isotope ratio mass spectrometry (GC-C-IRMS). The analytical approach employed accounts for 56% of bone collagen nitrogen. Reconstruction of bulk bone collagen δ 15N values reveals a 2‰ offset from bulk collagen δ 15N values which is attributable to the δ 15N value of the amino acids which cannot currently be determined by GC-C-IRMS, notably arginine which comprises 53% of the nitrogen unaccounted for (23% of the total nitrogen). The δ 15N values of individual amino acids provide insights into both the contributions of various amino acids to the bulk δ 15N value of collagen and the factors influencing trophic position and the nitrogen source at the base of the food web. The similarity in the δ 15N values of alanine, glutamate, proline and hydroxyproline reflects the common origin of their amino groups from glutamate. The depletion in the δ 15N value of threonine with increasing trophic level indicates a fundamental difference between

  2. Ancient Civilizations.

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Web Feet K-8, 2000

    2000-01-01

    This subject guide includes Web sites and other resources on ancient civilizations with age levels and appropriate subject disciplines specified. Also includes CD-ROMs and software, videos, books, audios, magazines, professional resources, and a sample student assignment. (LRW)

  3. ExSPAnder: a universal repeat resolver for DNA fragment assembly

    PubMed Central

    Prjibelski, Andrey D.; Vasilinetc, Irina; Bankevich, Anton; Gurevich, Alexey; Krivosheeva, Tatiana; Nurk, Sergey; Pham, Son; Korobeynikov, Anton; Lapidus, Alla; Pevzner, Pavel A.

    2014-01-01

    Next-generation sequencing (NGS) technologies have raised a challenging de novo genome assembly problem that is further amplified in recently emerged single-cell sequencing projects. While various NGS assemblers can use information from several libraries of read-pairs, most of them were originally developed for a single library and do not fully benefit from multiple libraries. Moreover, most assemblers assume uniform read coverage, condition that does not hold for single-cell projects where utilization of read-pairs is even more challenging. We have developed an exSPAnder algorithm that accurately resolves repeats in the case of both single and multiple libraries of read-pairs in both standard and single-cell assembly projects. Availability and implementation: http://bioinf.spbau.ru/en/spades Contact: ap@bioinf.spbau.ru PMID:24931996

  4. DOMMINO 2.0: integrating structurally resolved protein-, RNA-, and DNA-mediated macromolecular interactions

    PubMed Central

    Kuang, Xingyan; Dhroso, Andi; Han, Jing Ginger; Shyu, Chi-Ren; Korkin, Dmitry

    2016-01-01

    Macromolecular interactions are formed between proteins, DNA and RNA molecules. Being a principle building block in macromolecular assemblies and pathways, the interactions underlie most of cellular functions. Malfunctioning of macromolecular interactions is also linked to a number of diseases. Structural knowledge of the macromolecular interaction allows one to understand the interaction’s mechanism, determine its functional implications and characterize the effects of genetic variations, such as single nucleotide polymorphisms, on the interaction. Unfortunately, until now the interactions mediated by different types of macromolecules, e.g. protein–protein interactions or protein–DNA interactions, are collected into individual and unrelated structural databases. This presents a significant obstacle in the analysis of macromolecular interactions. For instance, the homogeneous structural interaction databases prevent scientists from studying structural interactions of different types but occurring in the same macromolecular complex. Here, we introduce DOMMINO 2.0, a structural Database Of Macro-Molecular INteractiOns. Compared to DOMMINO 1.0, a comprehensive database on protein-protein interactions, DOMMINO 2.0 includes the interactions between all three basic types of macromolecules extracted from PDB files. DOMMINO 2.0 is automatically updated on a weekly basis. It currently includes ∼1 040 000 interactions between two polypeptide subunits (e.g. domains, peptides, termini and interdomain linkers), ∼43 000 RNA-mediated interactions, and ∼12 000 DNA-mediated interactions. All protein structures in the database are annotated using SCOP and SUPERFAMILY family annotation. As a result, protein-mediated interactions involving protein domains, interdomain linkers, C- and N- termini, and peptides are identified. Our database provides an intuitive web interface, allowing one to investigate interactions at three different resolution levels: whole subunit network

  5. Time-resolved probes based on guanine/thymine-rich DNA-sensitized luminescence of terbium(III).

    PubMed

    Zhang, Min; Le, Huynh-Nhu; Jiang, Xiao-Qin; Yin, Bin-Cheng; Ye, Bang-Ce

    2013-12-01

    In this study, we have developed a novel strategy to highly sensitize the luminescence of terbium(III) (Tb(3+)) using a designed guanine/thymine-rich DNA (5'-[G3T]5-3') as an antenna ligand, in which [G3T]5 improved the luminescence of Tb(3+) by 3 orders of magnitude due to energy transfer from nucleic acids to Tb(3+) (i.e., antenna effect). Furthermore, label-free probes for the luminescent detection of biothiols, Ag(+), and sequence-specific DNA in an inexpensive, simple, and mix-and-read format are presented based on the [G3T]5-sensitized luminescence of Tb(3+) (GTSLT). The long luminescence lifetime of the probes readily enables time-resolved luminescence (TRL) experiments. Hg(2+) can efficiently quench the luminescence of Tb(3+) sensitized by [G3T]5 (Tb(3+)/[G3T]5); however, biothiols are readily applicable to selectively grab Hg(2+) for restoration of the luminescence of Tb(3+)/[G3T]5 initially quenched by Hg(2+), which can be used for "turn on" detection of biothiols. With the use of cytosine (C)-rich oligonucleotide c[G3T]5 complementary to [G3T]5, the formed [G3T]5/c[G3T]5 duplex cannot sensitize the luminescence of Tb(3+). However, in the presence of Ag(+), Ag(+) can combine the C base of c[G3T]5 to form C-Ag(+)-C complexes, leading to the split of the [G3T]5/c[G3T]5 duplex and then release of [G3T]5. The released [G3T]5 acts as an antenna ligand for sensitizing the luminescence of Tb(3+). Therefore, the Tb(3+)/[G3T]5/c[G3T]5 probe can be applied to detect Ag(+) in a "turn on" format. Moreover, recognition of target DNA via hybridization to a molecular beacon (MB)-like probe (MB-[G3T]5) can unfold the MB-[G3T]5 to release the [G3T]5 for sensitizing the luminescence of Tb(3+), producing a detectable signal directly proportional to the amount of target DNA of interest. This allows the development of a fascinating label-free MB probe for DNA sensing based on the luminescence of Tb(3+). Results and methods reported here suggest that a guanine/thymine-rich DNA

  6. Adsorption of DNA on biomimetic apatites: Toward the understanding of the role of bone and tooth mineral on the preservation of ancient DNA

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Grunenwald, A.; Keyser, C.; Sautereau, A. M.; Crubézy, E.; Ludes, B.; Drouet, C.

    2014-02-01

    In order to shed some light on DNA preservation over time in skeletal remains from a physicochemical viewpoint, adsorption and desorption of DNA on a well characterized synthetic apatite mimicking bone and dentin biominerals were studied. Batch adsorption experiments have been carried out to determine the effect of contact time (kinetics), DNA concentration (isotherms) and environmentally relevant factors such as temperature, ionic strength and pH on the adsorption behavior. The analogy of the nanocrystalline carbonated apatite used in this work with biological apatite was first demonstrated by XRD, FTIR, and chemical analyses. Then, DNA adsorption kinetics was fitted with the pseudo-first order, pseudo-second order, Elovich, Ritchie and double exponential models. The best results were achieved with the Elovich kinetic model. The adsorption isotherms of partially sheared calf thymus DNA conformed satisfactorily to Temkin's equation which is often used to describe heterogeneous adsorption behavior involving polyelectrolytes. For the first time, the irreversibility of DNA adsorption toward dilution and significant phosphate-promoted DNA desorption were evidenced, suggesting that a concomitant ion exchange process between phosphate anionic groups of DNA backbone and labile non-apatitic hydrogenphosphate ions potentially released from the hydrated layer of apatite crystals. This work should prove helpful for a better understanding of diagenetic processes related to DNA preservation in calcified tissues.

  7. Moa's Ark or volant ghosts of Gondwana? Insights from nineteen years of ancient DNA research on the extinct moa (Aves: Dinornithiformes) of New Zealand.

    PubMed

    Allentoft, Morten E; Rawlence, Nicolas J

    2012-01-20

    The moa (Aves: Dinornithiformes) of New Zealand represent one of the extinct iconic taxa that define the field of ancient DNA (aDNA), and after almost two decades of genetic scrutiny of bones, feathers, coprolites, mummified tissue, eggshell, and sediments, our knowledge of these prehistoric giants has increased significantly. Thanks to molecular and morphological-based research, the insights that have been obtained into moa phylogenetics, phylogeography, and palaeobiology exceeds that of any other extinct taxon. This review documents the strengths of applying a multidisciplinary approach when studying extinct taxa but also shows that cross-disciplinary controversies still remain at the most fundamental levels, with highly conflicting interpretations derived from aDNA and morphology. Moa species diversity, for example, is still heavily debated, as well as their relationship with other ratites and the mode of radiation. In addition to increasing our knowledge on a lineage of extinct birds, further insights into these aspects can clarify some of the basal splits in avian evolution, and the evolutionary implications of the breakup of the prehistoric supercontinent Gondwana. Did a flightless moa ancestor drift away on proto New Zealand (Moa's Ark) or did a volant ancestor arrive by flight? Here we provide an overview of 19 years of aDNA research on moa, critically assess the attempts and controversies in placing the moa lineage among palaeognath birds, and discuss the factors that facilitated the extensive radiation of moa. Finally, we identify the most obvious gaps in the current knowledge to address the future potential research areas in moa genetics. PMID:21596537

  8. Identification of Photosynthetic Plankton Communities Using Sedimentary Ancient DNA and Their Response to late-Holocene Climate Change on the Tibetan Plateau

    PubMed Central

    Hou, Weiguo; Dong, Hailiang; Li, Gaoyuan; Yang, Jian; Coolen, Marco J. L.; Liu, Xingqi; Wang, Shang; Jiang, Hongchen; Wu, Xia; Xiao, Haiyi; Lian, Bin; Wan, Yunyang

    2014-01-01

    Sediments from Tibetan lakes in NW China are potentially sensitive recorders of climate change and its impact on ecosystem function. However, the important plankton members in many Tibetan Lakes do not make and leave microscopically diagnostic features in the sedimentary record. Here we established a taxon-specific molecular approach to specifically identify and quantify sedimentary ancient DNA (sedaDNA) of non-fossilized planktonic organisms preserved in a 5-m sediment core from Kusai Lake spanning the last 3100 years. The reliability of the approach was validated with multiple independent genetic markers. Parallel analyses of the geochemistry of the core and paleo-climate proxies revealed that Monsoon strength-driven changes in nutrient availability, temperature, and salinity as well as orbitally-driven changes in light intensity were all responsible for the observed temporal changes in the abundance of two dominant phytoplankton groups in the lake, Synechococcus (cyanobacteria) and Isochrysis (haptophyte algae). Collectively our data show that global and regional climatic events exhibited a strong influence on the paleoecology of phototrophic plankton in Kusai Lake. PMID:25323386

  9. Ancient mtDNA Analysis of Early 16th Century Caribbean Cattle Provides Insight into Founding Populations of New World Creole Cattle Breeds

    PubMed Central

    Speller, Camilla F.; Burley, David V.; Woodward, Robyn P.; Yang, Dongya Y.

    2013-01-01

    The Columbian Exchange resulted in a widespread movement of humans, plants and animals between the Old and New Worlds. The late 15th to early 16th century transfer of cattle from the Iberian Peninsula and Canary Islands to the Caribbean laid the foundation for the development of American creole cattle (Bos taurus) breeds. Genetic analyses of modern cattle from the Americas reveal a mixed ancestry of European, African and Indian origins. Recent debate in the genetic literature centers on the ‘African’ haplogroup T1 and its subhaplogroups, alternatively tying their origins to the initial Spanish herds, and/or from subsequent movements of taurine cattle through the African slave trade. We examine this problem through ancient DNA analysis of early 16th century cattle bone from Sevilla la Nueva, the first Spanish colony in Jamaica. In spite of poor DNA preservation, both T3 and T1 haplogroups were identified in the cattle remains, confirming the presence of T1 in the earliest Spanish herds. The absence, however, of “African-derived American” haplotypes (AA/T1c1a1) in the Sevilla la Nueva sample, leaves open the origins of this sub-haplogroup in contemporary Caribbean cattle. PMID:23894505

  10. Identification of photosynthetic plankton communities using sedimentary ancient DNA and their response to late-Holocene climate change on the Tibetan Plateau.

    PubMed

    Hou, Weiguo; Dong, Hailiang; Li, Gaoyuan; Yang, Jian; Coolen, Marco J L; Liu, Xingqi; Wang, Shang; Jiang, Hongchen; Wu, Xia; Xiao, Haiyi; Lian, Bin; Wan, Yunyang

    2014-01-01

    Sediments from Tibetan lakes in NW China are potentially sensitive recorders of climate change and its impact on ecosystem function. However, the important plankton members in many Tibetan Lakes do not make and leave microscopically diagnostic features in the sedimentary record. Here we established a taxon-specific molecular approach to specifically identify and quantify sedimentary ancient DNA (sedaDNA) of non-fossilized planktonic organisms preserved in a 5-m sediment core from Kusai Lake spanning the last 3100 years. The reliability of the approach was validated with multiple independent genetic markers. Parallel analyses of the geochemistry of the core and paleo-climate proxies revealed that Monsoon strength-driven changes in nutrient availability, temperature, and salinity as well as orbitally-driven changes in light intensity were all responsible for the observed temporal changes in the abundance of two dominant phytoplankton groups in the lake, Synechococcus (cyanobacteria) and Isochrysis (haptophyte algae). Collectively our data show that global and regional climatic events exhibited a strong influence on the paleoecology of phototrophic plankton in Kusai Lake. PMID:25323386

  11. A label-free and time-resolved luminescence strategy for the detection of proteins based on DNA-Tb(3+) luminescence quenched by graphene oxide.

    PubMed

    Li, Hao; Li, Wang; Nie, Zhou; Yao, Shouzhuo

    2015-09-21

    A sensitive, label-free and time-resolved luminescent aptasensor to detect proteins was developed based on the DNA-enhanced time-resolved luminescence of Tb(3+) and graphene oxide (GO). We found that the DNA no matter with a G-quadruplex structure or not could greatly enhance the long-lived emission of Tb(3+), and the luminescence of DNA-Tb(3+) could be effectively quenched by GO after the DNA-Tb(3+) was adsorbed onto GO. The target protein combined with an aptamer to form a protein/DNA complex restrained the quenching of DNA-Tb(3+) emission by GO. Thrombin and a 29-mer anti-thrombin aptamer were employed as a model analyte and a recognition element. There is a good linear relationship between the aptamer-Tb(3+) complex luminescence with the thrombin concentrations of 1 to 100 nM with a low detection limit of 0.8 nM. Since the time-resolved luminescence can eliminate the unspecific background fluorescence, the proposed aptasensor has been successfully applied in complicated biological samples for thrombin detection. This novel strategy presents a potential universal method for detection of other molecules. PMID:26247065

  12. Islands in the ice: detecting past vegetation on Greenlandic nunataks using historical records and sedimentary ancient DNA meta-barcoding.

    PubMed

    Jørgensen, Tina; Kjaer, Kurt H; Haile, James; Rasmussen, Morten; Boessenkool, Sanne; Andersen, Kenneth; Coissac, Eric; Taberlet, Pierre; Brochmann, Christian; Orlando, Ludovic; Gilbert, M Thomas P; Willerslev, Eske

    2012-04-01

    Nunataks are isolated bedrocks protruding through ice sheets. They vary in age, but represent island environments in 'oceans' of ice through which organism dispersals and replacements can be studied over time. The J.A.D. Jensen's Nunataks at the southern Greenland ice sheet are the most isolated nunataks on the northern hemisphere - some 30 km from the nearest biological source. They constitute around 2 km(2) of ice-free land that was established in the early Holocene. We have investigated the changes in plant composition at these nunataks using both the results of surveys of the flora over the last 130 years and through reconstruction of the vegetation from the end of the Holocene Thermal Maximum (5528 ± 75 cal year BP) using meta-barcoding of plant DNA recovered from the nunatak sediments (sedaDNA). Our results show that several of the plant species detected with sedaDNA are described from earlier vegetation surveys on the nunataks (in 1878, 1967 and 2009). In 1967, a much higher biodiversity was detected than from any other of the studied periods. While this may be related to differences in sampling efforts for the oldest period, it is not the case when comparing the 1967 and 2009 levels where the botanical survey was exhaustive. As no animals and humans are found on the nunataks, this change in diversity over a period of just 42 years must relate to environmental changes probably being climate-driven. This suggests that even the flora of fairly small and isolated ice-free areas reacts quickly to a changing climate. PMID:21951625

  13. Ancient DNA reveals selection acting on genes associated with hypoxia response in pre-Columbian Peruvian Highlanders in the last 8500 years

    PubMed Central

    Fehren-Schmitz, Lars; Georges, Lea

    2016-01-01

    Archaeological evidence shows that humans began living in the high altitude Andes approximately 12,000 years ago. Andean highlanders are known to have developed the most complex societies of pre-Columbian South America despite challenges to their health and reproductive success resulting from chronic exposure to hypoxia. While the physiological adaptations to this environmental stressor are well studied in contemporary Andean highlanders, the molecular evolutionary processes associated with such adaptations remain unclear. We aim to better understand how humans managed to demographically establish in this harsh environment by addressing a central question: did exposure to hypoxia drive adaptation via natural selection within Andean populations or did an existing phenotype –characterized by reduced susceptibility to hypoxic stress–enable human settlement of the Andes? We genotyped three variable loci within the NOS3 and EGLN1 genes previously associated with adaptation to high altitude in 150 ancient human DNA samples from Peruvian high altitude and coastal low altitude sites in a time frame between ~8500–560 BP. We compare the data of 109 successful samples to forward simulations of genetic drift with natural selection and find that selection, rather than drift, explains the gradual frequency changes observed in the highland populations for two of the three SNPs. PMID:26996763

  14. Ancient DNA reveals selection acting on genes associated with hypoxia response in pre-Columbian Peruvian Highlanders in the last 8500 years.

    PubMed

    Fehren-Schmitz, Lars; Georges, Lea

    2016-01-01

    Archaeological evidence shows that humans began living in the high altitude Andes approximately 12,000 years ago. Andean highlanders are known to have developed the most complex societies of pre-Columbian South America despite challenges to their health and reproductive success resulting from chronic exposure to hypoxia. While the physiological adaptations to this environmental stressor are well studied in contemporary Andean highlanders, the molecular evolutionary processes associated with such adaptations remain unclear. We aim to better understand how humans managed to demographically establish in this harsh environment by addressing a central question: did exposure to hypoxia drive adaptation via natural selection within Andean populations or did an existing phenotype -characterized by reduced susceptibility to hypoxic stress-enable human settlement of the Andes? We genotyped three variable loci within the NOS3 and EGLN1 genes previously associated with adaptation to high altitude in 150 ancient human DNA samples from Peruvian high altitude and coastal low altitude sites in a time frame between ~8500-560 BP. We compare the data of 109 successful samples to forward simulations of genetic drift with natural selection and find that selection, rather than drift, explains the gradual frequency changes observed in the highland populations for two of the three SNPs. PMID:26996763

  15. Revealing the maternal demographic history of Panthera leo using ancient DNA and a spatially explicit genealogical analysis

    PubMed Central

    2014-01-01

    Background Understanding the demographic history of a population is critical to conservation and to our broader understanding of evolutionary processes. For many tropical large mammals, however, this aim is confounded by the absence of fossil material and by the misleading signal obtained from genetic data of recently fragmented and isolated populations. This is particularly true for the lion which as a consequence of millennia of human persecution, has large gaps in its natural distribution and several recently extinct populations. Results We sequenced mitochondrial DNA from museum-preserved individuals, including the extinct Barbary lion (Panthera leo leo) and Iranian lion (P. l. persica), as well as lions from West and Central Africa. We added these to a broader sample of lion sequences, resulting in a data set spanning the historical range of lions. Our Bayesian phylogeographical analyses provide evidence for highly supported, reciprocally monophyletic lion clades. Using a molecular clock, we estimated that recent lion lineages began to diverge in the Late Pleistocene. Expanding equatorial rainforest probably separated lions in South and East Africa from other populations. West African lions then expanded into Central Africa during periods of rainforest contraction. Lastly, we found evidence of two separate incursions into Asia from North Africa, first into India and later into the Middle East. Conclusions We have identified deep, well-supported splits within the mitochondrial phylogeny of African lions, arguing for recognition of some regional populations as worthy of independent conservation. More morphological and nuclear DNA data are now needed to test these subdivisions. PMID:24690312

  16. Charge Photoinjection in Intercalated and Covalently Bound [Re(CO)3(dppz)(py)]+-DNA Constructs Monitored by Time Resolved Visible and Infrared Spectroscopy

    PubMed Central

    Olmon, Eric D.; Sontz, Pamela A.; Blanco-Rodríguez, Ana María; Towrie, Michael; Clark, Ian P.; Vlček, Antonín; Barton, Jacqueline K.

    2011-01-01

    The complex [Re(CO)3(dppz)(py′-OR)]+ (dppz = dipyrido[3,2-a:2′,3′-c]phenazine; py′-OR = 4-functionalized pyridine) offers IR sensitivity and can oxidize DNA directly from the excited state, making it a promising probe for the study of DNA-mediated charge transport (CT). The behavior of several covalent and noncovalent Re-DNA constructs was monitored by time-resolved IR (TRIR) and UV/visible spectroscopies, as well as biochemical methods, confirming the long-range oxidation of DNA by the excited complex. Optical excitation of the complex leads to population of MLCT and at least two distinct intraligand states. Experimental observations that are consistent with charge injection from these excited states include similarity between long-time TRIR spectra and the reduced state spectrum observed by spectroelectrochemistry, the appearance of a guanine radical signal in TRIR spectra, and the eventual formation of permanent guanine oxidation products. The majority of reactivity occurs on the ultrafast timescale, although processes dependent on slower conformational motions of DNA, such as the accumulation of oxidative damage at guanine, are also observed. The ability to measure events on such disparate timescales, its superior selectivity in comparison to other spectroscopic techniques, and the ability to simultaneously monitor carbonyl ligand and DNA IR absorption bands makes TRIR a valuable tool for the study of CT in DNA. PMID:21827149

  17. Preparation of water soluble L-arginine capped CdSe/ZnS QDs and their interaction with synthetic DNA: Picosecond-resolved FRET study

    SciTech Connect

    Giri, Anupam; Goswami, Nirmal; Lemmens, Peter; Pal, Samir Kumar

    2012-08-15

    Graphical abstract: Förster resonance energy transfer (FRET) studies on the interaction of water soluble arginine-capped CdSe/ZnS QDs with ethidium bromide (EB) labeled synthetic dodecamer DNA. Highlights: ► We have solubilized CdSe/ZnS QD in water replacing their TOPO ligand by L-arginine. ► We have studied arginine@QD–DNA interaction using FRET technique. ► Arginine@QDs act as energy donor and ethidium bromide-DNA acts as energy acceptor. ► We have applied a kinetic model to understand the kinetics of energy transfer. ► Circular dichroism studies revealed negligible perturbation in the DNA B-form in the arg@QD-DNA complex. -- Abstract: We have exchanged TOPO (trioctylphosphine oxide) ligand of CdSe/ZnS core/shell quantum dots (QDs) with an amino acid L-arginine (Arg) at the toluene/water interface and eventually rendered the QDs from toluene to aqueous phase. We have studied the interaction of the water soluble Arg-capped QDs (energy donor) with ethidium (EB) labeled synthetic dodecamer DNA (energy acceptor) using picoseconds resolved Förster resonance energy transfer (FRET) technique. Furthermore, we have applied a model developed by M. Tachiya to understand the kinetics of energy transfer and the distribution of acceptor (EB-DNA) molecules around the donor QDs. Circular dichroism (CD) studies revealed a negligible perturbation in the native B-form structure of the DNA upon interaction with Arg-capped QDs. The melting and the rehybridization pathways of the DNA attached to the QDs have been monitored by the CD which reveals hydrogen bonding is the associative mechanism for interaction between Arg-capped QDs and DNA.

  18. MAMMALIAN DNA IN PCR REAGENTS

    EPA Science Inventory

    Ancient DNA analysis is becoming widespread. These studies use polymerase chain reaction (PCR) to amplify minute quantities of heavily damaged template. Unusual steps are taken to achieve the sensitivity necessary to detect ancient DNA, including high- cycle PCR amplification t...

  19. Ancient Egypt

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Swamy, Ashwin Balegar

    This thesis involves development of an interactive GIS (Geographic Information System) based application, which gives information about the ancient history of Egypt. The astonishing architecture, the strange burial rituals and their civilization were some of the intriguing questions that motivated me towards developing this application. The application is a historical timeline starting from 3100 BC, leading up to 664 BC, focusing on the evolution of the Egyptian dynasties. The tool holds information regarding some of the famous monuments which were constructed during that era and also about the civilizations that co-existed. It also provides details about the religions followed by their kings. It also includes the languages spoken during those periods. The tool is developed using JAVA, a programing language and MOJO (Map Objects Java Objects) a product of ESRI (Environmental Science Research Institute) to create map objects, to provide geographic information. JAVA Swing is used for designing the user interface. HTML (Hyper Text Markup Language) pages are created to provide the user with more information related to the historic period. CSS (Cascade Style Sheets) and JAVA Scripts are used with HTML5 to achieve creative display of content. The tool is kept simple and easy for the user to interact with. The tool also includes pictures and videos for the user to get a feel of the historic period. The application is built to motivate people to know more about one of the prominent and ancient civilization of the Mediterranean world.

  20. Ancient Bedforms

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    2004-01-01

    18 August 2004 This Mars Global Surveyor (MGS) Mars Orbiter Camera (MOC) image shows groupings of large ripple-like windblown bedforms on the floor of a large crater (larger than the image shown here) in Sinus Sabaeus, south of Schiaparelli Basin. These ripple-like features are much larger than typical wind ripples on Earth, but smaller than typical sand dunes on either planet. Like most of the other ripple-like bedforms in Sinus Sabaeus, they are probably ancient and no longer mobile. Dark streaks on the substrate between the bedforms were formed by passing dust devils. This image is located near 13.0oS, 343.7oW. The image covers an area about 3 km (1.9 mi) across and sunlight illuminates the scene from the upper left.

  1. Investigations on the Interactions of 5-Fluorouracil with Herring Sperm DNA: Steady State/Time Resolved and Molecular Modeling Studies

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Chinnathambi, Shanmugavel; Karthikeyan, Subramani; Velmurugan, Devadasan; Hanagata, Nobutaka; Aruna, Prakasarao; Ganesan, Singaravelu

    2015-04-01

    In the present study, the interaction of 5-Fluorouracil with herring sperm DNA is reported using spectroscopic and molecular modeling techniques. This binding study of 5-FU with hs-DNA is of paramount importance in understanding chemico-biological interactions for drug design, pharmacy and biochemistry without altering the original structure. The challenge of the study was to find the exact binding mode of the drug 5-Fluorouracil with hs-DNA. From the absorption studies, a hyperchromic effect was observed for the herring sperm DNA in the presence of 5-Fluorouracil and a binding constant of 6.153 × 103 M-1 for 5-Fluorouracil reveals the existence of weak interaction between the 5-Fluorouracil and herring sperm DNA. Ethidium bromide loaded herring sperm DNA showed a quenching in the fluorescence intensity after the addition of 5-Fluorouracil. The binding constants for 5-Fluorouracil stranded DNA and competitive bindings of 5-FU interacting with DNA-EB systems were examined by fluorescence spectra. The Stern-Volmer plots and fluorescence lifetime results confirm the static quenching nature of the drug-DNA complex. The binding constant Kb was 2.5 × 104 L mol-1 and the number of binding sites are 1.17. The 5-FU on DNA system was calculated using double logarithmic plot. From the Forster nonradiative energy transfer study it has been found that the distance of 5-FU from DNA was 4.24 nm. In addition to the spectroscopic results, the molecular modeling studies also revealed the major groove binding as well as the partial intercalation mode of binding between the 5-Fluorouracil and herring sperm DNA. The binding energy and major groove binding as -6.04 kcal mol-1 and -6.31 kcal mol-1 were calculated from the modeling studies. All the testimonies manifested that binding modes between 5-Fluorouracil and DNA were evidenced to be groove binding and in partial intercalative mode.

  2. Dinuclear Ruthenium(II) Complexes as Two-Photon, Time-Resolved Emission Microscopy Probes for Cellular DNA**

    PubMed Central

    Baggaley, Elizabeth; Gill, Martin R; Green, Nicola H; Turton, David; Sazanovich, Igor V; Botchway, Stanley W; Smythe, Carl; Haycock, John W; Weinstein, Julia A; Thomas, Jim A

    2014-01-01

    The first transition-metal complex-based two-photon absorbing luminescence lifetime probes for cellular DNA are presented. This allows cell imaging of DNA free from endogenous fluorophores and potentially facilitates deep tissue imaging. In this initial study, ruthenium(II) luminophores are used as phosphorescent lifetime imaging microscopy (PLIM) probes for nuclear DNA in both live and fixed cells. The DNA-bound probes display characteristic emission lifetimes of more than 160 ns, while shorter-lived cytoplasmic emission is also observed. These timescales are orders of magnitude longer than conventional FLIM, leading to previously unattainable levels of sensitivity, and autofluorescence-free imaging. PMID:24458590

  3. Time-Resolved Detection of Light-Induced Dimerization of Monomeric Aureochrome-1 and Change in Affinity for DNA.

    PubMed

    Akiyama, Yuki; Nakasone, Yusuke; Nakatani, Yoichi; Hisatomi, Osamu; Terazima, Masahide

    2016-08-01

    Aureochrome (Aureo) is a recently discovered blue light sensor protein initially from Vaucheria frigida, in which it controls blue light-dependent branch formation and/or development of a sex organ by a light-dependent change in the affinity for DNA. Although photochemical reactions of Aureo-LOV (LOV is a C-terminal light-oxygen-voltage domain) and the N-terminal truncated construct containing a bZIP (N-terminal basic leucine zipper domain) and a LOV domain have previously been reported, the reaction kinetics of the change in affinity for DNA have never been elucidated. The reactions of Aureo where the cysteines are replaced by serines (AureoCS) as well as the kinetics of the change in affinity for a target DNA are investigated in the time-domain. The dimerization rate constant is obtained as 2.8 × 10(4) M(-1) s(-1), which suggests that the photoinduced dimerization occurs in the LOV domain and the bZIP domain dimerizes using the interaction with DNA. Surprisingly, binding with the target DNA is completed very quickly, 7.7 × 10(4) M(-1) s(-1), which is faster than the protein dimerization rate. It is proposed that the nonspecific electrostatic interaction, which is observed as a weak binding with DNA, may play a role in the efficient searching for the target sequence within the DNA. PMID:27404115

  4. Angle-resolved XPS analysis and characterization of monolayer and multilayer silane films for DNA coupling to silica.

    PubMed

    Shircliff, Rebecca A; Stradins, Paul; Moutinho, Helio; Fennell, John; Ghirardi, Maria L; Cowley, Scott W; Branz, Howard M; Martin, Ina T

    2013-03-26

    We measure silane density and Sulfo-EMCS cross-linker coupling efficiency on aminosilane films by high-resolution X-ray photoelectron spectroscopy (XPS) and atomic force microscopy (AFM) measurements. We then characterize DNA immobilization and hybridization on these films by (32)P-radiometry. We find that the silane film structure controls the efficiency of the subsequent steps toward DNA hybridization. A self-limited silane monolayer produced from 3-aminopropyldimethylethoxysilane (APDMES) provides a silane surface density of ~3 nm(-2). Thin (1 h deposition) and thick (19 h deposition) multilayer films are generated from 3-aminopropyltriethoxysilane (APTES), resulting in surfaces with increased roughness compared to the APDMES monolayer. Increased silane surface density is estimated for the 19 h APTES film, due to a ∼32% increase in surface area compared to the APDMES monolayer. High cross-linker coupling efficiencies are measured for all three silane films. DNA immobilization densities are similar for the APDMES monolayer and 1 h APTES. However, the DNA immobilization density is double for the 19 h APTES, suggesting that increased surface area allows for a higher probe attachment. The APDMES monolayer has the lowest DNA target density and hybridization efficiency. This is attributed to the steric hindrance as the random packing limit is approached for DNA double helices (dsDNA, diameter ≥ 2 nm) on a plane. The heterogeneity and roughness of the APTES films reduce this steric hindrance and allow for tighter packing of DNA double helices, resulting in higher hybridization densities and efficiencies. The low steric hindrance of the thin, one to two layer APTES film provides the highest hybridization efficiency of nearly 88%, with 0.21 dsDNA/nm(2). The XPS data also reveal water on the cross-linker-treated surface that is implicated in device aging. PMID:23445373

  5. Resurrecting ancient animal genomes: the extinct moa and more.

    PubMed

    Huynen, Leon; Millar, Craig D; Lambert, David M

    2012-08-01

    Recently two developments have had a major impact on the field of ancient DNA (aDNA). First, new advances in DNA sequencing, in combination with improved capture/enrichment methods, have resulted in the recovery of orders of magnitude more DNA sequence data from ancient animals. Second, there has been an increase in the range of tissue types employed in aDNA. Hair in particular has proven to be very successful as a source of DNA because of its low levels of contamination and high level of ancient endogenous DNA. These developments have resulted in significant advances in our understanding of recently extinct animals: namely their evolutionary relationships, physiology, and even behaviour. Hair has been used to recover the first complete ancient nuclear genome, that of the extinct woolly mammoth, which then facilitated the expression and functional analysis of haemoglobins. Finally, we speculate on the consequences of these developments for the possibility of recreating extinct animals. PMID:22674514

  6. Time-Resolved Down-Conversion of 2-Aminopurine in a DNA Hairpin: Fluorescence Anisotropy and Solvent Effects

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Tourón Touceda, Patricia; Gelot, Thomas; Crégut, Olivier; Léonard, Jérémie; Haacke, Stefan

    2013-03-01

    Femtosecond fluorescence anisotropy decay measured by type II difference frequency generation provides new insight into the local structural dynamics of ΔP(-)PBS fragments of the HIV- 1 DNA primary binding sequence, labeled with 2-aminopurine.

  7. Time-resolved luminescence biosensor for continuous activity detection of protein acetylation-related enzymes based on DNA-sensitized terbium(III) probes.

    PubMed

    Han, Yitao; Li, Hao; Hu, Yufang; Li, Pei; Wang, Huixia; Nie, Zhou; Yao, Shouzhuo

    2015-09-15

    Protein acetylation of histone is an essential post-translational modification (PTM) mechanism in epigenetic gene regulation, and its status is reversibly controlled by histone acetyltransferases (HATs) and histone deacetylases (HDACs). Herein, we have developed a sensitive and label-free time-resolved luminescence (TRL) biosensor for continuous detection of enzymatic activity of HATs and HDACs, respectively, based on acetylation-mediated peptide/DNA interaction and Tb(3+)/DNA luminescent probes. Using guanine (G)-rich DNA-sensitized Tb(3+) luminescence as the output signal, the polycationic substrate peptides interact with DNA with high affinity and subsequently replace Tb(3+), eliminating the luminescent signal. HAT-catalyzed acetylation remarkably reduces the positive charge of the peptides and diminishes the peptide/DNA interaction, resulting in the signal on detection via recovery of DNA-sensitized Tb(3+) luminescence. With this TRL sensor, HAT (p300) can be sensitively detected with a wide linear range from 0.2 to 100 nM and a low detection limit of 0.05 nM. The proposed sensor was further used to continuously monitor the HAT activity in real time. Additionally, the TRL biosensor was successfully applied to evaluating HAT inhibition by two specific inhibitors, anacardic acid and C464, and satisfactory Z'-factors above 0.73 were obtained. Moreover, this sensor is feasible to continuously monitor the HDAC (Sirt1)-catalyzed deacetylation with a linear range from 0.5 to 500 nM and a detection limit of 0.5 nM. The proposed sensor is a convenient, sensitive, and mix-and-read assay, presenting a promising platform for protein acetylation-targeted epigenetic research and drug discovery. PMID:26307596

  8. What can ancient mummies teach us about atherosclerosis?

    PubMed

    Wann, Samuel; Thomas, Gregory S

    2014-10-01

    Ancient mummies have captivated a wide variety of audiences for centuries. In order to better understand the evolution and causative features of atherosclerosis, the Horus group is applying modern scientific methods to study ancient mummies. We have used CT scanning to detect calcification in arteries as an indication of the presence of atherosclerosis, and are correlating these results with cultural and lifestyle features of various populations of ancient people as represented by their ancient mummified remains. We are also pursuing related studies of ancient DNA to define genotypes associated with atherosclerotic phenotypes. PMID:25106086

  9. mtDNA and the origin of Caucasians: identification of ancient Caucasian-specific haplogroups, one of which is prone to a recurrent somatic duplication in the D-loop region.

    PubMed Central

    Torroni, A.; Lott, M. T.; Cabell, M. F.; Chen, Y. S.; Lavergne, L.; Wallace, D. C.

    1994-01-01

    mtDNA sequence variation was examined in 175 Caucasians from the United States and Canada by PCR amplification and high-resolution restriction-endonuclease analysis. The majority of the Caucasian mtDNAs were subsumed within four mtDNA lineages (haplogroups) defined by mutations that are rarely seen in Africans and Mongoloids. The sequence divergence of these haplogroups indicates that they arose early in Caucasian radiation and gave raise to modern European mtDNAs. Although ancient, none of these haplogroups is old enough to be compatible with a Neanderthal origin, suggesting that Homo sapiens sapiens displaced H. s. neanderthaliensis, rather than mixed with it. The mtDNAs of one of these haplogroups have a unique homoplasmic insertion between nucleotide pair (np) 573 and np 574, within the D-loop control region. This insertion makes these mtDNAs prone to a somatic mutation that duplicates a 270-bp portion of the D-loop region between np 309 and np 572. This finding suggests that certain nonpathogenic mtDNA mutations could predispose individuals to mtDNA rearrangements. Images Figure 3 Figure 4 PMID:7942855

  10. A two B–Z junction containing DNA resolves into an all right-handed double-helix

    PubMed Central

    Mauffret, O.; El Amri, C.; Santamaria, F.; Tevanian, G.; Rayner, B.; Fermandjian, S.

    2000-01-01

    Natural and artificial oligonucleotides are capable of assuming many different conformations and functions. Here we present results of an NMR restrained molecular modelling study on the conformational preferences of the modified decanucleotide d(mC1G2mC3G4C5LG6LmC7G8mC9G10)·d(mC11G12mC13G14C15LGL16mC17-G18mC19G20) which contains l deoxynucleotides in its centre. This chimeric DNA was expected to form a right–left–right-handed B-type double-helix (BB*B) at low salt concentration. Actually, it matured into a fully right-handed double helix with its central CLpGL core forming a right-handed Z-DNA helix embedded in a B-DNA matrix (BZ*B). The interplay between base–base and base–sugar stackings within the core and its immediately adjacent residues was found to be critical in ensuring the stabilisation of the right-handed helix. The structure could serve as a model for the design of antisense oligonucleotides resistant to nucleases and capable of hybridising to natural DNAs and RNAs. PMID:11071926

  11. Apps for Ancient Civilizations

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Thompson, Stephanie

    2011-01-01

    This project incorporates technology and a historical emphasis on science drawn from ancient civilizations to promote a greater understanding of conceptual science. In the Apps for Ancient Civilizations project, students investigate an ancient culture to discover how people might have used science and math smartphone apps to make their lives…

  12. Picosecond-resolved FRET on non-amplified DNA for identifying individuals genetically susceptible to type-1 diabetes

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Nardo, Luca; Tosi, Giovanna; Bondani, Maria; Accolla, Roberto; Andreoni, Alessandra

    2012-06-01

    By tens-of-picosecond resolved fluorescence detection we study Förster resonance energy transfer between a donor and a black-hole-quencher bound at the 5'- and 3'-positions of an oligonucleotide probe matching the highly polymorphic region between codons 51 and 58 of the human leukocyte antigen DQB1 0201 allele, conferring susceptibility to type-1 diabetes. The probe is annealed with non-amplified genomic DNAs carrying either the 0201 sequence or other DQB1 allelic variants. We detect the longest-lived donor fluorescence in the case of hybridization with the 0201 allele and definitely faster and distinct decays for the other allelic variants, some of which are single-nucleotide polymorphic.

  13. Time-Resolved DNA Stable Isotope Probing Links Desulfobacterales- and Coriobacteriaceae-Related Bacteria to Anaerobic Degradation of Benzene under Methanogenic Conditions

    PubMed Central

    Noguchi, Mana; Kurisu, Futoshi; Kasuga, Ikuro; Furumai, Hiroaki

    2014-01-01

    To identify the microorganisms involved in benzene degradation, DNA-stable isotope probing (SIP) with 13C-benzene was applied to a methanogenic benzene-degrading enrichment culture. Pyrosequencing of ribosomal RNA (rRNA) gene sequences revealed that the community structure was highly complex in spite of a 3-year incubation only with benzene. The culture degraded 98% of approximately 1 mM 13C-benzene and mineralized 72% of that within 63 d. The terminal restriction fragment length polymorphism (T-RFLP) profiles of the buoyant density fractions revealed the incorporation of 13C into two phylotypes after 64 d. These two phylotypes were determined to be Desulfobacterales- and Coriobacteriaceae-related bacteria by cloning and sequencing of the 16S rRNA gene in the 13C-labeled DNA abundant fraction. Comparative pyrosequencing analysis of the buoyant density fractions of 12C- and 13C-labeled samples indicated the incorporation of 13C into three bacterial and one archaeal OTUs related to Desulfobacterales, Coriobacteriales, Rhodocyclaceae, and Methanosarcinales. The first two OTUs included the bacteria detected by T-RFLP-cloning-sequencing analysis. Furthermore, time-resolved SIP analysis confirmed that the activity of all these microbes appeared at the earliest stage of degradation. In this methanogenic culture, Desulfobacterales- and Coriobacteriaceae-related bacteria were most likely to be the major benzene degraders. PMID:24909708

  14. A 150-year record of ancient DNA, lipid biomarkers and hydrogen isotopes, tracing the microbial-planktonic community succession controlled by (hydro)climatic variability in a tropical lake

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Smittenberg, Rienk; Yamoah, Kweku; Callac, Nolwenn; Fru, Ernest Chi; Chabangborn, Akkaneewut; Rattray, Jayne; Wohlfarth, Barbara

    2016-04-01

    We investigated the decadal variations in phytoplankton communities, and their response to environmental and climatic conditions, from a ˜150 year long sedimentary archive of Lake Nong Thale Prong (NTP), southern Thailand. We applied a combination of analyses: lipid biomarkers, compound-specific hydrogen isotopes, bulk carbon and nitrogen concentrations and isotopes, environmental SEM, and fossil DNA using qPCR targeted to specific taxa. Past hydrological conditions were reconstructed using the hydrogen isotopic composition of leaf wax n-alkanes. Temperatures were reconstructed using the tetraether-based MBT/CBT index, measured using a new and efficient reverse-phase HPLC-MS method. The climatological data compared well with meteorological data from the last decades. Reconstructed drier and warmer conditions from ˜1857-1916 Common Era (CE) coincided with oligotrophic lake water conditions and dominance of the green algae Botryococcus braunii - evidenced by a combination of both fossil DNA and the occurrence of characteristic botryococcene lipids. A change to higher silica (Si) input ˜1916 CE was related to increased rainfall and lower temperatures concurring with an abrupt takeover by diatom blooms lasting for 50 years - as evidenced by ancient DNA, characteristic highly branched isoprenoid lipids, and SEM. From the 1970s onwards, more eutrophic conditions prevailed, and these were likely caused by increased levels of anthropogenic phosphate (P), aided by stronger lake stratification caused by dryer and warmer conditions. The eutrophic conditions led to increased primary productivity in the lake, consisting again of a Botryococcus sp., although this time not producing botryococcene lipids. Moreover, Cyanobacteria became dominant - again evidenced by ancient DNA and the characteristic C19 alkane. Throughout the record, stratification and primary production could be linked to the intensity of methane cycling, by targeting and quantifying the mcrA gene that is used

  15. Nuclear and mitochondrial DNA sequence data reveal the evolutionary history of Barbus (Cyprinidae) in the ancient lake systems of the Balkans.

    PubMed

    Marková, Silvia; Sanda, Radek; Crivelli, Alain; Shumka, Spase; Wilson, Iain F; Vukić, Jasna; Berrebi, Patrick; Kotlík, Petr

    2010-05-01

    Freshwater fauna of ancient lakes frequently contain endemic taxa thought to have originated during the long existence of these lakes, yet uncertainties remain as to whether they represent distinct genetic lineages with respect to more widespread relatives and to the relative roles of isolation and dispersal in their evolution. Phylogenetic analyses of sequence variation at nuclear and mitochondrial genes were used to examine these issues for the freshwater fish genus Barbus in two European ancient lake systems on the Balkan Peninsula. The nuclear and mitochondrial data yielded concordant phylogeographic patterns though incomplete sorting of nuclear haplotypes between some mitochondrial clades was detected. The distributions of two currently recognized species investigated here do not match the distributions of evolutionary lineages revealed by phylogenetic analyses. The Prespa barbel, Barbus prespensis, is not endemic to the lakes Prespa as previously thought but is instead found to be widespread in the south-eastern Adriatic Sea basin, with a distribution largely corresponding to the basin of the now extinct Lake Maliq historically connected with Lake Prespa. On the other hand, a cryptic phylogenetic subdivision in a widespread species, B. rebeli, was discovered to be more distant from B. rebeli than from other Barbus species and to be endemic to the system of connected lakes Ohrid and Shkodra. The division coincides with the hydrogeographical boundary delimiting distributions of other freshwater fishes, and we suggest that this newly discovered evolutionary lineage represents a distinct species. These findings support the emerging pattern that endemic taxa have evolved not through isolation of individual lakes, but in systems of currently and historically interconnected lakes and their wider basins. PMID:20139017

  16. Qualitative assessment of the diet of European eel larvae in the Sargasso Sea resolved by DNA barcoding.

    PubMed

    Riemann, Lasse; Alfredsson, Hanna; Hansen, Michael M; Als, Thomas D; Nielsen, Torkel G; Munk, Peter; Aarestrup, Kim; Maes, Gregory E; Sparholt, Henrik; Petersen, Michael I; Bachler, Mirjam; Castonguay, Martin

    2010-12-23

    European eels (Anguilla anguilla) undertake spawning migrations of more than 5000 km from continental Europe and North Africa to frontal zones in the Sargasso Sea. Subsequently, the larval offspring are advected by large-scale eastward ocean currents towards continental waters. However, the Sargasso Sea is oligotrophic, with generally low plankton biomass, and the feeding biology of eel larvae has so far remained a mystery, hampering understanding of this peculiar life history. DNA barcoding of gut contents of 61 genetically identified A. anguilla larvae caught in the Sargasso Sea showed that even the smallest larvae feed on a striking variety of plankton organisms, and that gelatinous zooplankton is of fundamental dietary importance. Hence, the specific plankton composition seems essential for eel larval feeding and growth, suggesting a linkage between eel survival and regional plankton productivity. These novel insights into the prey of Atlantic eels may furthermore facilitate eel larval rearing in aquaculture, which ultimately may replace the unsustainable use of wild-caught glass eels. PMID:20573615

  17. DNA barcode based wildlife forensics for resolving the origin of claw samples using a novel primer cocktail.

    PubMed

    Khedkar, Gulab D; Abhayankar, Shil Bapurao; Nalage, Dinesh; Ahmed, Shaikh Nadeem; Khedkar, Chandraprakash D

    2014-12-10

    Abstract Excessive wildlife hunting for commercial purposes can have negative impacts on biodiversity and may result in species extinction. To ensure compliance with legal statutes, forensic identification approaches relying on molecular markers may be used to identify the species of origin of animal material from hairs, claw, blood, bone, or meat. Using this approach, DNA sequences from the COI "barcoding" gene have been used to identify material from a number of domesticated animal species. However, many wild species of carnivores still present great challenges in generating COI barcodes using standard "universal" primer pairs. In the work presented here, the mitochondrial COI gene was successfully amplified using a novel primer cocktail, and the products were sequenced to determine the species of twenty one unknown samples of claw material collected as part of forensic wildlife case investigations. Sixteen of the unknown samples were recognized to have originated from either Panthera leo or P. pardus individuals. The remaining five samples could be identified only to the family level due to the absence of reference animal sequences. This is the first report on the use of COI sequences for the identification of P. pardus and P. leo from claw samples as part of forensic investigations in India. The study also highlights the need for adequate reference material to aid in the resolution of suspected cases of illegal wildlife harvesting. PMID:25492536

  18. Genome-wide patterns of selection in 230 ancient Eurasians.

    PubMed

    Mathieson, Iain; Lazaridis, Iosif; Rohland, Nadin; Mallick, Swapan; Patterson, Nick; Roodenberg, Songül Alpaslan; Harney, Eadaoin; Stewardson, Kristin; Fernandes, Daniel; Novak, Mario; Sirak, Kendra; Gamba, Cristina; Jones, Eppie R; Llamas, Bastien; Dryomov, Stanislav; Pickrell, Joseph; Arsuaga, Juan Luís; de Castro, José María Bermúdez; Carbonell, Eudald; Gerritsen, Fokke; Khokhlov, Aleksandr; Kuznetsov, Pavel; Lozano, Marina; Meller, Harald; Mochalov, Oleg; Moiseyev, Vyacheslav; Guerra, Manuel A Rojo; Roodenberg, Jacob; Vergès, Josep Maria; Krause, Johannes; Cooper, Alan; Alt, Kurt W; Brown, Dorcas; Anthony, David; Lalueza-Fox, Carles; Haak, Wolfgang; Pinhasi, Ron; Reich, David

    2015-12-24

    Ancient DNA makes it possible to observe natural selection directly by analysing samples from populations before, during and after adaptation events. Here we report a genome-wide scan for selection using ancient DNA, capitalizing on the largest ancient DNA data set yet assembled: 230 West Eurasians who lived between 6500 and 300 bc, including 163 with newly reported data. The new samples include, to our knowledge, the first genome-wide ancient DNA from Anatolian Neolithic farmers, whose genetic material we obtained by extracting from petrous bones, and who we show were members of the population that was the source of Europe's first farmers. We also report a transect of the steppe region in Samara between 5600 and 300 bc, which allows us to identify admixture into the steppe from at least two external sources. We detect selection at loci associated with diet, pigmentation and immunity, and two independent episodes of selection on height. PMID:26595274

  19. Progress on resolving the Gonatocerus tuberculifemur complex: neither COI nor ITS2 sequence data alone can discriminate all the species within the complex, whereas, ISSR-PCR DNA fingerprinting can

    Technology Transfer Automated Retrieval System (TEKTRAN)

    We utilized two molecular methods to aid in resolving the Gonatocerus tuberculifemur complex, potential glassy-winged sharpshooter (GWSS) biological control candidate agents from South America. The two methods used were DNA sequencing of both the mitochondrial cytochrome oxidase subunit 1 gene (COI...

  20. [The Dynamics of the Composition of mtDNA Haplotypes of the Ancient Population of the Altai Mountains from the Early Bronze Age (3rd Millennium BC) to the Iron Age (2nd-1st Centuries BC)].

    PubMed

    Gubina, M A; Kulikov, I V; Babenko, V N; Chikisheva, T A; Romaschenko, A G; Voevoda, M I; Molodin, V I

    2016-01-01

    The mtDNA polymorphism in representatives of various archaeological cultures of the Developed Bronze Age, Early Scythian, and Hunnish-Sarmatian periods was analyzed (N = 34). It detected the dominance of Western-Eurasian haplotypes (70.6%) in mtDNA samples from the representatives of the ancient population of the Early Bronze Age--Iron Age on the territory of Altai Mountains. Since the 8th to the 7th centuries BC, a sharp increase was revealed in the Eastern-Eurasian haplogroups A, D, C, andZ (43.75%) as compared to previous cultures (16.7%). The presence of haplotype 223-242-290-319 of haplogroup A8 in Dolgans, Itelmens, Evens, Koryaks, and Yakuts indicates the possible long-term presence of its carriers in areas inhabited by these populations. The prevalence of Western-Eurasian haplotypes is observed not only in the Altai Mountains but also in Central Asia (Kazakhstan) and the South of the Krasnoyarsk Krai. All of the three studied samples from the Western-Eurasian haplogroups were revealed to contain U, H, T, and HV. The ubiquitous presence of haplotypes of haplogroup H and some haplogroups of cluster U (U5al, U4, U2e, and K) in the vast territory from the Yenisei River basin to the Atlantic Ocean may indicate the direction of human settlement, which most likely occurred in the Paleolithic Period from Central Asia. PMID:27183799

  1. Library construction for ancient genomics: single strand or double strand?

    PubMed

    Bennett, E Andrew; Massilani, Diyendo; Lizzo, Giulia; Daligault, Julien; Geigl, Eva-Maria; Grange, Thierry

    2014-06-01

    A novel method of library construction that takes advantage of a single-stranded DNA ligase has been recently described and used to generate high-resolution genomes from ancient DNA samples. While this method is effective and appears to recover a greater fraction of endogenous ancient material, there has been no direct comparison of results from different library construction methods on a diversity of ancient DNA samples. In addition, the single-stranded method is limited by high cost and lengthy preparation time and is restricted to the Illumina sequencing platform. Here we present in-depth comparisons of the different available library construction methods for DNA purified from 16 ancient and modern faunal and human remains, covering a range of different taphonomic and climatic conditions. We further present a DNA purification method for ancient samples that permits the concentration of a large volume of dissolved extract with minimal manipulation and methodological improvements to the single-stranded method to render it more economical and versatile, in particular to expand its use to both the Illumina and the Ion Torrent sequencing platforms. We show that the single-stranded library construction method improves the relative recovery of endogenous to exogenous DNA for most, but not all, of our ancient extracts. PMID:24924389

  2. Ancient DNA of the Extinct Lava Shearwater (Puffinus olsoni) from the Canary Islands Reveals Incipient Differentiation within the P. puffinus Complex

    PubMed Central

    Ramirez, Oscar; Illera, Juan Carlos; Rando, Juan Carlos; Gonzalez-Solis, Jacob; Alcover, Josep Antoni; Lalueza-Fox, Carles

    2010-01-01

    Background The loss of species during the Holocene was, dramatically more important on islands than on continents. Seabirds from islands are very vulnerable to human-induced alterations such as habitat destruction, hunting and exotic predators. For example, in the genus Puffinus (family Procellariidae) the extinction of at least five species has been recorded during the Holocene, two of them coming from the Canary Islands. Methodology/Principal Findings We used bones of the two extinct Canary shearwaters (P. olsoni and P. holeae) to obtain genetic data, for use in providing insights into the differentiation process within the genus Puffinus. Although mitochondrial DNA (mtDNA) cytochrome b sequences were successfully retrieved from four Holocene specimens of the extinct Lava shearwater (P. olsoni) from Fuerteventura (Canary Islands), the P. holeae specimens yielded no DNA. Only one haplotype was detected in P. olsoni, suggesting a low genetic diversity within this species. Conclusions The phylogenetic analyses based on the DNA data reveal that: (i) the “Puffinus puffinus complex”, an assemblage of species defined using osteological characteristics (P. puffinus, P. olsoni, P. mauretanicus, P. yelkouan and probably P. holeae), shows unresolved phylogenetic relationships; (ii) despite the differences in body size and proportions, P. olsoni and the extant P. puffinus are sister species. Several hypotheses can be considered to explain the incipient differentiation between P. olsoni and P. puffinus. PMID:21209838

  3. Ancient Astronomy in Armenia

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Parsamian, Elma S.

    2007-08-01

    The most important discovery, which enriched our knowledge of ancient astronomy in Armenia, was the complex of platforms for astronomical observations on the Small Hill of Metzamor, which may be called an ancient “observatory”. Investigations on that Hill show that the ancient inhabitants of the Armenian Highlands have left us not only pictures of celestial bodies, but a very ancient complex of platforms for observing the sky. Among the ancient monuments in Armenia there is a megalithic monument, probably, being connected with astronomy. 250km South-East of Yerevan there is a structure Zorats Kar (Karahunge) dating back to II millennium B.C. Vertical megaliths many of which are more than two meters high form stone rings resembling ancient stone monuments - henges in Great Britain and Brittany. Medieval observations of comets and novas by data in ancient Armenian manuscripts are found. In the collection of ancient Armenian manuscripts (Matenadaran) in Yerevan there are many manuscripts with information about observations of astronomical events as: solar and lunar eclipses, comets and novas, bolides and meteorites etc. in medieval Armenia.

  4. Studying Ancient History.

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Barrow, Robin

    1982-01-01

    Defends the value and relevance of the study of ancient history and classics in history curricula. The unique homogeneity of the classical period contributes to its instructional manageability. A year-long, secondary-level course on fifth-century Greece and Rome is described to illustrate effective approaches to teaching ancient history. (AM)

  5. Ancient DNA Analysis of Mid-Holocene Individuals from the Northwest Coast of North America Reveals Different Evolutionary Paths for Mitogenomes

    PubMed Central

    Cui, Yinqiu; Lindo, John; Hughes, Cris E.; Johnson, Jesse W.; Hernandez, Alvaro G.; Kemp, Brian M.; Ma, Jian; Cunningham, Ryan; Petzelt, Barbara; Mitchell, Joycellyn; Archer, David; Cybulski, Jerome S.; Malhi, Ripan S.

    2013-01-01

    To gain a better understanding of North American population history, complete mitochondrial genomes (mitogenomes) were generated from four ancient and three living individuals of the northern Northwest Coast of North America, specifically the north coast of British Columbia, Canada, current home to the indigenous Tsimshian, Haida, and Nisga’a. The mitogenomes of all individuals were previously unknown and assigned to new sub-haplogroup designations D4h3a7, A2ag and A2ah. The analysis of mitogenomes allows for more detailed analyses of presumed ancestor–descendant relationships than sequencing only the HVSI region of the mitochondrial genome, a more traditional approach in local population studies. The results of this study provide contrasting examples of the evolution of Native American mitogenomes. Those belonging to sub-haplogroups A2ag and A2ah exhibit temporal continuity in this region for 5000 years up until the present day. Of possible associative significance is that archaeologically identified house structures in this region maintain similar characteristics for this same period of time, demonstrating cultural continuity in residence patterns. The individual dated to 6000 years before present (BP) exhibited a mitogenome belonging to sub-haplogroup D4h3a. This sub-haplogroup was earlier identified in the same general area at 10300 years BP on Prince of Wales Island, Alaska, and may have gone extinct, as it has not been observed in any living individuals of the Northwest Coast. The presented case studies demonstrate the different evolutionary paths of mitogenomes over time on the Northwest Coast. PMID:23843972

  6. Genetic Diversity among Ancient Nordic Populations

    PubMed Central

    Melchior, Linea; Lynnerup, Niels; Siegismund, Hans R.; Kivisild, Toomas; Dissing, Jørgen

    2010-01-01

    Using established criteria for work with fossil DNA we have analysed mitochondrial DNA from 92 individuals from 18 locations in Denmark ranging in time from the Mesolithic to the Medieval Age. Unequivocal assignment of mtDNA haplotypes was possible for 56 of the ancient individuals; however, the success rate varied substantially between sites; the highest rates were obtained with untouched, freshly excavated material, whereas heavy handling, archeological preservation and storage for many years influenced the ability to obtain authentic endogenic DNA. While the nucleotide diversity at two locations was similar to that among extant Danes, the diversity at four sites was considerably higher. This supports previous observations for ancient Britons. The overall occurrence of haplogroups did not deviate from extant Scandinavians, however, haplogroup I was significantly more frequent among the ancient Danes (average 13%) than among extant Danes and Scandinavians (∼2.5%) as well as among other ancient population samples reported. Haplogroup I could therefore have been an ancient Southern Scandinavian type “diluted” by later immigration events. Interestingly, the two Neolithic samples (4,200 YBP, Bell Beaker culture) that were typed were haplogroup U4 and U5a, respectively, and the single Bronze Age sample (3,300–3,500 YBP) was haplogroup U4. These two haplogroups have been associated with the Mesolithic populations of Central and Northern Europe. Therefore, at least for Southern Scandinavia, our findings do not support a possible replacement of a haplogroup U dominated hunter-gatherer population by a more haplogroup diverse Neolithic Culture. PMID:20689597

  7. Ancient population genomics and the study of evolution

    PubMed Central

    Parks, M.; Subramanian, S.; Baroni, C.; Salvatore, M. C.; Zhang, G.; Millar, C. D.; Lambert, D. M.

    2015-01-01

    Recently, the study of ancient DNA (aDNA) has been greatly enhanced by the development of second-generation DNA sequencing technologies and targeted enrichment strategies. These developments have allowed the recovery of several complete ancient genomes, a result that would have been considered virtually impossible only a decade ago. Prior to these developments, aDNA research was largely focused on the recovery of short DNA sequences and their use in the study of phylogenetic relationships, molecular rates, species identification and population structure. However, it is now possible to sequence a large number of modern and ancient complete genomes from a single species and thereby study the genomic patterns of evolutionary change over time. Such a study would herald the beginnings of ancient population genomics and its use in the study of evolution. Species that are amenable to such large-scale studies warrant increased research effort. We report here progress on a population genomic study of the Adélie penguin (Pygoscelis adeliae). This species is ideally suited to ancient population genomic research because both modern and ancient samples are abundant in the permafrost conditions of Antarctica. This species will enable us to directly address many of the fundamental questions in ecology and evolution. PMID:25487332

  8. Ancient Egyptian herbal wines

    PubMed Central

    McGovern, Patrick E.; Mirzoian, Armen; Hall, Gretchen R.

    2009-01-01

    Chemical analyses of ancient organics absorbed into pottery jars from the beginning of advanced ancient Egyptian culture, ca. 3150 B.C., and continuing for millennia have revealed that a range of natural products—specifically, herbs and tree resins—were dispensed by grape wine. These findings provide chemical evidence for ancient Egyptian organic medicinal remedies, previously only ambiguously documented in medical papyri dating back to ca. 1850 B.C. They illustrate how humans around the world, probably for millions of years, have exploited their natural environments for effective plant remedies, whose active compounds have recently begun to be isolated by modern analytical techniques. PMID:19365069

  9. Ancient Egyptian herbal wines.

    PubMed

    McGovern, Patrick E; Mirzoian, Armen; Hall, Gretchen R

    2009-05-01

    Chemical analyses of ancient organics absorbed into pottery jars from the beginning of advanced ancient Egyptian culture, ca. 3150 B.C., and continuing for millennia have revealed that a range of natural products--specifically, herbs and tree resins--were dispensed by grape wine. These findings provide chemical evidence for ancient Egyptian organic medicinal remedies, previously only ambiguously documented in medical papyri dating back to ca. 1850 B.C. They illustrate how humans around the world, probably for millions of years, have exploited their natural environments for effective plant remedies, whose active compounds have recently begun to be isolated by modern analytical techniques. PMID:19365069

  10. An mtDNA analysis in ancient Basque populations: implications for haplogroup V as a marker for a major paleolithic expansion from southwestern europe.

    PubMed Central

    Izagirre, N; de la Rúa, C

    1999-01-01

    mtDNA sequence variation was studied in 121 dental samples from four Basque prehistoric sites, by high-resolution RFLP analysis. The results of this study are corroborated by (1) parallel analysis of 92 bone samples, (2) the use of controls during extraction and amplification, and (3) typing by both positive and negative restriction of the linked sites that characterize each haplogroup. The absence of haplogroup V in the prehistoric samples analyzed conflicts with the hypothesis proposed by Torroni et al., in which haplogroup V is considered as an mtDNA marker for a major Paleolithic population expansion from southwestern Europe, occurring approximately 10,000-15,000 years before the present (YBP). Our samples from the Basque Country provide a valuable tool for checking the previous hypothesis, which is based on genetic data from present-day populations. In light of the available data, the most realistic scenario to explain the origin and distribution of haplogroup V suggests that the mutation defining that haplogroup (4577 NlaIII) appeared at a time when the effective population size was small enough to allow genetic drift to act-and that such drift is responsible for the heterogeneity observed in Basques, with regard to the frequency of haplogroup V (0%-20%). This is compatible with the attributed date for the origin of that mutation (10,000-15, 000 YBP), because during the postglacial period (the Mesolithic, approximately 11,000 YBP) there was a major demographic change in the Basque Country, which minimized the effect of genetic drift. This interpretation does not rely on migratory movements to explain the distribution of haplogroup V in present-day Indo-European populations. PMID:10364533

  11. DNA.

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Felsenfeld, Gary

    1985-01-01

    Structural form, bonding scheme, and chromatin structure of and gene-modification experiments with deoxyribonucleic acid (DNA) are described. Indicates that DNA's double helix is variable and also flexible as it interacts with regulatory and other molecules to transfer hereditary messages. (DH)

  12. Ancient human genomics: the methodology behind reconstructing evolutionary pathways.

    PubMed

    Marciniak, Stephanie; Klunk, Jennifer; Devault, Alison; Enk, Jacob; Poinar, Hendrik N

    2015-02-01

    High-throughput sequencing (HTS) has radically altered approaches to human evolutionary research. Recent contributions highlight that HTS is able to reach depths of the human lineage previously thought to be impossible. In this paper, we outline the methodological advances afforded by recent developments in DNA recovery, data output, scalability, speed, and resolution of the current sequencing technology. We review and critically evaluate the 'DNA pipeline' for ancient samples: from DNA extraction, to constructing immortalized sequence libraries, to enrichment strategies (e.g., polymerase chain reaction [PCR] and hybridization capture), and finally, to bioinformatic analyses of sequence data. We argue that continued evaluations and improvements to this process are essential to ensure sequence data validity. Also, we highlight the role of contamination and authentication in ancient DNA-HTS, which is particularly relevant to ancient human genomics, since sequencing the genomes of hominins such as Homo erectus and Homo heidelbergensis may soon be within the realm of possibility. PMID:25601038

  13. Dwarfs in ancient Egypt.

    PubMed

    Kozma, Chahira

    2006-02-15

    Ancient Egypt was one of the most advanced and productive civilizations in antiquity, spanning 3000 years before the "Christian" era. Ancient Egyptians built colossal temples and magnificent tombs to honor their gods and religious leaders. Their hieroglyphic language, system of organization, and recording of events give contemporary researchers insights into their daily activities. Based on the record left by their art, the ancient Egyptians documented the presence of dwarfs in almost every facet of life. Due to the hot dry climate and natural and artificial mummification, Egypt is a major source of information on achondroplasia in the old world. The remains of dwarfs are abundant and include complete and partial skeletons. Dwarfs were employed as personal attendants, animal tenders, jewelers, and entertainers. Several high-ranking dwarfs especially from the Old Kingdom (2700-2190 BCE) achieved important status and had lavish burial places close to the pyramids. Their costly tombs in the royal cemeteries and the inscriptions on their statutes indicate their high-ranking position in Egyptian society and their close relation to the king. Some of them were Seneb, Pereniankh, Khnumhotpe, and Djeder. There were at least two dwarf gods, Ptah and Bes. The god Ptah was associated with regeneration and rejuvenation. The god Bes was a protector of sexuality, childbirth, women, and children. He was a favored deity particularly during the Greco-Roman period. His temple was recently excavated in the Baharia oasis in the middle of Egypt. The burial sites and artistic sources provide glimpses of the positions of dwarfs in daily life in ancient Egypt. Dwarfs were accepted in ancient Egypt; their recorded daily activities suggest assimilation into daily life, and their disorder was not shown as a physical handicap. Wisdom writings and moral teachings in ancient Egypt commanded respect for dwarfs and other individuals with disabilities. PMID:16380966

  14. [Psychiatry in ancient Mexico].

    PubMed

    Calderón Narváez, G

    1992-12-01

    Using studies on prehispanic and early post-conquest documents of Ancient Mexico--such as the Badianus Manuscript, also known as Libellus de Medicinalibus Indorum Herbis, and Brother Bernardino de Sahagún's famous work History of the Things of the New Spain, a description of some existing medical and psychiatric problems, and treatments Ancient Aztecs resorted to, is presented. The structure of the Aztec family, their problems with the excessive ingestion of alcoholic beverages, and the punishments native authorities had implemented in order to check alcoholism up are also described. PMID:1341125

  15. Ancient Chinese constellations

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Xu, Junjun

    2011-06-01

    China, a country with a long history and a specific culture, has also a long and specific astronomy. Ancient Chinese astronomers observed the stars, named and distributed them into constellations in a very specific way, which is quite different from the current one. Around the Zodiac, stars are divided into four big regions corresponding with the four orientations, and each is related to a totem, either the Azure Dragon, the Vermilion Bird, the White Tiger or the Murky Warrior. We present a general pattern of the ancient Chinese constellations, including the four totems, their stars and their names.

  16. DNA

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Stent, Gunther S.

    1970-01-01

    This history for molecular genetics and its explanation of DNA begins with an analysis of the Golden Jubilee essay papers, 1955. The paper ends stating that the higher nervous system is the one major frontier of biological inquiry which still offers some romance of research. (Author/VW)

  17. Beijing Ancient Observatory

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Shi, Yunli

    The Beijing Ancient Observatory is now the only complete example of an observatory from the seventeenth century in the world. It is a monument to the prosperity of astronomy in traditional China. Its instruments are emblems of the encounter and amalgamation of Chinese and European Science in the seventeenth and eighteenth centuries.

  18. Ancient Egypt: History 380.

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Turk, Laraine D.

    "Ancient Egypt," an upper-division, non-required history course covering Egypt from pre-dynastic time through the Roman domination is described. General descriptive information is presented first, including the method of grading, expectation of student success rate, long-range course objectives, procedures for revising the course, major course…

  19. Ancient Egypt: Personal Perspectives.

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Wolinski, Arelene

    This teacher resource book provides information on ancient Egypt via short essays, photographs, maps, charts, and drawings. Egyptian social and religious life, including writing, art, architecture, and even the practice of mummification, is conveniently summarized for the teacher or other practitioner in a series of one to three page articles with…

  20. Creative Ventures: Ancient Civilizations.

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Stark, Rebecca

    The open-ended activities in this book are designed to extend the imagination and creativity of students and encourage students to examine their feelings and values about historic eras. Civilizations addressed include ancient Egypt, Greece, Rome, Mayan, Stonehenge, and Mesopotamia. The activities focus upon the cognitive and affective pupil…

  1. Printing Ancient Terracotta Warriors

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Gadecki, Victoria L.

    2010-01-01

    Standing in awe in Xian, China, at the Terra Cotta warrior archaeological site, the author thought of sharing this experience and excitement with her sixth-grade students. She decided to let her students carve patterns of the ancient soldiers to understand their place in Chinese history. They would make block prints and print multiple soldiers on…

  2. Ancient deforestation revisited.

    PubMed

    Hughes, J Donald

    2011-01-01

    The image of the classical Mediterranean environment of the Greeks and Romans had a formative influence on the art, literature, and historical perception of modern Europe and America. How closely does is this image congruent with the ancient environment as it in reality existed? In particular, how forested was the ancient Mediterranean world, was there deforestation, and if so, what were its effects? The consensus of historians, geographers, and other scholars from the mid-nineteenth century through the first three quarters of the twentieth century was that human activities had depleted the forests to a major extent and caused severe erosion. My research confirmed this general picture. Since then, revisionist historians have questioned these conclusions, maintaining instead that little environmental damage was done to forests and soils in ancient Greco-Roman times. In a reconsideration of the question, this paper looks at recent scientific work providing proxy evidence for the condition of forests at various times in ancient history. I look at three scientific methodologies, namely anthracology, palynology, and computer modeling. Each of these avenues of research offers support for the concept of forest change, both in abundance and species composition, and episodes of deforestation and erosion, and confirms my earlier work. PMID:20669043

  3. Ancient DNA evidence of Iberian lynx palaeoendemism

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Rodríguez-Varela, Ricardo; Tagliacozzo, Antonio; Ureña, Irene; García, Nuria; Crégut-Bonnoure, Evelyne; Mannino, Marcello A.; Arsuaga, Juan Luis; Valdiosera, Cristina

    2015-03-01

    The Iberian lynx, endemic to the Iberian Peninsula, is the most threatened carnivore in Europe and the most endangered felid in the world. Widely distributed throughout Iberia during the Pleistocene and Holocene it is now confined to two small populations in southern Spain. Lynx species differentiation, based solely on morphological analysis from skeletal traits, is a difficult task and can potentially lead to misidentification. In order to verify whether Iberian lynx had a wider geographical distribution in the past, we successfully sequenced 152 base pairs (bp) of the cytochrome b gene and 183 bp of the mitochondrial control region in 20 Late Pleistocene and Holocene fossil remains of Lynx sp. from southern Europe. Our results confirm the presence of Iberian lynx outside the Iberian Peninsula demonstrating that this is a palaeoendemic species that had a wider distribution range in southern Europe during the Holocene and the Late Pleistocene. In addition, we documented the presence of both Palaearctic extant lynx species in the Arene Candide (north Italy) site during the Last Glacial Maximum.

  4. Deep Sequencing of RNA from Ancient Maize Kernels

    PubMed Central

    Rasmussen, Morten; Cappellini, Enrico; Romero-Navarro, J. Alberto; Wales, Nathan; Alquezar-Planas, David E.; Penfield, Steven; Brown, Terence A.; Vielle-Calzada, Jean-Philippe; Montiel, Rafael; Jørgensen, Tina; Odegaard, Nancy; Jacobs, Michael; Arriaza, Bernardo; Higham, Thomas F. G.; Ramsey, Christopher Bronk; Willerslev, Eske; Gilbert, M. Thomas P.

    2013-01-01

    The characterization of biomolecules from ancient samples can shed otherwise unobtainable insights into the past. Despite the fundamental role of transcriptomal change in evolution, the potential of ancient RNA remains unexploited – perhaps due to dogma associated with the fragility of RNA. We hypothesize that seeds offer a plausible refuge for long-term RNA survival, due to the fundamental role of RNA during seed germination. Using RNA-Seq on cDNA synthesized from nucleic acid extracts, we validate this hypothesis through demonstration of partial transcriptomal recovery from two sources of ancient maize kernels. The results suggest that ancient seed transcriptomics may offer a powerful new tool with which to study plant domestication. PMID:23326310

  5. Ancient human microbiomes

    PubMed Central

    Warinner, Christina; Speller, Camilla; Collins, Matthew J.; Lewis, Cecil M.

    2015-01-01

    Very recently, we discovered a vast new microbial self: the human microbiome. Our native microbiota interface with our biology and culture to influence our health, behavior, and quality of life, and yet we know very little about their origin, evolution, or ecology. With the advent of industrialization, globalization, and modern sanitation, it is intuitive that we have changed our relationship with microbes, but we have little information about the ancestral state of our microbiome, and therefore, we lack a foundation for characterizing this change. High-throughput sequencing has opened up new opportunities in the field of paleomicrobiology, allowing us to investigate the evolution of the complex microbial ecologies that inhabit our bodies. By focusing on recent coprolite and dental calculus research, we explore how emerging research on ancient human microbiomes is changing the way we think about ancient disease and how archaeological studies can contribute to a medical understanding of health and nutrition today. PMID:25559298

  6. Ancient Sedimentary Rocks

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    2003-01-01

    MGS MOC Release No. MOC2-469, 31 August 2003

    The terraced area in this Mars Global Surveyor (MGS) Mars Orbiter Camera (MOC) image is an outcropping of ancient, sedimentary rock. It occurs in a crater in western Arabia Terra near 10.8oN, 4.5oW. Sedimentary rocks provide a record of past environments on Mars. Field work will likely be required to begin to get a good understanding of the nature of the record these rocks contain. Their generally uniform thickness and repeated character suggests that deposition of fine sediment in this crater was episodic, if not cyclic. These rocks might be indicators of an ancient lake, or they might have been deposited from grains settling out of an earlier, thicker, martian atmosphere. This image covers an area 3 km (1.9 mi) across and is illuminated from the lower left.

  7. Ancient Chinese Astronomical Technologies

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Walsh, Jennifer Robin

    2004-05-01

    I am interested in the astronomical advances of the Ancient Chinese in measuring the solar day. Their development of gnomon & ruler, sundial, and water clock apparatuses enabled Chinese astronomers to measure the annual solar orbit and solar day more precisely than their contemporaries. I have built one of each of these devices to use in collecting data from Olympia, Washington. I will measure the solar day in the Pacific Northwest following the methodology of the ancient Chinese. I will compare with my data, the available historical Chinese astronomical records and current records from the United States Naval Observatory Master Clock. I seek to understand how ancient Chinese investigations into solar patterns enabled them to make accurate predictions about the movement of the celestial sphere and planets, and to develop analytic tests of their theories. Mayall, R. Newton; Sundials: their construction and use. Dover Publications 2000 North, John; The Norton History of Astronomy and Cosmology W.W. Norton& Co. 1995 Zhentao Xu, David W. Pankenier, Yaotiao Jiang; East Asian archaeoastronomy : historical records of astronomical observations of China, Japan and Korea Published on behalf of the Earth Space Institute by Gordon and Breach Science Publishers, c2000

  8. Ancient hyaenas highlight the old problem of estimating evolutionary rates.

    PubMed

    Shapiro, Beth; Ho, Simon Y W

    2014-02-01

    Phylogenetic analyses of ancient DNA data can provide a timeline for evolutionary change even in the absence of fossils. The power to infer the evolutionary rate is, however, highly dependent on the number and age of samples, the information content of the sequence data and the demographic history of the sampled population. In this issue of Molecular Ecology, Sheng et al. (2014) analysed mitochondrial DNA sequences isolated from a combination of ancient and present-day hyaenas, including three Pleistocene samples from China. Using an evolutionary rate inferred from the ages of the ancient sequences, they recalibrated the timing of hyaena diversification and suggest a much more recent evolutionary history than was believed previously. Their results highlight the importance of accurately estimating the evolutionary rate when inferring timescales of geographical and evolutionary diversification. PMID:24450980

  9. Suicide in ancient Greece.

    PubMed

    Laios, K; Tsoukalas, G; Kontaxaki, M-I; Karamanou, M; Androutsos, G

    2014-01-01

    The theme of suicide appears several times in ancient Greek literature. However, each such reference acquires special significance depending on the field from which it originates. Most of the information found in mythology, but the suicide in a mythological tale, although in terms of motivation and mental situation of heroes may be in imitation of similar incidents of real life, in fact is linked with the principles of the ancient Greek religion. In ancient drama and mainly in tragedies suicide conduces to the tragic hypostasis of the heroes and to the evolution of the plot and also is a tool in order to be presented the ideas of poets for the relations of the gods, the relation among gods and men and the relation among the men. In ancient Greek philosophy there were the deniers of suicide, who were more concerned about the impact of suicide on society and also these who accepted it, recognizing the right of the individual to put an end to his life, in order to avoid personal misfortunes. Real suicides will be found mostly from historical sources, but most of them concern leading figures of the ancient world. Closer to the problem of suicide in the everyday life of antiquity are ancient Greek medicines, who studied the phenomenon more general without references to specific incidents. Doctors did not approve in principal the suicide and dealt with it as insane behavior in the development of the mental diseases, of melancholia and mania. They considered that the discrepancy of humors in the organ of logic in the human body will cause malfunction, which will lead to the absurdity and consequently to suicide, either due to excessive concentration of black bile in melancholia or due to yellow bile in mania. They believed that greater risk to commit suicide had women, young people and the elderly. As therapy they used the drugs of their time with the intention to induce calm and repression in the ill person, therefore they mainly used mandragora. In general, we would say

  10. Ancient origin of mast cells.

    PubMed

    Wong, G William; Zhuo, Lisheng; Kimata, Koji; Lam, Bing K; Satoh, Nori; Stevens, Richard L

    2014-08-22

    The sentinel roles of mammalian mast cells (MCs) in varied infections raised the question of their evolutionary origin. We discovered that the test cells in the sea squirt Ciona intestinalis morphologically and histochemically resembled cutaneous human MCs. Like the latter, C. intestinalis test cells stored histamine and varied heparin·serine protease complexes in their granules. Moreover, they exocytosed these preformed mediators when exposed to compound 48/80. In support of the histamine data, a C. intestinalis-derived cDNA was isolated that resembled that which encodes histidine decarboxylase in human MCs. Like heparin-expressing mammalian MCs, activated test cells produced prostaglandin D2 and contained cDNAs that encode a protein that resembles the synthase needed for its biosynthesis in human MCs. The accumulated morphological, histochemical, biochemical, and molecular biology data suggest that the test cells in C. intestinalis are the counterparts of mammalian MCs that reside in varied connective tissues. The accumulated data point to an ancient origin of MCs that predates the emergence of the chordates >500million years ago, well before the development of adaptive immunity. The remarkable conservation of MCs throughout evolution is consistent with their importance in innate immunity. PMID:25094046

  11. Gnomons in Ancient China

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Li, Geng

    Gnomon shadow measurement was one of the most fundamental astronomical observations in ancient China. It was crucial for calendar making, which constituted an important aspect of imperial governance. A painted stick discovered from a prehistoric (2300 BC) astronomical site of Taosi (see Chap. 201, "Taosi Observatory", 10.1007/978-1-4614-6141-8_215") is the oldest gnomon known of China. From second century BC onward, gnomon shadow measurements have been essential part of calendrical practice. Various historical measurements are discussed in this chapter.

  12. [Sexuality in Ancient Egypt].

    PubMed

    Androutsos, G; Marketos, S

    1994-10-01

    The present article explores the sexuality in ancient Egypt. In particular in this article are presented the ways of concubinage (marriage, concubinage, adultery), the incest, loves of the pharaohs and of the common people, the freedom of choice in garments, the status of the hetairas and of the whores, the sexual perversions (male and female homosexuality, necrophilia, sodomism, bestiality, rape, masturbation, exhibitionism), the operations of the genitals (circumcision, excision, castration) and finally the level of knowledge in gynaecology, fertility, contraception and obstetrics that even today demands our admiration. PMID:7858632

  13. Urology in ancient India

    PubMed Central

    Das, Sakti

    2007-01-01

    The practice of medical and surgical measures in the management of urological ailments prevailed in ancient India from the Vedic era around 3000 BC. Subsequently in the Samhita period, the two stalwarts - Charaka in medicine and Susruta in surgery elevated the art of medicine in India to unprecedented heights. Their elaboration of the etiopathological hypothesis and the medical and surgical treatments of various urological disorders of unparalleled ingenuity still remain valid to some extent in our contemporary understanding. The new generation of accomplished Indian urologists should humbly venerate the legacy of the illustrious pioneers in urology of our motherland. PMID:19675749

  14. Ancient celtic horns

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Campbell, Murray

    2002-11-01

    There is considerable evidence from iconographic and documentary sources that musical lip-reed instruments were important in the early celtic communities of Scotland and Ireland. In recent years several studies have been undertaken with the aim of gaining a better understanding of the musical nature of these ancient horns, and of their place in the life and culture of the time. A valuable source of tangible evidence is to be found in the archaeological remains deposited across Scotland and the whole of Ireland. A project is now under way, under the auspices of the Kilmartin House Trust and the general direction of John Purser, which has brought together an international team of musicians, craftsmen, archaeologists, musicologists and physicists with the aim of analyzing ancient musical artifacts, reconstructing some of the original instruments, and analyzing the sounds they produce. This paper describes acoustical studies carried out on a number of recent reconstructions of wooden and bronze instruments, and discusses the role of acoustics in this type of investigation. [Work supported by Sciart and EPSRC.

  15. Excited state evolution of DNA stacked adenines resolved at the CASPT2//CASSCF/Amber level: from the bright to the excimer state and back.

    PubMed

    Conti, Irene; Nenov, Artur; Höfinger, Siegfried; Flavio Altavilla, Salvatore; Rivalta, Ivan; Dumont, Elise; Orlandi, Giorgio; Garavelli, Marco

    2015-03-21

    Deactivation routes of bright ππ* (La) and excimer charge transfer (CT) states have been mapped for two stacked quantum mechanical (CASPT2//CASSCF) adenines inside a solvated DNA double strand decamer (poly(dA)·poly(dT)) described at the molecular mechanics level. Calculations show that one carbon (C2) puckering is a common relaxation coordinate for both the La and CT paths. By mapping the lowest crossing regions between La and CT states, together with the paths connecting the two states, we conclude that at least one CT state can be easily accessible. The lowest-lying conical intersections between ground state (GS) and CT states have been fully characterized in a realistic DNA environment for the first time. We show that the path to reach this crossing region from the CT minima involves high barriers that are not consistent with experimental data lifetimes. Instead, the multiexponential decay recorded in DNA, including the longest (ca. 100 picoseconds) lifetime component detected in oligomeric single- and double-stranded systems, is compatible with both intra-monomer relaxation processes along the La deactivation path (involving small barriers) and the population of the excimer (CT) state that behaves as a trap. In the latter case, deactivation is feasible only going back to the La state by following its preferred decay coordinate. PMID:25695904

  16. Population structure of plaice ( Pleuronectes platessa L.) in northern Europe: a comparison of resolving power between microsatellites and mitochondrial DNA data

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Hoarau, G.; Piquet, A. M.-T.; van der Veer, H. W.; Rijnsdorp, A. D.; Stam, W. T.; Olsen, J. L.

    2004-05-01

    We used Single Strand Conformation Polymorphism (SSCP) of mtDNA control region to assess the population structure of the flatfish Pleuronectes platessa (plaice), to compare these data with a previous study based on microsatellite loci, and to test for possible sex-biased dispersal. From 461 individuals, 163 haplotypes were identified across 11 locations. Diversity was higher with mtDNA ( h =0.776 to 0.981; π = 0.0178 to 0.0298) as compared to microsatellite loci using the same samples ( He = 0.721 to 0.77). Genetic diversity was lower in samples from Iceland and Faroe, as compared to the continental shelf samples. Although both classes of markers revealed a relatively strong differentiation between shelf and off-shelf populations ( θ = 0.1015 and θ = 0.0351, respectively), only the mtDNA data were able to detect differentiation within the continental shelf, i.e., a North Sea-Irish Sea group which was weakly distinguishable from Norway ( θ = 0.0046), the Baltic ( θ = 0.0136) and the Bay of Biscay ( θ = 0.0162). No evidence was obtained for isolation by distance, nor for sex-biased dispersal. This study demonstrates the importance of using more than one class of markers, especially for species such as plaice, with large populations, high dispersal and recent colonisation histories.

  17. Helena, the hidden beauty: Resolving the most common West Eurasian mtDNA control region haplotype by massively parallel sequencing an Italian population sample.

    PubMed

    Bodner, Martin; Iuvaro, Alessandra; Strobl, Christina; Nagl, Simone; Huber, Gabriela; Pelotti, Susi; Pettener, Davide; Luiselli, Donata; Parson, Walther

    2015-03-01

    The analysis of mitochondrial (mt)DNA is a powerful tool in forensic genetics when nuclear markers fail to give results or maternal relatedness is investigated. The mtDNA control region (CR) contains highly condensed variation and is therefore routinely typed. Some samples exhibit an identical haplotype in this restricted range. Thus, they convey only weak evidence in forensic queries and limited phylogenetic information. However, a CR match does not imply that also the mtDNA coding regions are identical or samples belong to the same phylogenetic lineage. This is especially the case for the most frequent West Eurasian CR haplotype 263G 315.1C 16519C, which is observed in various clades within haplogroup H and occurs at a frequency of 3-4% in many European populations. In this study, we investigated the power of massively parallel complete mtGenome sequencing in 29 Italian samples displaying the most common West Eurasian CR haplotype - and found an unexpected high diversity. Twenty-eight different haplotypes falling into 19 described sub-clades of haplogroup H were revealed in the samples with identical CR sequences. This study demonstrates the benefit of complete mtGenome sequencing for forensic applications to enforce maximum discrimination, more comprehensive heteroplasmy detection, as well as highest phylogenetic resolution. PMID:25303789

  18. Communication Media in Ancient Cultures.

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Jabusch, David M.

    Interest in early means of communication and in the uses and kinds of media that existed in ancient cultures is starting to grow among communication scholars. Conversation analysis of these cultures is obviously impossible, so that the emphasis must rest with material cultural artifacts. Many ancient cultures used non-verbal codes for dyadic…

  19. Ancient genetic variation in one of the world's rarest seabirds.

    PubMed

    Lawrence, H A; Scofield, R P; Crockett, D E; Millar, C D; Lambert, D M

    2008-12-01

    The Chatham Island Taiko (Tchaik, Pterodroma magentae) is one of the world's rarest seabirds. In the past there were millions of breeding pairs of Taiko and it was the most abundant burrowing petrel on Chatham Island. The present population consists of just 120-150 birds, including only 8-15 breeding pairs. Surprisingly high genetic variation was revealed by DNA sequencing of almost every known adult Taiko (N=90). Given the massive population decline, genetic variation may have been even larger in the past. Therefore, we investigated past genetic diversity by sequencing regions of the mitochondrial cytochrome b gene in 44 ancient Taiko bones. We identified a total of 12 haplotypes in Taiko. Eight haplotypes were revealed in the ancient DNA: four were unique to the bones and four corresponded to those found in the modern Taiko population. Surprisingly, despite the critically endangered status of the Taiko, no significant reduction in mitochondrial DNA haplotype diversity was observed between ancient samples (N=44) and modern adult Taiko (N=90). The modern population may have however lost four haplotypes present in the ancient populations. PMID:19018271

  20. RESOLVE Project

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Parker, Ray; Coan, Mary; Cryderman, Kate; Captain, Janine

    2013-01-01

    The RESOLVE project is a lunar prospecting mission whose primary goal is to characterize water and other volatiles in lunar regolith. The Lunar Advanced Volatiles Analysis (LAVA) subsystem is comprised of a fluid subsystem that transports flow to the gas chromatograph - mass spectrometer (GC-MS) instruments that characterize volatiles and the Water Droplet Demonstration (WDD) that will capture and display water condensation in the gas stream. The LAVA Engineering Test Unit (ETU) is undergoing risk reduction testing this summer and fall within a vacuum chamber to understand and characterize component and integrated system performance. Testing of line heaters, printed circuit heaters, pressure transducers, temperature sensors, regulators, and valves in atmospheric and vacuum environments was done. Test procedures were developed to guide experimental tests and test reports to analyze and draw conclusions from the data. In addition, knowledge and experience was gained with preparing a vacuum chamber with fluid and electrical connections. Further testing will include integrated testing of the fluid subsystem with the gas supply system, near-infrared spectrometer, WDD, Sample Delivery System, and GC-MS in the vacuum chamber. This testing will provide hands-on exposure to a flight forward spaceflight subsystem, the processes associated with testing equipment in a vacuum chamber, and experience working in a laboratory setting. Examples of specific analysis conducted include: pneumatic analysis to calculate the WDD's efficiency at extracting water vapor from the gas stream to form condensation; thermal analysis of the conduction and radiation along a line connecting two thermal masses; and proportional-integral-derivative (PID) heater control analysis. Since LAVA is a scientific subsystem, the near-infrared spectrometer and GC-MS instruments will be tested during the ETU testing phase.

  1. Ancient-Pathogen Genomics: Coming of Age?

    PubMed Central

    2014-01-01

    ABSTRACT The potentially debilitating zoonotic disease brucellosis is thought to have been a scourge of mankind throughout history. New work by Kay et al. [mBio 5(4):e01337-14, 2014] adds to evidence for this by exploiting the huge advances in next-generation sequencing technology and applying shotgun metagenomics to a calcified nodule obtained from a 14th-century skeleton from Sardinia. While not the first DNA-based confirmation of Brucella in medieval DNA samples, Kay et al.’s study goes much further than previous reports based on single gene fragments in that it allows a full-genome reconstruction and thus facilitates meaningful comparative analysis of relationships with extant Brucella strains. These analyses confirm the close relationship of the genome to contemporary isolates from the western Mediterranean, illustrating the continuity of this lineage in the region over centuries. The study, along with recent studies characterizing other ancient-pathogen genomes, confirms that shotgun metagenomics offers us a powerful tool to fully characterize pathogens from ancient samples. Such studies promise to revolutionize our understanding of the nature of infectious disease in these materials and of the wider picture of the emergence, evolution, and spread of bacterial pathogens over history. PMID:25182326

  2. Genome-wide patterns of selection in 230 ancient Eurasians

    PubMed Central

    Mathieson, Iain; Lazaridis, Iosif; Rohland, Nadin; Mallick, Swapan; Patterson, Nick; Roodenberg, Songül Alpaslan; Harney, Eadaoin; Stewardson, Kristin; Fernandes, Daniel; Novak, Mario; Sirak, Kendra; Gamba, Cristina; Jones, Eppie R.; Llamas, Bastien; Dryomov, Stanislav; Pickrel, Joseph; Arsuaga, Juan Luís; de Castro, José María Bermúdez; Carbonell, Eudald; Gerritsen, Fokke; Khokhlov, Aleksandr; Kuznetsov, Pavel; Lozano, Marina; Meller, Harald; Mochalov, Oleg; Moiseyev, Vayacheslav; Rojo Guerra, Manuel A.; Roodenberg, Jacob; Vergès, Josep Maria; Krause, Johannes; Cooper, Alan; Alt, Kurt W.; Brown, Dorcas; Anthony, David; Lalueza-Fox, Carles; Haak, Wolfgang; Pinhasi, Ron; Reich, David

    2016-01-01

    Ancient DNA makes it possible to directly witness natural selection by analyzing samples from populations before, during and after adaptation events. Here we report the first scan for selection using ancient DNA, capitalizing on the largest genome-wide dataset yet assembled: 230 West Eurasians dating to between 6500 and 1000 BCE, including 163 with newly reported data. The new samples include the first genome-wide data from the Anatolian Neolithic culture whose genetic material we extracted from the DNA-rich petrous bone and who we show were members of the population that was the source of Europe’s first farmers. We also report a complete transect of the steppe region in Samara between 5500 and 1200 BCE that allows us to recognize admixture from at least two external sources into steppe populations during this period. We detect selection at loci associated with diet, pigmentation and immunity, and two independent episodes of selection on height. PMID:26595274

  3. Characterization of Ancient Tripitaka

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Gong, Y. X.; Geng, L.; Gong, D. C.

    2015-08-01

    Tripitaka is the world's most comprehensive version of Buddhist sutra. There are limited numbers of Tripitaka currently preserved, most of them present various patterns of degradation. As little is known about the materials and crafts used in Tripitaka, it appeared necessary to identify them, and to further define adapted conservation treatment. In this work, a study concerning the paper source and dyestuff of the Tripitaka from approximate 16th century was carried out using fiber analysis and thin-layer chromatography (TLC). The results proved that the papers were mainly made from hemp or bark of mulberry tree, and indigo was used for colorizing the paper. At the end, we provide with suggestions for protecting and restoring the ancient Tripitaka.

  4. Ancient Chinese Sundials

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Deng, Kehui

    Timekeeping was essential in the agricultural society of ancient China. The use of sundials for timekeeping was associated with the use of the gnomon, which had its origin in remote antiquity. This chapter studies three sundials (guiyi 晷仪) from the Qin and Han dynasties, the shorter shadow plane sundial (duanying ping yi 短影平仪) invented by Yuan Chong in the Sui Dynasty, and the sundial chart (guiyingtu 晷影图) invented by Zeng Minxing in the Southern Song dynasty. This chapter also introduces Guo Shoujing's hemispherical sundial (yang yi 仰仪). A circular stone sundial discovered at the Small Wild Goose Pagoda in Xi'an is also mentioned. It is dated from the Sui and Tang dynasties. A brief survey of sundials from the Qing dynasty shows various types of sundials.

  5. RESOLVE Project

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Parker, Ray O.

    2012-01-01

    The RESOLVE project is a lunar prospecting mission whose primary goal is to characterize water and other volatiles in lunar regolith. The Lunar Advanced Volatiles Analysis (LAVA) subsystem is comprised of a fluid subsystem that transports flow to the gas chromatograph- mass spectrometer (GC-MS) instruments that characterize volatiles and the Water Droplet Demonstration (WDD) that will capture and display water condensation in the gas stream. The LAVA Engineering Test Unit (ETU) is undergoing risk reduction testing this summer and fall within a vacuum chamber to understand and characterize C!Jmponent and integrated system performance. Ray will be assisting with component testing of line heaters, printed circuit heaters, pressure transducers, temperature sensors, regulators, and valves in atmospheric and vacuum environments. He will be developing procedures to guide these tests and test reports to analyze and draw conclusions from the data. In addition, he will gain experience with preparing a vacuum chamber with fluid and electrical connections. Further testing will include integrated testing of the fluid subsystem with the gas supply system, near-infrared spectrometer, WDD, Sample Delivery System, and GC-MS in the vacuum chamber. This testing will provide hands-on exposure to a flight forward spaceflight subsystem, the processes associated with testing equipment in a vacuum chamber, and experience working in a laboratory setting. Examples of specific analysis Ray will conduct include: pneumatic analysis to calculate the WOO's efficiency at extracting water vapor from the gas stream to form condensation; thermal analysis of the conduction and radiation along a line connecting two thermal masses; and proportional-integral-derivative (PID) heater control analysis. In this Research and Technology environment, Ray will be asked to problem solve real-time as issues arise. Since LAVA is a scientific subsystem, Ray will be utilizing his chemical engineering background to

  6. Resolving the phylogenetic relationship between Chlamydomonas sp. UWO 241 and Chlamydomonas raudensis sag 49.72 (Chlorophyceae) with nuclear and plastid DNA sequences.

    PubMed

    Possmayer, Marc; Gupta, Rajesh K; Szyszka-Mroz, Beth; Maxwell, Denis P; Lachance, Marc-André; Hüner, Norman P A; Smith, David Roy

    2016-04-01

    The Antarctic psychrophilic green alga Chlamy-domonas sp. UWO 241 is an emerging model for studying microbial adaptation to polar environments. However, little is known about its evolutionary history and its phylogenetic relationship with other chlamydomonadalean algae is equivocal. Here, we attempt to clarify the phylogenetic position of UWO 241, specifically with respect to Chlamydomonas rau-densis SAG 49.72. Contrary to a previous report, we show that UWO 241 is a distinct species from SAG 49.72. Our phylogenetic analyses of nuclear and plastid DNA sequences reveal that UWO 241 represents a unique lineage within the Moewusinia clade (sensu Nakada) of the Chlamydomonadales (Chlorophyceae, Chlorophyta), closely affiliated to the marine species Chlamydomonas parkeae SAG 24.89. PMID:27037594

  7. Pathogens and host immunity in the ancient human oral cavity

    PubMed Central

    Warinner, Christina; Matias Rodrigues, João F.; Vyas, Rounak; Trachsel, Christian; Shved, Natallia; Grossmann, Jonas; Radini, Anita; Hancock, Y.; Tito, Raul Y.; Fiddyment, Sarah; Speller, Camilla; Hendy, Jessica; Charlton, Sophy; Luder, Hans Ulrich; Salazar-García, Domingo C.; Eppler, Elisabeth; Seiler, Roger; Hansen, Lars; Samaniego Castruita, José Alfredo; Barkow-Oesterreicher, Simon; Teoh, Kai Yik; Kelstrup, Christian; Olsen, Jesper V.; Nanni, Paolo; Kawai, Toshihisa; Willerslev, Eske; von Mering, Christian; Lewis, Cecil M.; Collins, Matthew J.; Gilbert, M. Thomas P.; Rühli, Frank; Cappellini, Enrico

    2014-01-01

    Calcified dental plaque (dental calculus) preserves for millennia and entraps biomolecules from all domains of life and viruses. We report the first high-resolution taxonomic and protein functional characterization of the ancient oral microbiome and demonstrate that the oral cavity has long served as a reservoir for bacteria implicated in both local and systemic disease. We characterize: (i) the ancient oral microbiome in a diseased state, (ii) 40 opportunistic pathogens, (iii) the first evidence of ancient human-associated putative antibiotic resistance genes, (iv) a genome reconstruction of the periodontal pathogen Tannerella forsythia, (v) 239 bacterial and 43 human proteins, allowing confirmation of a long-term association between host immune factors, “red-complex” pathogens, and periodontal disease, and (vi) DNA sequences matching dietary sources. Directly datable and nearly ubiquitous, dental calculus permits the simultaneous investigation of pathogen activity, host immunity, and diet, thereby extending the direct investigation of common diseases into the human evolutionary past. PMID:24562188

  8. Pathogens and host immunity in the ancient human oral cavity.

    PubMed

    Warinner, Christina; Rodrigues, João F Matias; Vyas, Rounak; Trachsel, Christian; Shved, Natallia; Grossmann, Jonas; Radini, Anita; Hancock, Y; Tito, Raul Y; Fiddyment, Sarah; Speller, Camilla; Hendy, Jessica; Charlton, Sophy; Luder, Hans Ulrich; Salazar-García, Domingo C; Eppler, Elisabeth; Seiler, Roger; Hansen, Lars H; Castruita, José Alfredo Samaniego; Barkow-Oesterreicher, Simon; Teoh, Kai Yik; Kelstrup, Christian D; Olsen, Jesper V; Nanni, Paolo; Kawai, Toshihisa; Willerslev, Eske; von Mering, Christian; Lewis, Cecil M; Collins, Matthew J; Gilbert, M Thomas P; Rühli, Frank; Cappellini, Enrico

    2014-04-01

    Calcified dental plaque (dental calculus) preserves for millennia and entraps biomolecules from all domains of life and viruses. We report the first, to our knowledge, high-resolution taxonomic and protein functional characterization of the ancient oral microbiome and demonstrate that the oral cavity has long served as a reservoir for bacteria implicated in both local and systemic disease. We characterize (i) the ancient oral microbiome in a diseased state, (ii) 40 opportunistic pathogens, (iii) ancient human-associated putative antibiotic resistance genes, (iv) a genome reconstruction of the periodontal pathogen Tannerella forsythia, (v) 239 bacterial and 43 human proteins, allowing confirmation of a long-term association between host immune factors, 'red complex' pathogens and periodontal disease, and (vi) DNA sequences matching dietary sources. Directly datable and nearly ubiquitous, dental calculus permits the simultaneous investigation of pathogen activity, host immunity and diet, thereby extending direct investigation of common diseases into the human evolutionary past. PMID:24562188

  9. Astronomy in the Ancient Caucasus

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Simonia, Irakli; Jijelava, Badri

    This chapter discusses the role of recurrent heavenly phenomena in the formation of ancient cultural traditions. Artifacts bearing witness to astronomical and calendrical practices in the ancient Caucasus are described and we analyze the significance of the "boats of the sun" petroglyphs at Gobustan in Azerbaijan, the solar station at Abuli in Georgia, and the "sky dial" at Carahunge in Armenia. Similarities and differences between the ancient cultures of the region are discussed. Finally, we present the results of the latest field research and new facts and hypotheses.

  10. Ancient Astronomy in Ukraine

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Artemenko, Tatyana G.; Vavilova, Iryna B.

    2007-08-01

    Astronomical culture and research have long-standing traditions in Ukraine. The first signs of astronomical knowledge were found in archaeological excavations and records. The most ancient find (dated as 15,000 B.C.) is a mammoth tusk with a fretwork image of a table of lunar phases found in the Poltava region. The so-called Trypillya culture (dated 4,000 - 3,000 B.C) had numerous examples of ornaments at the howls, distaffs, wheels and other everyday articles with symbolic images of zodiac constellations, and vessel-calendars indicating the vernal/autumnal equinoxes and the motion of the Sun. Some of such unique exhibits stored at the National Museum of History of Ukraine will be described in details in this paper. For example, the vessel calendar dating by IV century of our era (from village Romashki, Kyiv region). This image was interpreted by B. Rybakov as an agricultural calendar from May to August (time of harvesting). Most of exhibits of Museum were founded by archaeologist Vikenty Khvoyko and presented by him to Museum in 1905. Description and pictures of vessels and cups from Chernyahiv, Trypillya IV century B.C. with the Solar signs and tusk of the mammoth from Kyrilovska parking with notches interpreted as a calendar as well as tree-storied pictures of vessel from Trypillya interpreted as a “vertical cross section of the world” in dynamics will be also given. Another unique historical record relates to the times of the powerful state of the Kievan Rus' (X- XIII centuries), when astronomical observations were conducted mainly in cloisters. For example, the authors of the Lavrentievska chronicle describe the solar eclipses of the years 1064, 1091, and 1115 A.D. and the lunar eclipses of 1161 A.D. At that times some natural cataclysms have been connected with eclipses that, for example, was described in “The Word about Igor's shelf” by Nestor Letopisec. Thus, facts discussed in paper pointed out once more that astronomy is one of the most ancient

  11. [Ancient Egyptian Odontology].

    PubMed

    Berghult, B

    1999-01-01

    In ancient Egypt during the reign of Pharaoh Djoser, circa 2650 BC, the Step Pyramid was constructed by Imhotep. He was later worshiped as the God of Medicine. One of his contemporaries was the powerful writer Hesy who is reproduced on a panel showing a rebus of a swallow, a tusk and an arrow. He is therefore looked upon as being the first depicted odontologist. The art of writing begun in Egypt in about 3100 BC and the medical texts we know from different papyri were copied with hieratic signs around 1900-1100 BC. One of the most famous is the Papyrus Ebers. It was purchased by professor Ebers on a research travel to Luxor in 1873. Two years later a beautiful facsimile in color was published and the best translation came in 1958 in German. The text includes 870 remedies and some of them are related to teeth and oral troubles like pain in the mouth, gingivitis, periodontitis and cavities in the teeth. The most common oral pain was probably pulpitis caused by extreme attrition due to the high consumption of bread contaminated with soil and/or quern minerals. Another text is the Papyrus Edwin Smith with four surgical cases of dental interest. The "toothworms" that were presumed to bring about decayed teeth have not been identified in the medical texts. It was not until 1889 W.D. Miller presented a scientific explanation that cavities were caused by bacteria. In spite of extensive research only a few evidence of prosthetic and invasive treatments have been found and these dental artifacts have probably been made post mortem. Some of the 150 identified doctors were associated with treatments of disorders of the mouth. The stele of Seneb from Sa'is during the 26th dynasty of Psamtik, 664-525 BC, shows a young man who probably was a dental healer well known to Pharaoh and his court. Clement of Alexandria mentions circa 200 AD that the written knowledge of the old Egyptians was gathered in 42 collections of papyri. Number 37-42 contained the medical writings. The

  12. Mitochondrial DNA replacement versus nuclear DNA persistence

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Serva, Maurizio

    2006-10-01

    In this paper we consider two populations whose generations are not overlapping and whose size is large. The number of males and females in both populations is constant. Any generation is replaced by a new one and any individual has two parents concerning nuclear DNA and a single one (the mother) concerning mtDNA. Moreover, at any generation some individuals migrate from the first population to the second. In a finite random time T, the mtDNA of the second population is completely replaced by the mtDNA of the first. In the same time, the nuclear DNA is not completely replaced and a fraction F of the ancient nuclear DNA persists. We compute both T and F. Since this study shows that complete replacement of mtDNA in a population is compatible with the persistence of a large fraction of nuclear DNA, it may have some relevance for the 'out of Africa'/multiregional debate in palaeoanthropology.

  13. Ancient Astronomical Monuments of Athens

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Theodossiou, E.; Manimanis, V. N.

    2010-07-01

    In this work, four ancient monuments of astronomical significance found in Athens and still kept in the same city in good condition are presented. The first one is the conical sundial on the southern slope of the Acropolis. The second one is the Tower of the Winds and its vertical sundials in the Roman Forum of Athens, a small octagonal marble tower with sundials on all 8 of its sides, plus a water-clock inside the tower. The third monument-instrument is the ancient clepsydra of Athens, one of the findings from the Ancient Agora of Athens, a unique water-clock dated from 400 B.C. Finally, the fourth one is the carved ancient Athenian calendar over the main entrance of the small Byzantine temple of the 8th Century, St. Eleftherios, located to the south of the temple of the Annunciation of Virgin Mary, the modern Cathedral of the city of Athens.

  14. Astronomical Significance of Ancient Monuments

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Simonia, I.

    2011-06-01

    Astronomical significance of Gokhnari megalithic monument (eastern Georgia) is considered. Possible connection of Amirani ancient legend with Gokhnari monument is discussed. Concepts of starry practicality and solar stations are proposed.

  15. Hunting for Ancient Rocky Shores.

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Johnson, Markes E.

    1988-01-01

    Promotes the study of ancient rocky shores by showing how they can be recognized and what directions future research may follow. A bibliography of previous research articles, arranged by geologic period, is provided in the appendix to this paper. (CW)

  16. Development and application of a phylogenomic toolkit: Resolving the evolutionary history of Madagascar’s lemurs

    PubMed Central

    Horvath, Julie E.; Weisrock, David W.; Embry, Stephanie L.; Fiorentino, Isabella; Balhoff, James P.; Kappeler, Peter; Wray, Gregory A.; Willard, Huntington F.; Yoder, Anne D.

    2008-01-01

    Lemurs and the other strepsirrhine primates are of great interest to the primate genomics community due to their phylogenetic placement as the sister lineage to all other primates. Previous attempts to resolve the phylogeny of lemurs employed limited mitochondrial or small nuclear data sets, with many relationships poorly supported or entirely unresolved. We used genomic resources to develop 11 novel markers from nine chromosomes, representing ∼9 kb of nuclear sequence data. In combination with previously published nuclear and mitochondrial loci, this yields a data set of more than 16 kb and adds ∼275 kb of DNA sequence to current databases. Our phylogenetic analyses confirm hypotheses of lemuriform monophyly and provide robust resolution of the phylogenetic relationships among the five lemuriform families. We verify that the genus Daubentonia is the sister lineage to all other lemurs. The Cheirogaleidae and Lepilemuridae are sister taxa and together form the sister lineage to the Indriidae; this clade is the sister lineage to the Lemuridae. Divergence time estimates indicate that lemurs are an ancient group, with their initial diversification occurring around the Cretaceous-Tertiary boundary. Given the power of this data set to resolve branches in a notoriously problematic area of primate phylogeny, we anticipate that our phylogenomic toolkit will be of value to other studies of primate phylogeny and diversification. Moreover, the methods applied will be broadly applicable to other taxonomic groups where phylogenetic relationships have been notoriously difficult to resolve. PMID:18245770

  17. Ancient lakes on Mars?

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Goldspiel, J. M.; Squyres, S. W.

    1989-01-01

    The valley systems in Mars' ancient cratered terrain provide strong evidence for a warmer and wetter climate very early in planetary history. The valley systems in some instances debouch into closed depressions that could have acted as local ponding basins for the flow. A survey of the Martian equatorial region shows that numerous local depressions at the confluence of valley systems exist. These depressions (approximately 100 km) typically are characterized by many valleys flowing into them and few or none flowing out. If ponding did take place, these basin would have contained lakes for some period during Mars' early warmer epoch. Although the collection basins are numerous, location of ones that have not suffered significant subsequent geologic modification is difficult. Some morphologic features suggest that volcanic lavas may have filled them subsequent to any early fluvial activity. Two detailed maps of valley systems and local ponding basins in USGC 1:2,000,000 subquadrangles were completed and a third is in progress. The completed regions are in Mare Tyrrhenum (MC-22 SW) and Margarifter Sinus (MC-19 SE), and the region in progress is in Iapygia (MC-21 NW). On the maps, the valley systems and interpreted margins of ponding basins are indicated. The depressions are of interest for two reasons. First, the depressions were surely the sites in which the materials eroded from the valleys were deposited. Such sediments could preserve important information about the physical conditions at the time of deposition. Second, the sediments could preserve evidence of water-atmosphere interactions during the early period of the Martian climate. Atmospheric carbon dioxide would dissolve in water, and solid carbonate minerals would tend to precipitate out to form carbonate sedimentary deposits. Formation of carbonates in this manner might account for some of the CO2 lost from the early more dense atmosphere.

  18. Mitochondrial Phylogenomics of Modern and Ancient Equids

    PubMed Central

    Vilstrup, Julia T.; Seguin-Orlando, Andaine; Stiller, Mathias; Ginolhac, Aurelien; Raghavan, Maanasa; Nielsen, Sandra C. A.; Weinstock, Jacobo; Froese, Duane; Vasiliev, Sergei K.; Ovodov, Nikolai D.; Clary, Joel; Helgen, Kristofer M.; Fleischer, Robert C.; Cooper, Alan; Shapiro, Beth; Orlando, Ludovic

    2013-01-01

    The genus Equus is richly represented in the fossil record, yet our understanding of taxonomic relationships within this genus remains limited. To estimate the phylogenetic relationships among modern horses, zebras, asses and donkeys, we generated the first data set including complete mitochondrial sequences from all seven extant lineages within the genus Equus. Bayesian and Maximum Likelihood phylogenetic inference confirms that zebras are monophyletic within the genus, and the Plains and Grevy’s zebras form a well-supported monophyletic group. Using ancient DNA techniques, we further characterize the complete mitochondrial genomes of three extinct equid lineages (the New World stilt-legged horses, NWSLH; the subgenus Sussemionus; and the Quagga, Equus quagga quagga). Comparisons with extant taxa confirm the NWSLH as being part of the caballines, and the Quagga and Plains zebras as being conspecific. However, the evolutionary relationships among the non-caballine lineages, including the now-extinct subgenus Sussemionus, remain unresolved, most likely due to extremely rapid radiation within this group. The closest living outgroups (rhinos and tapirs) were found to be too phylogenetically distant to calibrate reliable molecular clocks. Additional mitochondrial genome sequence data, including radiocarbon dated ancient equids, will be required before revisiting the exact timing of the lineage radiation leading up to modern equids, which for now were found to have possibly shared a common ancestor as far as up to 4 Million years ago (Mya). PMID:23437078

  19. The Ancient Evolutionary History of Polyomaviruses

    PubMed Central

    Buck, Christopher B.; Van Doorslaer, Koenraad; Peretti, Alberto; Geoghegan, Eileen M.; Tisza, Michael J.; An, Ping; Katz, Joshua P.; Pipas, James M.; McBride, Alison A.; Camus, Alvin C.; McDermott, Alexa J.; Dill, Jennifer A.; Delwart, Eric; Ng, Terry F. F.; Farkas, Kata; Austin, Charlotte; Kraberger, Simona; Davison, William; Pastrana, Diana V.; Varsani, Arvind

    2016-01-01

    Polyomaviruses are a family of DNA tumor viruses that are known to infect mammals and birds. To investigate the deeper evolutionary history of the family, we used a combination of viral metagenomics, bioinformatics, and structural modeling approaches to identify and characterize polyomavirus sequences associated with fish and arthropods. Analyses drawing upon the divergent new sequences indicate that polyomaviruses have been gradually co-evolving with their animal hosts for at least half a billion years. Phylogenetic analyses of individual polyomavirus genes suggest that some modern polyomavirus species arose after ancient recombination events involving distantly related polyomavirus lineages. The improved evolutionary model provides a useful platform for developing a more accurate taxonomic classification system for the viral family Polyomaviridae. PMID:27093155

  20. The Ancient Evolutionary History of Polyomaviruses.

    PubMed

    Buck, Christopher B; Van Doorslaer, Koenraad; Peretti, Alberto; Geoghegan, Eileen M; Tisza, Michael J; An, Ping; Katz, Joshua P; Pipas, James M; McBride, Alison A; Camus, Alvin C; McDermott, Alexa J; Dill, Jennifer A; Delwart, Eric; Ng, Terry F F; Farkas, Kata; Austin, Charlotte; Kraberger, Simona; Davison, William; Pastrana, Diana V; Varsani, Arvind

    2016-04-01

    Polyomaviruses are a family of DNA tumor viruses that are known to infect mammals and birds. To investigate the deeper evolutionary history of the family, we used a combination of viral metagenomics, bioinformatics, and structural modeling approaches to identify and characterize polyomavirus sequences associated with fish and arthropods. Analyses drawing upon the divergent new sequences indicate that polyomaviruses have been gradually co-evolving with their animal hosts for at least half a billion years. Phylogenetic analyses of individual polyomavirus genes suggest that some modern polyomavirus species arose after ancient recombination events involving distantly related polyomavirus lineages. The improved evolutionary model provides a useful platform for developing a more accurate taxonomic classification system for the viral family Polyomaviridae. PMID:27093155

  1. Genome-wide nucleosome map and cytosine methylation levels of an ancient human genome

    PubMed Central

    Pedersen, Jakob Skou; Valen, Eivind; Velazquez, Amhed M. Vargas; Parker, Brian J.; Rasmussen, Morten; Lindgreen, Stinus; Lilje, Berit; Tobin, Desmond J.; Kelly, Theresa K.; Vang, Søren; Andersson, Robin; Jones, Peter A.; Hoover, Cindi A.; Tikhonov, Alexei; Prokhortchouk, Egor; Rubin, Edward M.; Sandelin, Albin; Gilbert, M. Thomas P.; Krogh, Anders; Willerslev, Eske; Orlando, Ludovic

    2014-01-01

    Epigenetic information is available from contemporary organisms, but is difficult to track back in evolutionary time. Here, we show that genome-wide epigenetic information can be gathered directly from next-generation sequence reads of DNA isolated from ancient remains. Using the genome sequence data generated from hair shafts of a 4000-yr-old Paleo-Eskimo belonging to the Saqqaq culture, we generate the first ancient nucleosome map coupled with a genome-wide survey of cytosine methylation levels. The validity of both nucleosome map and methylation levels were confirmed by the recovery of the expected signals at promoter regions, exon/intron boundaries, and CTCF sites. The top-scoring nucleosome calls revealed distinct DNA positioning biases, attesting to nucleotide-level accuracy. The ancient methylation levels exhibited high conservation over time, clustering closely with modern hair tissues. Using ancient methylation information, we estimated the age at death of the Saqqaq individual and illustrate how epigenetic information can be used to infer ancient gene expression. Similar epigenetic signatures were found in other fossil material, such as 110,000- to 130,000-yr-old bones, supporting the contention that ancient epigenomic information can be reconstructed from a deep past. Our findings lay the foundation for extracting epigenomic information from ancient samples, allowing shifts in epialleles to be tracked through evolutionary time, as well as providing an original window into modern epigenomics. PMID:24299735

  2. Screening ancient tuberculosis with qPCR: challenges and opportunities

    PubMed Central

    Harkins, Kelly M.; Buikstra, Jane E.; Campbell, Tessa; Bos, Kirsten I.; Johnson, Eric D.; Krause, Johannes; Stone, Anne C.

    2015-01-01

    The field of ancient DNA (aDNA) has rapidly accelerated in recent years as a result of new methods in next-generation sequencing, library preparation and targeted enrichment. Such research is restricted, however, by the highly variable DNA preservation within different tissues, especially when isolating ancient pathogens from human remains. Identifying positive candidate samples via quantitative PCR (qPCR) for downstream procedures can reduce reagent costs, increase capture efficiency and maximize the number of sequencing reads of the target. This study uses four qPCR assays designed to target regions within the Mycobacterium tuberculosis complex (MTBC) to examine 133 human skeletal samples from a wide geographical and temporal range, identified by the presence of skeletal lesions typical of chronic disseminated tuberculosis. Given the inherent challenges working with ancient mycobacteria, strict criteria must be used and primer/probe design continually re-evaluated as new data from bacteria become available. Seven samples tested positive for multiple MTBC loci, supporting them as strong candidates for downstream analyses. Using strict and conservative criteria, qPCR remains a fast and effective screening tool when compared with screening by more expensive sequencing and enrichment technologies. PMID:25487341

  3. Resolving lost herbivore community structure using coprolites of four sympatric moa species (Aves: Dinornithiformes)

    PubMed Central

    Wood, Jamie R.; Wilmshurst, Janet M.; Richardson, Sarah J.; Rawlence, Nicolas J.; Wagstaff, Steven J.; Worthy, Trevor H.; Cooper, Alan

    2013-01-01

    Knowledge of extinct herbivore community structuring is essential for assessing the wider ecological impacts of Quaternary extinctions and determining appropriate taxon substitutes for rewilding. Here, we demonstrate the potential for coprolite studies to progress beyond single-species diet reconstructions to resolving community-level detail. The moa (Aves: Dinornithiformes) of New Zealand are an intensively studied group of nine extinct herbivore species, yet many details of their diets and community structuring remain unresolved. We provide unique insights into these aspects of moa biology through analyses of a multispecies coprolite assemblage from a rock overhang in a montane river valley in southern New Zealand. Using ancient DNA (aDNA), we identified 51 coprolites, which included specimens from four sympatric moa species. Pollen, plant macrofossils, and plant aDNA from the coprolites chronicle the diets and habitat preferences of these large avian herbivores during the 400 y before their extinction (∼1450 AD). We use the coprolite data to develop a paleoecological niche model in which moa species were partitioned based on both habitat (forest and valley-floor herbfield) and dietary preferences, the latter reflecting allometric relationships between body size, digestive efficiency, and nutritional requirements. Broad ecological niches occupied by South Island giant moa (Dinornis robustus) and upland moa (Megalapteryx didinus) may reflect sexual segregation and seasonal variation in habitat use, respectively. Our results show that moa lack extant ecological analogs, and their extinction represents an irreplaceable loss of function from New Zealand’s terrestrial ecosystems. PMID:24082104

  4. Resolving lost herbivore community structure using coprolites of four sympatric moa species (Aves: Dinornithiformes).

    PubMed

    Wood, Jamie R; Wilmshurst, Janet M; Richardson, Sarah J; Rawlence, Nicolas J; Wagstaff, Steven J; Worthy, Trevor H; Cooper, Alan

    2013-10-15

    Knowledge of extinct herbivore community structuring is essential for assessing the wider ecological impacts of Quaternary extinctions and determining appropriate taxon substitutes for rewilding. Here, we demonstrate the potential for coprolite studies to progress beyond single-species diet reconstructions to resolving community-level detail. The moa (Aves: Dinornithiformes) of New Zealand are an intensively studied group of nine extinct herbivore species, yet many details of their diets and community structuring remain unresolved. We provide unique insights into these aspects of moa biology through analyses of a multispecies coprolite assemblage from a rock overhang in a montane river valley in southern New Zealand. Using ancient DNA (aDNA), we identified 51 coprolites, which included specimens from four sympatric moa species. Pollen, plant macrofossils, and plant aDNA from the coprolites chronicle the diets and habitat preferences of these large avian herbivores during the 400 y before their extinction (∼1450 AD). We use the coprolite data to develop a paleoecological niche model in which moa species were partitioned based on both habitat (forest and valley-floor herbfield) and dietary preferences, the latter reflecting allometric relationships between body size, digestive efficiency, and nutritional requirements. Broad ecological niches occupied by South Island giant moa (Dinornis robustus) and upland moa (Megalapteryx didinus) may reflect sexual segregation and seasonal variation in habitat use, respectively. Our results show that moa lack extant ecological analogs, and their extinction represents an irreplaceable loss of function from New Zealand's terrestrial ecosystems. PMID:24082104

  5. Neonatal medicine in ancient art.

    PubMed

    Yurdakök, Murat

    2010-01-01

    There are a limited number of artistic objects from ancient times with particular importance in neonatal medicine. The best examples are figurines from ancient Egypt of Isis nursing Horus, showing the importance of breastfeeding. The earliest images of the human fetus were made by the Olmecs in Mexico around 1200- 400 BCE. One of the earliest representations of congenital anomalies is a figurine of diencephalic twins thought to be the goddess of Anatolia, dated to around 6500 BCE. In addition to these figurines, three sets of twins in the ancient world have medical importance, and Renaissance artists often used them as a subject for their paintings: "direct suckling animals" (Romulus and Remus), "heteropaternal superfecundation" (mother: Leda, fathers: Zeus, the king of the Olympian gods, and Leda's husband, Tyndareus), and "twin-to-twin transfusion" in monozygotic twins (Jacob and Esau). PMID:20560265

  6. Ancient "Observatories" - A Relevant Concept?

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Belmonte, Juan Antonio

    It is quite common, when reading popular books on astronomy, to see a place referred to as "the oldest observatory in the world". In addition, numerous books on archaeoastronomy, of various levels of quality, frequently refer to the existence of "prehistoric" or "ancient" observatories when describing or citing monuments that were certainly not built with the primary purpose of observing the skies. Internet sources are also guilty of this practice. In this chapter, the different meanings of the word observatory will be analyzed, looking at how their significances can be easily confused or even interchanged. The proclaimed "ancient observatories" are a typical result of this situation. Finally, the relevance of the concept of the ancient observatory will be evaluated.

  7. Night Blindness and Ancient Remedy

    PubMed Central

    Al Binali, H.A. Hajar

    2014-01-01

    The aim of this article is to briefly review the history of night blindness and its treatment from ancient times until the present. The old Egyptians, the Babylonians, the Greeks and the Arabs used animal liver for treatment and successfully cured the disease. The author had the opportunity to observe the application of the old remedy to a patient. Now we know what the ancients did not know, that night blindness is caused by Vitamin A deficiency and the animal liver is the store house for Vitamin A. PMID:25774260

  8. Night blindness and ancient remedy.

    PubMed

    Al Binali, H A Hajar

    2014-01-01

    The aim of this article is to briefly review the history of night blindness and its treatment from ancient times until the present. The old Egyptians, the Babylonians, the Greeks and the Arabs used animal liver for treatment and successfully cured the disease. The author had the opportunity to observe the application of the old remedy to a patient. Now we know what the ancients did not know, that night blindness is caused by Vitamin A deficiency and the animal liver is the store house for Vitamin A. PMID:25774260

  9. Acupuncture: From Ancient Practice to Modern Science

    MedlinePlus

    ... Section CAM Acupuncture From Ancient Practice to Modern Science Past Issues / Winter 2009 Table of Contents For ... of Progress / Acupuncture From Ancient Practice to Modern Science / Low Back Pain and CAM / Time to Talk / ...

  10. Drinking habits in ancient India

    PubMed Central

    Somasundaram, Ottilingam; Raghavan, D. Vijaya; Murthy, A. G. Tejus

    2016-01-01

    Consumption of one or other form of intoxicating substances has been present throughout the history of the world. This article traces such use in the Indian subcontinent, both in North and South India. References to the use of intoxicants are to be found in the Vedas, the Great Epics, and the ancient Tamil literature. PMID:26985113

  11. Retroflex Endings in Ancient Chinese

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Hashimoto, Mantaro J.

    1973-01-01

    Reconstruction of Ancient Chinese retroflex endings (syllable-final consonants) based on internal phonological evidence in Modern Chinese. Paper read at the December 1972 meeting of the Kukeo Hakhoe (The National Language Association of Korea); research supported by the Social Science Research Council, Committee for Korean Studies. (RS)

  12. Ancient India: The Asiatic Ethiopians.

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Scott, Carolyn McPherson

    This curriculum unit was developed by a participant in the 1993 Fulbright-Hays Program "India: Continuity and Change." The unit attempts to place India in the "picture frame" of the ancient world as a part of a whole, not as a separate entity. Reading materials enable students to draw broader general conclusions based on the facts presented. The…

  13. Drinking habits in ancient India.

    PubMed

    Somasundaram, Ottilingam; Raghavan, D Vijaya; Murthy, A G Tejus

    2016-01-01

    Consumption of one or other form of intoxicating substances has been present throughout the history of the world. This article traces such use in the Indian subcontinent, both in North and South India. References to the use of intoxicants are to be found in the Vedas, the Great Epics, and the ancient Tamil literature. PMID:26985113

  14. Ancient medicine--a review.

    PubMed

    Zuskin, Eugenija; Lipozencić, Jasna; Pucarin-Cvetković, Jasna; Mustajbegović, Jadranka; Schachter, Neil; Mucić-Pucić, Branka; Neralić-Meniga, Inja

    2008-01-01

    Different aspects of medicine and/or healing in several societies are presented. In the ancient times as well as today medicine has been closely related to magic, science and religion. Various ancient societies and cultures had developed different views of medicine. It was believed that a human being has two bodies: a visible body that belongs to the earth and an invisible body of heaven. In the earliest prehistoric days, a different kind of medicine was practiced in countries such as Egypt, Greece, Rome, Mesopotamia, India, Tibet, China, and others. In those countries, "medicine people" practiced medicine from the magic to modern physical practices. Medicine was magical and mythological, and diseases were attributed mostly to the supernatural forces. The foundation of modern medicine can be traced back to ancient Greeks. Tibetan culture, for instance, even today, combines spiritual and practical medicine. Chinese medicine developed as a concept of yin and yang, acupuncture and acupressure, and it has even been used in the modern medicine. During medieval Europe, major universities and medical schools were established. In the ancient time, before hospitals had developed, patients were treated mostly in temples. PMID:18812066

  15. Discovering the Ancient Temperate Rainforest.

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Lindsay, Anne

    1997-01-01

    Two activities for grades 3 through 8 explore species adaptation and forestry issues in the North American rainforests. In one activity, students create imaginary species of plants or animals that are adapted for life in an ancient temperate rainforest. In the second activity, students role play groups affected by plans to log an area of the…

  16. The ancient art of memory.

    PubMed

    Hobson, Allan

    2013-12-01

    Revision of Freud's theory requires a new way of seeking dream meaning. With the idea of elaborative encoding, Sue Llewellyn has provided a method of dream interpretation that takes into account both modern sleep science and the ancient art of memory. Her synthesis is elegant and compelling. But is her hypothesis testable? PMID:24304762

  17. Ancient and Modern Coins Unit Plans.

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    United States Mint (Dept. of Treasury), Washington, DC.

    Ancient times comes to life when a student can hold in his/her hand or read about an artifact, such as a coin of the Greek or Roman era. Students are familiar with coins, and this commonality helps them understand the similarities and differences between their lives and times in ancient Greece or Rome. Many symbols on the ancient coins can be…

  18. The ancient Yakuts: a population genetic enigma

    PubMed Central

    Keyser, Christine; Hollard, Clémence; Gonzalez, Angela; Fausser, Jean-Luc; Rivals, Eric; Alexeev, Anatoly Nikolayevich; Riberon, Alexandre; Crubézy, Eric; Ludes, Bertrand

    2015-01-01

    This study is part of an ongoing project aiming at determining the ethnogenesis of an eastern Siberian ethnic group, the Yakuts, on the basis of archaeological excavations carried out over a period of 10 years in three regions of Yakutia: Central Yakutia, the Vilyuy River basin and the Verkhoyansk area. In this study, genetic analyses were carried out on skeletal remains from 130 individuals of unknown ancestry dated mainly from the fifteenth to the nineteenth century AD. Kinship studies were conducted using sets of commercially available autosomal and Y-chromosomal short tandem repeats (STRs) along with hypervariable region I sequences of the mitochondrial DNA. An unexpected and intriguing finding of this work was that the uniparental marker systems did not always corroborate results from autosomal DNA analyses; in some cases, false-positive relationships were observed. These discrepancies revealed that 15 autosomal STR loci are not sufficient to discriminate between first degree relatives and more distantly related individuals in our ancient Yakut sample. The Y-STR analyses led to similar conclusions, because the current Y-STR panels provided the limited resolution of the paternal lineages. PMID:25487336

  19. The ancient Yakuts: a population genetic enigma.

    PubMed

    Keyser, Christine; Hollard, Clémence; Gonzalez, Angela; Fausser, Jean-Luc; Rivals, Eric; Alexeev, Anatoly Nikolayevich; Riberon, Alexandre; Crubézy, Eric; Ludes, Bertrand

    2015-01-19

    This study is part of an ongoing project aiming at determining the ethnogenesis of an eastern Siberian ethnic group, the Yakuts, on the basis of archaeological excavations carried out over a period of 10 years in three regions of Yakutia: Central Yakutia, the Vilyuy River basin and the Verkhoyansk area. In this study, genetic analyses were carried out on skeletal remains from 130 individuals of unknown ancestry dated mainly from the fifteenth to the nineteenth century AD. Kinship studies were conducted using sets of commercially available autosomal and Y-chromosomal short tandem repeats (STRs) along with hypervariable region I sequences of the mitochondrial DNA. An unexpected and intriguing finding of this work was that the uniparental marker systems did not always corroborate results from autosomal DNA analyses; in some cases, false-positive relationships were observed. These discrepancies revealed that 15 autosomal STR loci are not sufficient to discriminate between first degree relatives and more distantly related individuals in our ancient Yakut sample. The Y-STR analyses led to similar conclusions, because the current Y-STR panels provided the limited resolution of the paternal lineages. PMID:25487336

  20. The phylogeography of Eurasian Fraxinus species reveals ancient transcontinental reticulation.

    PubMed

    Hinsinger, Damien D; Gaudeul, Myriam; Couloux, Arnaud; Bousquet, Jean; Frascaria-Lacoste, Nathalie

    2014-08-01

    To investigate the biogeographical history of ashes species of the Eurasian section Fraxinus and to test the hypothesis of ancient reticulations, we sequenced nuclear DNA (nETS and nITS, 1075 bp) for 533 samples and scored AFLP for 63 samples of Eurasian ashes within the section Fraxinus. The nITS phylogeny retrieved the classical view of the evolution of the section, whereas nETS phylogeny indicated an unexpected separation of F. angustifolia in two paraphyletic groups, respectively found in southeastern Europe and in the other parts of the Mediterranean basin. In the nETS phylogeny, the former group was closely related to F. excelsior, whereas the later was closely related to F. mandshurica, a species which is restricted nowadays to northeastern Asia. This topological incongruence between the two loci indicated the occurrence of an ancient reticulation between European and Asian ash species. Several other ancient reticulation events between the two European species and the other species of the section were supported by the posterior predictive checking method. Some of these reticulation events would have occurred during the Miocene, when climatic variations may have lead these species to expand their distribution range and come into contact. The recurrent reticulations observed among Eurasian ash species indicate that they should be considered as conspecific taxa, with subspecific status for some groups. Altogether, the results of the present study provide a rare documented evidence for the occurrence of multiple ancient reticulations within a group of temperate tree taxa with modern disjunct distributions in Eurasia. These ancient reticulation events indicate that the speciation process is slow in ashes, necessitating long periods of geographical isolation. The implications for speciation processes in temperate trees with similar life history and reproductive biology are discussed. PMID:24795215

  1. Ancient biomolecules: their origins, fossilization, and role in revealing the history of life.

    PubMed

    Briggs, Derek E G; Summons, Roger E

    2014-05-01

    The discovery of traces of a blood meal in the abdomen of a 50-million-year-old mosquito reminds us of the insights that the chemistry of fossils can provide. Ancient DNA is the best known fossil molecule. It is less well known that new fossil targets and a growing database of ancient gene sequences are paralleled by discoveries on other classes of organic molecules. New analytical tools, such as the synchrotron, reveal traces of the original composition of arthropod cuticles that are more than 400 my old. Pigments such as melanin are readily fossilized, surviving virtually unaltered for ∼200 my. Other biomarkers provide evidence of microbial processes in ancient sediments, and have been used to reveal the presence of demosponges, for example, more than 635 mya, long before their spicules appear in the fossil record. Ancient biomolecules are a powerful complement to fossil remains in revealing the history of life. PMID:24623098

  2. Paleomicrobiology: Revealing Fecal Microbiomes of Ancient Indigenous Cultures

    PubMed Central

    Cano, Raul J.; Rivera-Perez, Jessica; Toranzos, Gary A.; Santiago-Rodriguez, Tasha M.; Narganes-Storde, Yvonne M.; Chanlatte-Baik, Luis; García-Roldán, Erileen; Bunkley-Williams, Lucy; Massey, Steven E.

    2014-01-01

    Coprolites are fossilized feces that can be used to provide information on the composition of the intestinal microbiota and, as we show, possibly on diet. We analyzed human coprolites from the Huecoid and Saladoid cultures from a settlement on Vieques Island, Puerto Rico. While more is known about the Saladoid culture, it is believed that both societies co-existed on this island approximately from 5 to 1170 AD. By extracting DNA from the coprolites, followed by metagenomic characterization, we show that both cultures can be distinguished from each other on the basis of their bacterial and fungal gut microbiomes. In addition, we show that parasite loads were heavy and also culturally distinct. Huecoid coprolites were characterized by maize and Basidiomycetes sequences, suggesting that these were important components of their diet. Saladoid coprolite samples harbored sequences associated with fish parasites, suggesting that raw fish was a substantial component of their diet. The present study shows that ancient DNA is not entirely degraded in humid, tropical environments, and that dietary and/or host genetic differences in ancient populations may be reflected in the composition of their gut microbiome. This further supports the hypothesis that the two ancient cultures studied were distinct, and that they retained distinct technological/cultural differences during an extended period of close proximity and peaceful co-existence. The two populations seemed to form the later-day Taínos, the Amerindians present at the point of Columbian contact. Importantly, our data suggest that paleomicrobiomics can be a powerful tool to assess cultural differences between ancient populations. PMID:25207979

  3. Paleomicrobiology: revealing fecal microbiomes of ancient indigenous cultures.

    PubMed

    Cano, Raul J; Rivera-Perez, Jessica; Toranzos, Gary A; Santiago-Rodriguez, Tasha M; Narganes-Storde, Yvonne M; Chanlatte-Baik, Luis; García-Roldán, Erileen; Bunkley-Williams, Lucy; Massey, Steven E

    2014-01-01

    Coprolites are fossilized feces that can be used to provide information on the composition of the intestinal microbiota and, as we show, possibly on diet. We analyzed human coprolites from the Huecoid and Saladoid cultures from a settlement on Vieques Island, Puerto Rico. While more is known about the Saladoid culture, it is believed that both societies co-existed on this island approximately from 5 to 1170 AD. By extracting DNA from the coprolites, followed by metagenomic characterization, we show that both cultures can be distinguished from each other on the basis of their bacterial and fungal gut microbiomes. In addition, we show that parasite loads were heavy and also culturally distinct. Huecoid coprolites were characterized by maize and Basidiomycetes sequences, suggesting that these were important components of their diet. Saladoid coprolite samples harbored sequences associated with fish parasites, suggesting that raw fish was a substantial component of their diet. The present study shows that ancient DNA is not entirely degraded in humid, tropical environments, and that dietary and/or host genetic differences in ancient populations may be reflected in the composition of their gut microbiome. This further supports the hypothesis that the two ancient cultures studied were distinct, and that they retained distinct technological/cultural differences during an extended period of close proximity and peaceful co-existence. The two populations seemed to form the later-day Taínos, the Amerindians present at the point of Columbian contact. Importantly, our data suggest that paleomicrobiomics can be a powerful tool to assess cultural differences between ancient populations. PMID:25207979

  4. Molecular analysis of ancient caries

    PubMed Central

    Simón, Marc; Montiel, Rafael; Smerling, Andrea; Solórzano, Eduvigis; Díaz, Nancy; Álvarez-Sandoval, Brenda A.; Jiménez-Marín, Andrea R.; Malgosa, Assumpció

    2014-01-01

    An 84 base pair sequence of the Streptococcus mutans virulence factor, known as dextranase, has been obtained from 10 individuals from the Bronze Age to the Modern Era in Europe and from before and after the colonization in America. Modern samples show four polymorphic sites that have not been found in the ancient samples studied so far. The nucleotide and haplotype diversity of this region have increased over time, which could be reflecting the footprint of a population expansion. While this segment has apparently evolved according to neutral evolution, we have been able to detect one site that is under positive selection pressure both in present and past populations. This study is a first step to study the evolution of this microorganism, analysed using direct evidence obtained from ancient remains. PMID:25056622

  5. Ancient Celestial Spheres from Greece

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Dimitrakoudis, S.; Papaspyrou, P.; Petoussis, V.; Moussas, X.

    2006-08-01

    We present several ancient celestial spheres from the 8th century B.C. found throughout Greece, mainly in Thessaly, at the temple of Itonia Athena, but also in Olympia and other places. These celestial spheres have an axis, equator and several meridians and they have several markings with the symbol of stars (today's symbol for the Sun) $\\odot$. Such instruments could have been used to measure the time, the latitude of a location, or the coordinates of stars.

  6. Psychiatric Thoughts in Ancient India*

    PubMed Central

    Abhyankar, Ravi

    2015-01-01

    A review of the literature regarding psychiatric thoughts in ancient India is attempted. Besides interesting reading, many of the concepts are still relevant and can be used in day-to-day practice especially towards healthy and happy living. Certain concepts are surprisingly contemporary and valid today. They can be used in psychotherapy and counselling and for promoting mental health. However, the description and classification of mental illness is not in tune with modern psychiatry. PMID:25838724

  7. Ancient medicine: the patient's perspective.

    PubMed

    Geller, Mark J

    2004-01-01

    A number of previously unpublished therapeutic recipes from cuneiform tablets in Berlin (Pergamon Museum) and London (British Museum) list symptoms describing urinary tract disfunction. In addition to presenting extracts from this material, the present article discusses the roles of physician as apothecary or exorcist in ancient texts from Babylonia. This involves technical medical knowledge vs. "bed-side manner", taking into account the psychological effects of drug therapy and diagnosis. PMID:15372427

  8. Nanoscience of an ancient pigment.

    PubMed

    Johnson-McDaniel, Darrah; Barrett, Christopher A; Sharafi, Asma; Salguero, Tina T

    2013-02-01

    We describe monolayer nanosheets of calcium copper tetrasilicate, CaCuSi(4)O(10), which have strong near-IR luminescence and are amenable to solution processing methods. The facile exfoliation of bulk CaCuSi(4)O(10) into nanosheets is especially surprising in view of the long history of this material as the colored component of Egyptian blue, a well-known pigment from ancient times. PMID:23215240

  9. The ancient lunar core dynamo.

    PubMed

    Runcorn, S K

    1978-02-17

    Lunar paleomagnetism provides evidence for the existence of an ancient lunar magnetic field generated in an iron core. Paleointensity experiments give a surface field of 1.3 gauss, 4.0 x 10(9) years ago, subsequently decreasing exponentially. Thermodynamic arguments give a minimum value of the heat source in the core at that time: known sources, radioactive and other, are quantitatively implausible, and it is suggested that superheavy elements were present in the early moon. PMID:17836293

  10. Orthopedic surgery in ancient Egypt

    PubMed Central

    Blomstedt, Patric

    2014-01-01

    Background — Ancient Egypt might be considered the cradle of medicine. The modern literature is, however, sometimes rather too enthusiastic regarding the procedures that are attributed an Egyptian origin. I briefly present and analyze the claims regarding orthopedic surgery in Egypt, what was actually done by the Egyptians, and what may have been incorrectly ascribed to them. Methods — I reviewed the original sources and also the modern literature regarding surgery in ancient Egypt, concentrating especially on orthopedic surgery. Results — As is well known, both literary sources and the archaeological/osteological material bear witness to treatment of various fractures. The Egyptian painting, often claimed to depict the reduction of a dislocated shoulder according to Kocher’s method, is, however, open to interpretation. Therapeutic amputations are never depicted or mentioned in the literary sources, while the specimens suggested to demonstrate such amputations are not convincing. Interpretation — The ancient Egyptians certainly treated fractures of various kinds, and with varying degrees of success. Concerning the reductions of dislocated joints and therapeutic amputations, there is no clear evidence for the existence of such procedures. It would, however, be surprising if dislocations were not treated, even though they have not left traces in the surviving sources. Concerning amputations, the general level of Egyptian surgery makes it unlikely that limb amputations were done, even if they may possibly have been performed under extraordinary circumstances. PMID:25140982

  11. A Swarm of Ancient Stars

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    2010-12-01

    We know of about 150 of the rich collections of old stars called globular clusters that orbit our galaxy, the Milky Way. This sharp new image of Messier 107, captured by the Wide Field Imager on the 2.2-metre telescope at ESO's La Silla Observatory in Chile, displays the structure of one such globular cluster in exquisite detail. Studying these stellar swarms has revealed much about the history of our galaxy and how stars evolve. The globular cluster Messier 107, also known as NGC 6171, is a compact and ancient family of stars that lies about 21 000 light-years away. Messier 107 is a bustling metropolis: thousands of stars in globular clusters like this one are concentrated into a space that is only about twenty times the distance between our Sun and its nearest stellar neighbour, Alpha Centauri, across. A significant number of these stars have already evolved into red giants, one of the last stages of a star's life, and have a yellowish colour in this image. Globular clusters are among the oldest objects in the Universe. And since the stars within a globular cluster formed from the same cloud of interstellar matter at roughly the same time - typically over 10 billion years ago - they are all low-mass stars, as lightweights burn their hydrogen fuel supply much more slowly than stellar behemoths. Globular clusters formed during the earliest stages in the formation of their host galaxies and therefore studying these objects can give significant insights into how galaxies, and their component stars, evolve. Messier 107 has undergone intensive observations, being one of the 160 stellar fields that was selected for the Pre-FLAMES Survey - a preliminary survey conducted between 1999 and 2002 using the 2.2-metre telescope at ESO's La Silla Observatory in Chile, to find suitable stars for follow-up observations with the VLT's spectroscopic instrument FLAMES [1]. Using FLAMES, it is possible to observe up to 130 targets at the same time, making it particularly well suited

  12. A Swarm of Ancient Stars

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    2010-12-01

    We know of about 150 of the rich collections of old stars called globular clusters that orbit our galaxy, the Milky Way. This sharp new image of Messier 107, captured by the Wide Field Imager on the 2.2-metre telescope at ESO's La Silla Observatory in Chile, displays the structure of one such globular cluster in exquisite detail. Studying these stellar swarms has revealed much about the history of our galaxy and how stars evolve. The globular cluster Messier 107, also known as NGC 6171, is a compact and ancient family of stars that lies about 21 000 light-years away. Messier 107 is a bustling metropolis: thousands of stars in globular clusters like this one are concentrated into a space that is only about twenty times the distance between our Sun and its nearest stellar neighbour, Alpha Centauri, across. A significant number of these stars have already evolved into red giants, one of the last stages of a star's life, and have a yellowish colour in this image. Globular clusters are among the oldest objects in the Universe. And since the stars within a globular cluster formed from the same cloud of interstellar matter at roughly the same time - typically over 10 billion years ago - they are all low-mass stars, as lightweights burn their hydrogen fuel supply much more slowly than stellar behemoths. Globular clusters formed during the earliest stages in the formation of their host galaxies and therefore studying these objects can give significant insights into how galaxies, and their component stars, evolve. Messier 107 has undergone intensive observations, being one of the 160 stellar fields that was selected for the Pre-FLAMES Survey - a preliminary survey conducted between 1999 and 2002 using the 2.2-metre telescope at ESO's La Silla Observatory in Chile, to find suitable stars for follow-up observations with the VLT's spectroscopic instrument FLAMES [1]. Using FLAMES, it is possible to observe up to 130 targets at the same time, making it particularly well suited

  13. Thymine Dimer Formation probed by Time-Resolved Vibrational Spectroscopy

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Schreier, Wolfgang J.; Schrader, Tobias E.; Roller, Florian O.; Gilch, Peter; Zinth, Wolfgang; Kohler, Bern

    Cyclobutane pyrimidine dimers are the major photoproducts formed when DNA is exposed to UV light. Femtosecond time-resolved vibrational spectroscopy reveals that thymine dimers are formed in thymidine oligonucleotides in an ultrafast photoreaction.

  14. Phylotyping and Functional Analysis of Two Ancient Human Microbiomes

    PubMed Central

    Tito, Raúl Y.; Macmil, Simone; Wiley, Graham; Najar, Fares; Cleeland, Lauren; Qu, Chunmei; Wang, Ping; Romagne, Frederic; Leonard, Sylvain; Ruiz, Agustín Jiménez; Reinhard, Karl; Roe, Bruce A.; Lewis, Cecil M.

    2008-01-01

    Background The Human Microbiome Project (HMP) is one of the U.S. National Institutes of Health Roadmap for Medical Research. Primary interests of the HMP include the distinctiveness of different gut microbiomes, the factors influencing microbiome diversity, and the functional redundancies of the members of human microbiotas. In this present work, we contribute to these interests by characterizing two extinct human microbiotas. Methodology/Principal Findings We examine two paleofecal samples originating from cave deposits in Durango Mexico and dating to approximately 1300 years ago. Contamination control is a serious issue in ancient DNA research; we use a novel approach to control contamination. After we determined that each sample originated from a different human, we generated 45 thousand shotgun DNA sequencing reads. The phylotyping and functional analysis of these reads reveals a signature consistent with the modern gut ecology. Interestingly, inter-individual variability for phenotypes but not functional pathways was observed. The two ancient samples have more similar functional profiles to each other than to a recently published profile for modern humans. This similarity could not be explained by a chance sampling of the databases. Conclusions/Significance We conduct a phylotyping and functional analysis of ancient human microbiomes, while providing novel methods to control for DNA contamination and novel hypotheses about past microbiome biogeography. We postulate that natural selection has more of an influence on microbiome functional profiles than it does on the species represented in the microbial ecology. We propose that human microbiomes were more geographically structured during pre-Columbian times than today. PMID:19002248

  15. Ancient single origin for Malagasy primates.

    PubMed Central

    Yoder, A D; Cartmill, M; Ruvolo, M; Smith, K; Vilgalys, R

    1996-01-01

    We report new evidence that bears decisively on a long-standing controversy in primate systematics. DNA sequence data for the complete cytochrome b gene, combined with an expanded morphological data set, confirm the results of a previous study and again indicate that all extant Malagasy lemurs originated from a single common ancestor. These results, as well as those from other genetic studies, call for a revision of primate classifications in which the dwarf and mouse lemurs are placed within the Afro-Asian lorisiforms. The phylogenetic results, in agreement with paleocontinental data, indicate an African origin for the common ancestor of lemurs and lorises (the Strepsirrhini). The molecular data further suggest the surprising conclusion that lemurs began evolving independently by the early Eocene at the latest. This indicates that the Malagasy primate lineage is more ancient than generally thought and places the split between the two strepsirrhine lineages well before the appearance of known Eocene fossil primates. We conclude that primate origins were marked by rapid speciation and diversification sometime before the late Paleocene. Images Fig. 1 Fig. 2 PMID:8643538

  16. Ancient Chinese Astronomy - An Overview

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Shi, Yunli

    Documentary and archaeological evidence testifies the early origin and continuous development of ancient Chinese astronomy to meet both the ideological and practical needs of a society largely based on agriculture. There was a long period when the beginning of the year, month, and season was determined by direct observation of celestial phenomena, including their alignments with respect to the local skyline. As the need for more exact study arose, new instruments for more exact observation were invented and the system of calendrical astronomy became entirely mathematized.

  17. Resolving the Pericenter

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Wisdom, Jack

    2015-10-01

    The Wisdom-Holman mapping method and its variations have become a mainstay of research in solar system dynamics. But the method is not without its limitations. Rauch & Holman noted that at large eccentricities sufficiently small steps must be taken to resolve the pericenter. In this paper, I explore in more detail what it means to resolve the pericenter.

  18. Estimates of nuclear DNA content in red algal lineages

    PubMed Central

    Kapraun, Donald F.; Freshwater, D. Wilson

    2012-01-01

    Background and aims The red algae are an evolutionarily ancient group of predominantly marine organisms with an estimated 6000 species. Consensus higher-level molecular phylogenies support a basal split between the unicellular Cyanidiophytina and morphologically diverse Rhodophytina, the later subphylum containing most red algal species. The Rhodophytina is divided into six classes, of which five represent early diverging lineages of generally uninucleate species, whose evolutionary relationships are poorly resolved. The remaining species compose the large (27 currently recognized orders), morphologically diverse and typically multinucleate Florideophyceae. Nuclear DNA content estimates have been published for <1 % of the described red algae. The present investigation summarizes the state of our knowledge and expands our coverage of DNA content information from 196 isolates of red algae. Methodology The DNA-localizing fluorochrome DAPI (4′,6-diamidino-2-phenylindole) and RBC (chicken erythrocytes) standards were used to estimate 2C values with static microspectrophotometry. Principal results Nuclear DNA contents are reported for 196 isolates of red algae, almost doubling the number of estimates available for these organisms. Present results also confirm the reported DNA content range of 0.1–2.8 pg, with species of Ceramiales, Nemaliales and Palmariales containing apparently polyploid genomes with 2C = 2.8, 2.3 and 2.8 pg, respectively. Conclusions Early diverging red algal lineages are characterized by relatively small 2C DNA contents while a wide range of 2C values is found within the derived Florideophyceae. An overall correlation between phylogenetic placement and 2C DNA content is not apparent; however, genome size data are available for only a small portion of red algae. Current data do support polyploidy and aneuploidy as pervasive features of red algal genome evolution. PMID:22479676

  19. Letter to the editor: Genetics and the archaeology of ancient Israel.

    PubMed

    Brody, Aaron J; King, Roy J

    2013-12-01

    This letter is a call for DNA testing on ancient skeletal materials from the southern Levant to begin a database of genetic information of the inhabitants of this crossroads region. In this region, during the Iron I period traditionally dated to circa 1200-1000 BCE, archaeologists and biblical historians view the earliest presence of a group that called itself Israel. They lived in villages in the varied hill countries of the region, contemporary with urban settlements in the coastal plains, inland valleys, and central hill country attributed to varied indigenous groups collectively called Canaanite. The remnants of Egyptian imperial presence in the region lasted until around 1150 BCE, postdating the arrival of an immigrant group from the Aegean called the Philistines circa 1175 BCE. The period that follows in the southern Levant is marked by the development of territorial states throughout the region, circa 1000-800 BCE. These patrimonial kingdoms, including the United Kingdom of Israel and the divided kingdoms of northern Israel and Judah, coalesced varied peoples under central leadership and newly founded administrative and religious bureaucracies. Ancient DNA testing will give us a further refined understanding of the individuals who peopled the region of the southern Levant throughout its varied archaeological and historic periods and provide scientific data that will support, refute, or nuance our sociohistoric reconstruction of ancient group identities. These social identities may or may not map onto genetic data, but without sampling of ancient DNA we may never know. A database of ancient DNA will also allow for comparisons with modern DNA samples collected throughout the greater region and the Mediterranean littoral, giving a more robust understanding of the long historical trajectories of regional human genetics and the genetics of varied ancestral groups of today's Jewish populations and other cultural groups in the modern Middle East and Mediterranean

  20. [Ancient history of Indian pharmacy].

    PubMed

    Okuda, Jun; Natsume, Yohko

    2010-01-01

    The study of the ancient history of Indian medicine has recently been revived due to the publication of polyglot translations. However, little is known of ancient Indian pharmacy. Archaeological evidence suggests the Indus people lived a settled life approximately in 2500 B.C. Their cities were enjoying the cleanest and most hygienic daily life with elaborate civic sanitation systems. The whole conception shows a remarkable concern for health. Then, the early Aryans invaded India about 1500 B.C. and the Vedic age started. The Rgveda texts contain the hymns for Soma and those for herbs. The term Ayurveda (i.e., science of life) is found in some old versions of both Ramāyana and Mahābhārata and in the Atharvaveda. Suśruta had the credit of making a breakthrough in the field of surgery. The Ayurveda, a work on internal medicine, gives the following transmission of sages: Brahmā-->Daksa-->Prajāpati-->Aśivinau-->Indra-->Caraka. On the other hand, the Suśruta-samhitā, which deals mainly with surgical medicine, explains it as follows; Indra-->Dhanvantari-->Suśruta Both Caraka and Suśruta were medical doctors as well as pharmacists, so they studied more than 1000 herbs thoroughly. The Ayurveda had been used by his devotees for medical purposes. It eventually spread over Asia with the advanced evolution of Buddhism. PMID:21032887

  1. Magnetite biomineralization and ancient life on Mars.

    PubMed

    Frankel, R B; Buseck, P R

    2000-04-01

    Certain chemical and mineral features of the Martian meteorite ALH84001 were reported in 1996 to be probable evidence of ancient life on Mars. In spite of new observations and interpretations, the question of ancient life on Mars remains unresolved. Putative biogenic, nanometer magnetite has now become a leading focus in the debate. PMID:10742183

  2. Women--Sex Objects in Ancient Egypt.

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Mutimer, Brian T. P.

    Although it has been said that the women in Ancient Egypt enjoyed a reasonable state of social and professional equality with men, this paper presents an alternate theory--that women were second-class citizens whose physical prowess was secondary to their role as sex objects. It appears that men and women in Ancient Egypt often participated in the…

  3. Attitudes Toward Deviant Sex in Ancient Mesopotamia

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Bullough, Vern L.

    1971-01-01

    The article concludes that the whole question of sexual life in ancient Mesopotamia is difficult to reconstruct and fraught with many uncertainties. Nevertheless, it seems certain that the ancient Mesopotamians had fewer prohibitions against sex than our own civilization, and regarded as acceptable many practices which later societies condemned.…

  4. Genotyping of ancient Mycobacterium tuberculosis strains reveals historic genetic diversity

    PubMed Central

    Müller, Romy; Roberts, Charlotte A.; Brown, Terence A.

    2014-01-01

    The evolutionary history of the Mycobacterium tuberculosis complex (MTBC) has previously been studied by analysis of sequence diversity in extant strains, but not addressed by direct examination of strain genotypes in archaeological remains. Here, we use ancient DNA sequencing to type 11 single nucleotide polymorphisms and two large sequence polymorphisms in the MTBC strains present in 10 archaeological samples from skeletons from Britain and Europe dating to the second–nineteenth centuries AD. The results enable us to assign the strains to groupings and lineages recognized in the extant MTBC. We show that at least during the eighteenth–nineteenth centuries AD, strains of M. tuberculosis belonging to different genetic groups were present in Britain at the same time, possibly even at a single location, and we present evidence for a mixed infection in at least one individual. Our study shows that ancient DNA typing applied to multiple samples can provide sufficiently detailed information to contribute to both archaeological and evolutionary knowledge of the history of tuberculosis. PMID:24573854

  5. Pigment phenotype and biogeographical ancestry from ancient skeletal remains: inferences from multiplexed autosomal SNP analysis.

    PubMed

    Bouakaze, Caroline; Keyser, Christine; Crubézy, Eric; Montagnon, Daniel; Ludes, Bertrand

    2009-07-01

    In the present study, a multiplexed genotyping assay for ten single nucleotide polymorphisms (SNPs) located within six pigmentation candidate genes was developed on modern biological samples and applied to DNA retrieved from 25 archeological human remains from southern central Siberia dating from the Bronze and Iron Ages. SNP genotyping was successful for the majority of ancient samples and revealed that most probably had typical European pigment features, i.e., blue or green eye color, light hair color and skin type, and were likely of European individual ancestry. To our knowledge, this study reports for the first time the multiplexed typing of autosomal SNPs on aged and degraded DNA. By providing valuable information on pigment traits of an individual and allowing individual biogeographical ancestry estimation, autosomal SNP typing can improve ancient DNA studies and aid human identification in some forensic casework situations when used to complement conventional molecular markers. PMID:19415315

  6. Sacred psychiatry in ancient Greece

    PubMed Central

    2014-01-01

    From the ancient times, there are three basic approaches for the interpretation of the different psychic phenomena: the organic, the psychological, and the sacred approach. The sacred approach forms the primordial foundation for any psychopathological development, innate to the prelogical human mind. Until the second millennium B.C., the Great Mother ruled the Universe and shamans cured the different mental disorders. But, around 1500 B.C., the predominance of the Hellenic civilization over the Pelasgic brought great changes in the theological and psychopathological fields. The Hellenes eliminated the cult of the Great Mother and worshiped Dias, a male deity, the father of gods and humans. With the Father's help and divinatory powers, the warrior-hero made diagnoses and found the right therapies for mental illness; in this way, sacerdotal psychiatry was born. PMID:24725988

  7. Ancient aqueous sedimentation on Mars

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Goldspiel, Jules M.; Squyres, Steven W.

    1991-01-01

    Viking orbiter images are presently used to calculate approximate volumes for the inflow valleys of the ancient cratered terrain of Mars; a sediment-transport model is then used to conservatively estimate the amount of water required for the removal of this volume of debris from the valleys. The results obtained for four basins with well-developed inflow networks indicate basin sediment thicknesses of the order of tens to hundreds of meters. The calculations further suggest that the quantity of water required to transport the sediment is greater than that which could be produced by a single discharge of the associated aquifer, unless the material of the Martian highlands was very fine-grained and noncohesive to depths of hundreds of meters.

  8. Archimedes: Accelerator Reveals Ancient Text

    SciTech Connect

    Bergmann, Uwe

    2004-02-24

    Archimedes (287-212 BC), who is famous for shouting 'Eureka' (I found it) is considered one of the most brilliant thinkers of all times. The 10th-century parchment document known as the 'Archimedes Palimpsest' is the unique source for two of the great Greek's treatises. Some of the writings, hidden under gold forgeries, have recently been revealed at the Stanford Synchrotron Radiation Laboratory at SLAC. An intense x-ray beam produced in a particle accelerator causes the iron in original ink, which has been partly erased and covered, to send out a fluorescence glow. A detector records the signal and a digital image showing the ancient writings is produced. Please join us in this fascinating journey of a 1,000-year-old parchment from its origin in the Mediterranean city of Constantinople to a particle accelerator in Menlo Park.

  9. Ancient legacy of cranial surgery.

    PubMed

    Ghannaee Arani, Mohammad; Fakharian, Esmaeil; Sarbandi, Fahimeh

    2012-01-01

    Cranial injury, as it is known today, is not a new concern of modern medicine. On stepping on the earth, the man was in reality encountered with various types of injuries, particularly those of a cranial nature. Leading a life, whether wild or civilized, has always been associated with injuries for human race from the very beginning of birth. Therefore, managing cases of this type has gradually forced him to establish and fix strategies and approaches to handle the dilemma. This study is thus focused on tracing the first documented traumatized cranial cases ever reported, ranging from those trials attributed to our ancient predecessors to the identical examples in the present time. PMID:24396747

  10. Ancient aqueous sedimentation on Mars

    SciTech Connect

    Goldspiel, J.M.; Squyres, S.W. )

    1991-02-01

    Viking orbiter images are presently used to calculate approximate volumes for the inflow valleys of the ancient cratered terrain of Mars; a sediment-transport model is then used to conservatively estimate the amount of water required for the removal of this volume of debris from the valleys. The results obtained for four basins with well-developed inflow networks indicate basin sediment thicknesses of the order of tens to hundreds of meters. The calculations further suggest that the quantity of water required to transport the sediment is greater than that which could be produced by a single discharge of the associated aquifer, unless the material of the Martian highlands was very fine-grained and noncohesive to depths of hundreds of meters. 48 refs.

  11. HIV thrives in ancient traditions.

    PubMed

    Shreedhar, J

    1995-01-01

    Participation in ancient traditions is facilitating the current spread of HIV through India. For most of the year, Koovagam is a typical Indian village. Each April on the night of the full moon, however, the Chittirai-Pournami festival is held in Koovagam, a celebration in homage to Aravan during which up to 2000 pilgrims from across the country engage in thousands of acts of unprotected sexual intercourse. Aravan is a man depicted in a Hindu tale who asked to experience sexual bliss before being sacrificed to the gods. To fulfill this last wish, the god Krishna is said to have assumed the form of a beautiful woman and had sexual intercourse with Aravan. Many of the festival participants are hijras, eunuchs and transsexuals who sell sex for a living. Hijras may be accompanied by men who serve as their sex partners and bodyguards. Surveys suggest that one-third of the 10,000 hijras in New Delhi may be infected with HIV. Other participants are known as dangas, men who are either married or single and appear to lead strictly heterosexual lives throughout the year except during the Chittirai-Pournami festival when they dress as women and sell sex to other men attending the festival. The panthis comprise another group of participants and tend to be either single or married men who attend the festival to have sex with the hijras and dangas for fees up to ten rupees, approximately US$0.50, per sexual encounter. Prostitution within the devadasi sect and the sale of young, virgin girls in the state of Andhra Pradesh to the highest male bidders are other examples of how ancient traditions are facilitating the current spread of HIV in India. PMID:12319989

  12. Ancient and Novel Small RNA Pathways Compensate for the Loss of piRNAs in Multiple Independent Nematode Lineages

    PubMed Central

    Sarkies, Peter; Selkirk, Murray E.; Jones, John T.; Blok, Vivian; Boothby, Thomas; Goldstein, Bob; Hanelt, Ben; Ardila-Garcia, Alex; Fast, Naomi M.; Schiffer, Phillip M.; Kraus, Christopher; Taylor, Mark J.; Koutsovoulos, Georgios; Blaxter, Mark L.; Miska, Eric A.

    2015-01-01

    Small RNA pathways act at the front line of defence against transposable elements across the Eukaryota. In animals, Piwi interacting small RNAs (piRNAs) are a crucial arm of this defence. However, the evolutionary relationships among piRNAs and other small RNA pathways targeting transposable elements are poorly resolved. To address this question we sequenced small RNAs from multiple, diverse nematode species, producing the first phylum-wide analysis of how small RNA pathways evolve. Surprisingly, despite their prominence in Caenorhabditis elegans and closely related nematodes, piRNAs are absent in all other nematode lineages. We found that there are at least two evolutionarily distinct mechanisms that compensate for the absence of piRNAs, both involving RNA-dependent RNA polymerases (RdRPs). Whilst one pathway is unique to nematodes, the second involves Dicer-dependent RNA-directed DNA methylation, hitherto unknown in animals, and bears striking similarity to transposon-control mechanisms in fungi and plants. Our results highlight the rapid, context-dependent evolution of small RNA pathways and suggest piRNAs in animals may have replaced an ancient eukaryotic RNA-dependent RNA polymerase pathway to control transposable elements. PMID:25668728

  13. Interpersonal Forgiveness within the Helping Professions: An Attempt to Resolve Differences of Opinion.

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Enright, Robert D.; And Others

    1992-01-01

    Uses Lakatos's philosophy of science as guide for resolving published authors' differences of opinion about interpersonal forgiveness. Reviews ancient writings and current philosophical writings on interpersonal forgiveness. Critiques papers on forgiveness which have counseling implications. Describes process model of interpersonal forgiveness.…

  14. Paleozoic origin of insect large dsDNA viruses.

    PubMed

    Thézé, Julien; Bézier, Annie; Periquet, Georges; Drezen, Jean-Michel; Herniou, Elisabeth A

    2011-09-20

    To understand how extant viruses interact with their hosts, we need a historical framework of their evolutionary association. Akin to retrovirus or hepadnavirus viral fossils present in eukaryotic genomes, bracoviruses are integrated in braconid wasp genomes and are transmitted by Mendelian inheritance. However, unlike viral genomic fossils, they have retained functional machineries homologous to those of large dsDNA viruses pathogenic to arthropods. Using a phylogenomic approach, we resolved the relationships between bracoviruses and their closest free relatives: baculoviruses and nudiviruses. The phylogeny showed that bracoviruses are nested within the nudivirus clade. Bracoviruses establish a bridge between the virus and animal worlds. Their inclusion in a virus phylogeny allowed us to relate free viruses to fossils. The ages of the wasps were used to calibrate the virus phylogeny. Bayesian analyses revealed that insect dsDNA viruses first evolved at ∼310 Mya in the Paleozoic Era during the Carboniferous Period with the first insects. Furthermore the virus diversification time frame during the Mesozoic Era appears linked to the diversification of insect orders; baculoviruses that infect larvae evolved at the same period as holometabolous insects. These results imply ancient coevolution by resource tracking between several insect dsDNA virus families and their hosts, dating back to 310 Mya. PMID:21911395

  15. Early allelic selection in maize as revealed by ancient DNA.

    PubMed

    Jaenicke-Després, Viviane; Buckler, Ed S; Smith, Bruce D; Gilbert, M Thomas P; Cooper, Alan; Doebley, John; Pääbo, Svante

    2003-11-14

    Maize was domesticated from teosinte, a wild grass, by approximately 6300 years ago in Mexico. After initial domestication, early farmers continued to select for advantageous morphological and biochemical traits in this important crop. However, the timing and sequence of character selection are, thus far, known only for morphological features discernible in corn cobs. We have analyzed three genes involved in the control of plant architecture, storage protein synthesis, and starch production from archaeological maize samples from Mexico and the southwestern United States. The results reveal that the alleles typical of contemporary maize were present in Mexican maize by 4400 years ago. However, as recently as 2000 years ago, allelic selection at one of the genes may not yet have been complete. PMID:14615538

  16. Landforms predict phylogenetic structure on one of the world's most ancient surfaces

    PubMed Central

    2008-01-01

    Background The iconic Pilbara in northwestern Australia is an ancient geological and biophysical region that is an important zone of biodiversity, endemism and refugia. It also is overlain by some of the oldest erosion surfaces on Earth, but very little is known about the patterns of biotic diversity within the Pilbara or how they relate to the landscape. We combined phylogenetic and spatial-autocorrelation genetic analyses of mitochondrial DNA data on populations of the gekkotan lizard Lucasium stenodactylum within the Pilbara with geological, distributional and habitat data to test the hypothesis that ancient surface geology predicts current clade-habitat associations in saxicoline animals. Results This is the first detailed phylogenetic examination of a vertebrate organism across the Pilbara region. Our phylogeny provides strong support for a deep and ancient phylogenetic split within L. stenodactylum that distinguishes populations within the Pilbara region from those outside the Pilbara. Within the Pilbara region itself, our phylogeny has identified five major clades whose distribution closely matches different surface geologies of this ancient landscape. Each clade shows strong affinities with particular terrain types and topographic regions, which are directly related to different geological bedrock. Conclusion Together our phylogenetic, distributional, geological and habitat data provide a clear example of ecological diversification across an ancient and heterogeneous landscape. Our favoured hypothesis is that ancestors of the Pilbara lineages radiated into the region at the onset of aridity in Australia approximately 5 mya and locally adapted to the various ancient and highly stable terrain types and the micro-habitats derived from them. In terms of specimen recovery and analysis, we are only beginning to reconstruct the biotic history of this ancient landscape. Our results show the geological history and the habitats derived from them will form an

  17. Intrinsic challenges in ancient microbiome reconstruction using 16S rRNA gene amplification

    PubMed Central

    Ziesemer, Kirsten A.; Mann, Allison E.; Sankaranarayanan, Krithivasan; Schroeder, Hannes; Ozga, Andrew T.; Brandt, Bernd W.; Zaura, Egija; Waters-Rist, Andrea; Hoogland, Menno; Salazar-García, Domingo C.; Aldenderfer, Mark; Speller, Camilla; Hendy, Jessica; Weston, Darlene A.; MacDonald, Sandy J.; Thomas, Gavin H.; Collins, Matthew J.; Lewis, Cecil M.; Hofman, Corinne; Warinner, Christina

    2015-01-01

    To date, characterization of ancient oral (dental calculus) and gut (coprolite) microbiota has been primarily accomplished through a metataxonomic approach involving targeted amplification of one or more variable regions in the 16S rRNA gene. Specifically, the V3 region (E. coli 341–534) of this gene has been suggested as an excellent candidate for ancient DNA amplification and microbial community reconstruction. However, in practice this metataxonomic approach often produces highly skewed taxonomic frequency data. In this study, we use non-targeted (shotgun metagenomics) sequencing methods to better understand skewed microbial profiles observed in four ancient dental calculus specimens previously analyzed by amplicon sequencing. Through comparisons of microbial taxonomic counts from paired amplicon (V3 U341F/534R) and shotgun sequencing datasets, we demonstrate that extensive length polymorphisms in the V3 region are a consistent and major cause of differential amplification leading to taxonomic bias in ancient microbiome reconstructions based on amplicon sequencing. We conclude that systematic amplification bias confounds attempts to accurately reconstruct microbiome taxonomic profiles from 16S rRNA V3 amplicon data generated using universal primers. Because in silico analysis indicates that alternative 16S rRNA hypervariable regions will present similar challenges, we advocate for the use of a shotgun metagenomics approach in ancient microbiome reconstructions. PMID:26563586

  18. Intrinsic challenges in ancient microbiome reconstruction using 16S rRNA gene amplification.

    PubMed

    Ziesemer, Kirsten A; Mann, Allison E; Sankaranarayanan, Krithivasan; Schroeder, Hannes; Ozga, Andrew T; Brandt, Bernd W; Zaura, Egija; Waters-Rist, Andrea; Hoogland, Menno; Salazar-García, Domingo C; Aldenderfer, Mark; Speller, Camilla; Hendy, Jessica; Weston, Darlene A; MacDonald, Sandy J; Thomas, Gavin H; Collins, Matthew J; Lewis, Cecil M; Hofman, Corinne; Warinner, Christina

    2015-01-01

    To date, characterization of ancient oral (dental calculus) and gut (coprolite) microbiota has been primarily accomplished through a metataxonomic approach involving targeted amplification of one or more variable regions in the 16S rRNA gene. Specifically, the V3 region (E. coli 341-534) of this gene has been suggested as an excellent candidate for ancient DNA amplification and microbial community reconstruction. However, in practice this metataxonomic approach often produces highly skewed taxonomic frequency data. In this study, we use non-targeted (shotgun metagenomics) sequencing methods to better understand skewed microbial profiles observed in four ancient dental calculus specimens previously analyzed by amplicon sequencing. Through comparisons of microbial taxonomic counts from paired amplicon (V3 U341F/534R) and shotgun sequencing datasets, we demonstrate that extensive length polymorphisms in the V3 region are a consistent and major cause of differential amplification leading to taxonomic bias in ancient microbiome reconstructions based on amplicon sequencing. We conclude that systematic amplification bias confounds attempts to accurately reconstruct microbiome taxonomic profiles from 16S rRNA V3 amplicon data generated using universal primers. Because in silico analysis indicates that alternative 16S rRNA hypervariable regions will present similar challenges, we advocate for the use of a shotgun metagenomics approach in ancient microbiome reconstructions. PMID:26563586

  19. Vascular medicine and surgery in ancient Egypt.

    PubMed

    Barr, Justin

    2014-07-01

    Lauded alike by ancient civilizations and modern society, pharaonic Egyptian medicine remains an object of fascination today. This article discusses its surprisingly sophisticated understanding of a cardiovascular system. The term "cardiovascular system," however, carries assumptions and meanings to a modern audience, especially readers of this journal, which simply do not apply when considering ancient conceptions of the heart and vessels. For lack of better language, this article will use "cardiovascular" and similar terms while recognizing the anachronistic inaccuracy. After briefly summarizing ancient Egyptian medicine generally, it will review the anatomy, pathology, and treatment of the vasculature. The practice of mummification in ancient Egypt provides a unique opportunity for paleopathology, and the conclusion will explore evidence of arterial disease from a modern scientific perspective. PMID:24970660

  20. Ancient Dry Spells Offer Clues About Drought

    NASA Video Gallery

    New research indicates that the ancient Mesoamerican civilizations of the Mayans and Aztecs amplified droughts in the Yucatán and southern Mexico by clearing rainforests to make room for pastures ...

  1. Ancient Magnetic Reversals: Clues to the Geodynamo.

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Hoffman, Kenneth A.

    1988-01-01

    Discusses the question posed by some that the earth's magnetic field may reverse. States that rocks magnetized by ancient fields may offer clues to the underlying reversal mechanism in the earth's core. (TW)

  2. Introducing Textual Criticisn to Ancient History Students

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Whitehorne, J. E. G.

    1975-01-01

    Describes an experiment made to illustrate to Ancient History students the value of textual criticism and the problems involved in transmitting a text through the centuries by means of imperfectly copied and preserved manuscripts. (CHK)

  3. Ancient history of flatfish research

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Berghahn, Rüdiger; Bennema, Floris Pieter

    2013-01-01

    Owing to both their special appearance and behavior flatfish have attracted the special attention of people since ages. The first records of humans having been in touch with flatfish date back to the Stone Age about 15,000 years B.C. Detailed descriptions were already given in the classical antiquity and were taken up 1400 years later in the Renaissance by the first ichthyologists, encyclopédists, and also by practical men. This was more than 200 years before a number of common flatfish species were given their scientific names by Linnaeus in 1758. Besides morphology, remarkable and sometimes amusing naturalistic observations and figures are bequeathed. Ancient history of flatfish research is still a wide and open array. Examples are presented how the yield of information and interpretation from these times increases with interdisciplinary cooperation including archeologists, zoologists, ichthyologists, historians, art historians, fisheries and fishery biologist. The timeline of this contribution ends with the start of modern fishery research at the end of the 19th century in the course of the rapidly increasing exploitation of fish stocks.

  4. Ancient technology in contemporary surgery.

    PubMed

    Buck, B A

    1982-03-01

    Archaeologists have shown that ancient man developed the ability to produce cutting blades of an extreme degree of sharpness from volcanic glass. The finest of these prismatic blades were produced in Mesoamerica about 2,500 years ago. The technique of production of these blades was rediscovered 12 years ago by Dr. Don Crabtree, who suggested possible uses for the blades in modern surgery. Blades produced by Dr. Crabtree have been used in experimental microsurgery with excellent results. Animal experiments have shown the tensile strength of obsidian produced wounds to be equal to or greater than that of wounds produced by steel scalpels after 14 days of healing. We have been able to demonstrate neither flaking of glass blades into the wounds nor any foreign body reaction in healed wounds. Skin incisions in human patients have likewise healed well without complications. The prismatic glass blade is infinitely sharper than a honed steel edge, and these blades can be produced in a wide variety of shapes and sizes. It is therefore suggested that this type of blade may find an appropriate use in special areas of modern surgery. PMID:7046256

  5. Rethinking the Ancient Sulfur Cycle

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Fike, David A.; Bradley, Alexander S.; Rose, Catherine V.

    2015-05-01

    The sulfur biogeochemical cycle integrates the metabolic activity of multiple microbial pathways (e.g., sulfate reduction, disproportionation, and sulfide oxidation) along with abiotic reactions and geological processes that cycle sulfur through various reservoirs. The sulfur cycle impacts the global carbon cycle and climate primarily through the remineralization of organic carbon. Over geological timescales, cycling of sulfur is closely tied to the redox state of Earth's exosphere through the burial of oxidized (sulfate) and reduced (sulfide) sulfur species in marine sediments. Biological sulfur cycling is associated with isotopic fractionations that can be used to trace the fluxes through various metabolic pathways. The resulting isotopic data provide insights into sulfur cycling in both modern and ancient environments via isotopic signatures in sedimentary sulfate and sulfide phases. Here, we review the deep-time δ34S record of marine sulfates and sulfides in light of recent advances in understanding how isotopic signatures are generated by microbial activity, how these signatures are encoded in marine sediments, and how they may be altered following deposition. The resulting picture shows a sulfur cycle intimately coupled to ambient carbon cycling, where sulfur isotopic records preserved in sedimentary rocks are critically dependent on sedimentological and geochemical conditions (e.g., iron availability) during deposition.

  6. Ancient Admixture in Human History

    PubMed Central

    Patterson, Nick; Moorjani, Priya; Luo, Yontao; Mallick, Swapan; Rohland, Nadin; Zhan, Yiping; Genschoreck, Teri; Webster, Teresa; Reich, David

    2012-01-01

    Population mixture is an important process in biology. We present a suite of methods for learning about population mixtures, implemented in a software package called ADMIXTOOLS, that support formal tests for whether mixture occurred and make it possible to infer proportions and dates of mixture. We also describe the development of a new single nucleotide polymorphism (SNP) array consisting of 629,433 sites with clearly documented ascertainment that was specifically designed for population genetic analyses and that we genotyped in 934 individuals from 53 diverse populations. To illustrate the methods, we give a number of examples that provide new insights about the history of human admixture. The most striking finding is a clear signal of admixture into northern Europe, with one ancestral population related to present-day Basques and Sardinians and the other related to present-day populations of northeast Asia and the Americas. This likely reflects a history of admixture between Neolithic migrants and the indigenous Mesolithic population of Europe, consistent with recent analyses of ancient bones from Sweden and the sequencing of the genome of the Tyrolean “Iceman.” PMID:22960212

  7. [Metallurgic drugs in ancient Japan].

    PubMed

    Sugiyama, S

    2001-01-01

    Advancements in metallurgic and pharmaceutical chemistry in ancient Japan were made by people like Mangan-Shonin, who combined elements from Shinto, Buddhism, and Taoism to take advantage of technologies brought by Chinese and Korean immigrants. The Shonin himself, though it may be considered a wild speculation, could well be such an immigrant. Along with the immigrants, the Shonin established government-subsidized temples (Jingu-ji, Jogaku-ji) throughout the country under sponsorship by the Imperial Court for the purpose of raising funds through private donations. Research and educational activities conducted in these temples ultimately resulted in a well-established body of chemical engineers who could excavate chemical substances as well as alter their natures. According to a list of regional products (Sasaki,19) 1972) up to the 14th century, these chemical substances and their derivative products included iron from the Hitachi region, cast metal from Shimotsuke, swords from Sagami, face powder (lead carbonate) from Ise, mercury, and gold. PMID:11776993

  8. Alternative medicine in ancient and medieval history.

    PubMed

    Prioreschi, P

    2000-10-01

    The author, in an attempt to clarify whether the rise of alternative medicine is a phenomenon characteristic of our time or whether it existed in the past as well, has identified at least three alternative medicines, which developed in ancient Rome, ancient India and in the medieval Islamic world. The circumstances leading to the development of alternative medicine in the past and in our time are discussed and compared. PMID:11000060

  9. Microsatellite typing of ancient maize: insights into the history of agriculture in southern South America

    PubMed Central

    Lia, Verónica V; Confalonieri, Viviana A; Ratto, Norma; Hernández, Julián A. Cámara; Alzogaray, Ana M. Miante; Poggio, Lidia; Brown, Terence A

    2006-01-01

    Archaeological maize specimens from Andean sites of southern South America, dating from 400 to 1400 years before present, were tested for the presence of ancient DNA and three microsatellite loci were typed in the specimens that gave positive results. Genotypes were also obtained for 146 individuals corresponding to modern landraces currently cultivated in the same areas and for 21 plants from Argentinian lowland races. Sequence analysis of cloned ancient DNA products revealed a high incidence of substitutions appearing in only one clone, with transitions prevalent. In the archaeological specimens, there was no evidence of polymorphism at any one of the three microsatellite loci: each exhibited a single allelic variant, identical to the most frequent allele found in contemporary populations belonging to races Amarillo Chico, Amarillo Grande, Blanco and Altiplano. Affiliation between ancient specimens and a set of races from the Andean complex was further supported by assignment tests. The striking genetic uniformity displayed by the ancient specimens and their close relationship with the Andean complex suggest that the latter gene pool has predominated in the western regions of southern South America for at least the past 1400 years. The results support hypotheses suggesting that maize cultivation initially spread into South America via a highland route, rather than through the lowlands. PMID:17476775

  10. Microsatellite typing of ancient maize: insights into the history of agriculture in southern South America.

    PubMed

    Lia, Verónica V; Confalonieri, Viviana A; Ratto, Norma; Hernández, Julián A Cámara; Alzogaray, Ana M Miante; Poggio, Lidia; Brown, Terence A

    2007-02-22

    Archaeological maize specimens from Andean sites of southern South America, dating from 400 to 1400 years before present, were tested for the presence of ancient DNA and three microsatellite loci were typed in the specimens that gave positive results. Genotypes were also obtained for 146 individuals corresponding to modern landraces currently cultivated in the same areas and for 21 plants from Argentinian lowland races. Sequence analysis of cloned ancient DNA products revealed a high incidence of substitutions appearing in only one clone, with transitions prevalent. In the archaeological specimens, there was no evidence of polymorphism at any one of the three microsatellite loci: each exhibited a single allelic variant, identical to the most frequent allele found in contemporary populations belonging to races Amarillo Chico, Amarillo Grande, Blanco and Altiplano. Affiliation between ancient specimens and a set of races from the Andean complex was further supported by assignment tests. The striking genetic uniformity displayed by the ancient specimens and their close relationship with the Andean complex suggest that the latter gene pool has predominated in the western regions of southern South America for at least the past 1400 years. The results support hypotheses suggesting that maize cultivation initially spread into South America via a highland route, rather than through the lowlands. PMID:17476775

  11. Using Ancient Samples in Projection Analysis

    PubMed Central

    Yang, Melinda A.; Slatkin, Montgomery

    2015-01-01

    Projection analysis is a tool that extracts information from the joint allele frequency spectrum to better understand the relationship between two populations. In projection analysis, a test genome is compared to a set of genomes from a reference population. The projection’s shape depends on the historical relationship of the test genome’s population to the reference population. Here, we explore in greater depth the effects on the projection when ancient samples are included in the analysis. First, we conduct a series of simulations in which the ancient sample is directly ancestral to a present-day population (one-population model), or the ancient sample is ancestral to a sister population that diverged before the time of sampling (two-population model). We find that there are characteristic differences between the projections for the one-population and two-population models, which indicate that the projection can be used to determine whether a test genome is directly ancestral to a present-day population or not. Second, we compute projections for several published ancient genomes. We compare two Neanderthals and three ancient human genomes to European, Han Chinese and Yoruba reference panels. We use a previously constructed demographic model and insert these five ancient genomes to assess how well the observed projections are recovered. PMID:26546309

  12. Using Ancient Samples in Projection Analysis.

    PubMed

    Yang, Melinda A; Slatkin, Montgomery

    2016-01-01

    Projection analysis is a tool that extracts information from the joint allele frequency spectrum to better understand the relationship between two populations. In projection analysis, a test genome is compared to a set of genomes from a reference population. The projection's shape depends on the historical relationship of the test genome's population to the reference population. Here, we explore in greater depth the effects on the projection when ancient samples are included in the analysis. First, we conduct a series of simulations in which the ancient sample is directly ancestral to a present-day population (one-population model), or the ancient sample is ancestral to a sister population that diverged before the time of sampling (two-population model). We find that there are characteristic differences between the projections for the one-population and two-population models, which indicate that the projection can be used to determine whether a test genome is directly ancestral to a present-day population or not. Second, we compute projections for several published ancient genomes. We compare two Neanderthals and three ancient human genomes to European, Han Chinese and Yoruba reference panels. We use a previously constructed demographic model and insert these five ancient genomes to assess how well the observed projections are recovered. PMID:26546309

  13. Transnasal excerebration surgery in ancient Egypt.

    PubMed

    Fanous, Andrew A; Couldwell, William T

    2012-04-01

    Ancient Egyptians were pioneers in many fields, including medicine and surgery. Our modern knowledge of anatomy, pathology, and surgical techniques stems from discoveries and observations made by Egyptian physicians and embalmers. In the realm of neurosurgery, ancient Egyptians were the first to elucidate cerebral and cranial anatomy, the first to describe evidence for the role of the spinal cord in the transmission of information from the brain to the extremities, and the first to invent surgical techniques such as trepanning and stitching. In addition, the transnasal approach to skull base and intracranial structures was first devised by Egyptian embalmers to excerebrate the cranial vault during mummification. In this historical vignette, the authors examine paleoradiological and other evidence from ancient Egyptian skulls and mummies of all periods, from the Old Kingdom to Greco-Roman Egypt, to shed light on the development of transnasal surgery in this ancient civilization. The authors confirm earlier observations concerning the laterality of this technique, suggesting that ancient Egyptian excerebration techniques penetrated the skull base mostly on the left side. They also suggest that the original technique used to access the skull base in ancient Egypt was a transethmoidal one, which later evolved to follow a transsphenoidal route similar to the one used today to gain access to pituitary lesions. PMID:22224784

  14. Resolving Problems through Mediation.

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Notar, Susan

    1997-01-01

    Examines state variations in use of mediation to resolve domestic relations disputes. Mediation may be optional or mandatory, requested by the parties or the judge. Mediator qualifications vary considerably. Child support is less likely than custody and visitation to be the sole topic for mediation. More states are likely to use mediation in…

  15. Has Abstractness Been Resolved?

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Al-Omoush, Ahmad

    1989-01-01

    A discussion focusing on the abstractness of analysis in phonology, debated since the 1960s, describes the issue, reviews the literature on the subject, cites specific natural language examples, and examines the extent to which the issue has been resolved. An underlying representation is said to be abstract if it is different from the derived one,…

  16. Ancient hybrid origin of the eastern wolf not yet off the table: a comment on Rutledge et al. (2015).

    PubMed

    Sefc, Kristina M; Koblmüller, Stephan

    2016-02-01

    A recent study of North American canids by Rutledge et al. (Biol. Lett. 11, 20150303 (doi:10.1098/rsbl.2015.0303)) refutes the hypothesized hybrid origin of the eastern wolf (EW) based on genomic evidence against very recent hybridization. However, the analyses do not rule out the possibility of more ancient hybridization. Claims to have resolved the evolutionary origin of the EW are therefore inappropriate. Importantly, though, we plead that uncertainty about the ancient history of the taxon should not affect current conservation policy. PMID:26843554

  17. Beyond antioxidant genes in the ancient NRF2 regulatory network

    PubMed Central

    Lacher, Sarah E.; Lee, Joslynn S.; Wang, Xuting; Campbell, Michelle R.; Bell, Douglas A.; Slattery, Matthew

    2016-01-01

    NRF2, a basic leucine zipper transcription factor encoded by the gene NFE2L2, is a master regulator of the transcriptional response to oxidative stress. NRF2 is structurally and functionally conserved from insects to humans, and it heterodimerizes with the small MAF transcription factors to bind a consensus DNA sequence (the antioxidant response element, or ARE) and regulate gene expression. We have used genome-wide chromatin immunoprecipitation (ChIP-seq) and gene expression data to identify direct NRF2 target genes in Drosophila and humans. These data have allowed us to construct the deeply conserved ancient NRF2 regulatory network – target genes that are conserved from Drosophila to human. The ancient network consists of canonical antioxidant genes, as well as genes related to proteasomal pathways, metabolism, and a number of less expected genes. We have also used enhancer reporter assays and electrophoretic mobility shift assays to confirm NRF2-mediated regulation of ARE (antioxidant response element) activity at a number of these novel target genes. Interestingly, the ancient network also highlights a prominent negative feedback loop; this, combined with the finding that and NRF2-mediated regulatory output is tightly linked to the quality of the ARE it is targeting, suggests that precise regulation of nuclear NRF2 concentration is necessary to achieve proper quantitative regulation of distinct gene sets. Together, these findings highlight the importance of balance in the NRF2-ARE pathway, and indicate that NRF2-mediated regulation of xenobiotic metabolism, glucose metabolism, and proteostasis have been central to this pathway since its inception. PMID:26163000

  18. Cryptic Species in Putative Ancient Asexual Darwinulids (Crustacea, Ostracoda)

    PubMed Central

    Schön, Isa; Pinto, Ricardo L.; Halse, Stuart; Smith, Alison J.; Martens, Koen; Birky, C. William

    2012-01-01

    Background Fully asexually reproducing taxa lack outcrossing. Hence, the classic Biological Species Concept cannot be applied. Methodology/Principal Findings We used DNA sequences from the mitochondrial COI gene and the nuclear ITS2 region to check species boundaries according to the evolutionary genetic (EG) species concept in five morphospecies in the putative ancient asexual ostracod genera, Penthesilenula and Darwinula, from different continents. We applied two methods for detecting cryptic species, namely the K/θ method and the General Mixed Yule Coalescent model (GMYC). We could confirm the existence of species in all five darwinulid morphospecies and additional cryptic diversity in three morphospecies, namely in Penthesilenula brasiliensis, Darwinula stevensoni and in P. aotearoa. The number of cryptic species within one morphospecies varied between seven (P. brasiliensis), five to six (D. stevensoni) and two (P. aotearoa), respectively, depending on the method used. Cryptic species mainly followed continental distributions. We also found evidence for coexistence at the local scale for Brazilian cryptic species of P. brasiliensis and P. aotearoa. Our ITS2 data confirmed that species exist in darwinulids but detected far less EG species, namely two to three cryptic species in P. brasiliensis and no cryptic species at all in the other darwinulid morphospecies. Conclusions/Significance Our results clearly demonstrate that both species and cryptic diversity can be recognized in putative ancient asexual ostracods using the EG species concept, and that COI data are more suitable than ITS2 for this purpose. The discovery of up to eight cryptic species within a single morphospecies will significantly increase estimates of biodiversity in this asexual ostracod group. Which factors, other than long-term geographic isolation, are important for speciation processes in these ancient asexuals remains to be investigated. PMID:22802945

  19. Characterization of Nucleotide Misincorporation Patterns in the Iceman's Mitochondrial DNA

    PubMed Central

    Olivieri, Cristina; Ermini, Luca; Rizzi, Ermanno; Corti, Giorgio; Bonnal, Raoul; Luciani, Stefania; Marota, Isolina; De Bellis, Gianluca; Rollo, Franco

    2010-01-01

    Background The degradation of DNA represents one of the main issues in the genetic analysis of archeological specimens. In the recent years, a particular kind of post-mortem DNA modification giving rise to nucleotide misincorporation (“miscoding lesions”) has been the object of extensive investigations. Methodology/Principal Findings To improve our knowledge regarding the nature and incidence of ancient DNA nucleotide misincorporations, we have utilized 6,859 (629,975 bp) mitochondrial (mt) DNA sequences obtained from the 5,350–5,100-years-old, freeze-desiccated human mummy popularly known as the Tyrolean Iceman or Ötzi. To generate the sequences, we have applied a mixed PCR/pyrosequencing procedure allowing one to obtain a particularly high sequence coverage. As a control, we have produced further 8,982 (805,155 bp) mtDNA sequences from a contemporary specimen using the same system and starting from the same template copy number of the ancient sample. From the analysis of the nucleotide misincorporation rate in ancient, modern, and putative contaminant sequences, we observed that the rate of misincorporation is significantly lower in modern and putative contaminant sequence datasets than in ancient sequences. In contrast, type 2 transitions represent the vast majority (85%) of the observed nucleotide misincorporations in ancient sequences. Conclusions/Significance This study provides a further contribution to the knowledge of nucleotide misincorporation patterns in DNA sequences obtained from freeze-preserved archeological specimens. In the Iceman system, ancient sequences can be clearly distinguished from contaminants on the basis of nucleotide misincorporation rates. This observation confirms a previous identification of the ancient mummy sequences made on a purely phylogenetical basis. The present investigation provides further indication that the majority of ancient DNA damage is reflected by type 2 (cytosine→thymine/guanine→adenine) transitions and

  20. Sequencing degraded DNA from non-destructively sampled museum specimens for RAD-tagging and low-coverage shotgun phylogenetics.

    PubMed

    Tin, Mandy Man-Ying; Economo, Evan Philip; Mikheyev, Alexander Sergeyevich

    2014-01-01

    Ancient and archival DNA samples are valuable resources for the study of diverse historical processes. In particular, museum specimens provide access to biotas distant in time and space, and can provide insights into ecological and evolutionary changes over time. However, archival specimens are difficult to handle; they are often fragile and irreplaceable, and typically contain only short segments of denatured DNA. Here we present a set of tools for processing such samples for state-of-the-art genetic analysis. First, we report a protocol for minimally destructive DNA extraction of insect museum specimens, which produced sequenceable DNA from all of the samples assayed. The 11 specimens analyzed had fragmented DNA, rarely exceeding 100 bp in length, and could not be amplified by conventional PCR targeting the mitochondrial cytochrome oxidase I gene. Our approach made these samples amenable to analysis with commonly used next-generation sequencing-based molecular analytic tools, including RAD-tagging and shotgun genome re-sequencing. First, we used museum ant specimens from three species, each with its own reference genome, for RAD-tag mapping. Were able to use the degraded DNA sequences, which were sequenced in full, to identify duplicate reads and filter them prior to base calling. Second, we re-sequenced six Hawaiian Drosophila species, with millions of years of divergence, but with only a single available reference genome. Despite a shallow coverage of 0.37 ± 0.42 per base, we could recover a sufficient number of overlapping SNPs to fully resolve the species tree, which was consistent with earlier karyotypic studies, and previous molecular studies, at least in the regions of the tree that these studies could resolve. Although developed for use with degraded DNA, all of these techniques are readily applicable to more recent tissue, and are suitable for liquid handling automation. PMID:24828244

  1. Genetic characterization and assessment of authenticity of ancient Korean skeletal remains.

    PubMed

    Lee, Hwan Young; Yoo, Ji-Eun; Park, Myung Jin; Kim, Chong-Youl; Shin, Kyoung-Jin

    2008-06-01

    To study the maternal lineage history of Korea, we extracted DNA from the skeletal remains of 35 museum samples (some dating back to the Paleolithic Age) excavated from 11 local burial sites scattered throughout southern Korea. Mitochondrial DNA (mtDNA) control region sequences (HV1, HV2, and HV3) were successfully determined for 11 samples with no sharing of the control region polymorphisms with individuals involved in the laboratory analyses. Each of the 11 mtDNAs was assigned to the appropriate East Asian mtDNA haplogroup according to the haplogroup-specific control region mutation motif and diagnostic coding region single nucleotide polymorphism. The successful mtDNA haplogroup determination for each ancient Korean mtDNA and the confirmation of the absence of abnormal mutations based on the haplogroup-directed database comparisons indicates that there is no mosaic structure from cross-contamination or sample mix-up or other errors in our mtDNA sequences. The presence of haplogroups B, D, and G in the prehistoric age is consistent with the hypothesis that the early Korean population has a common origin in the northern regions of the Altai Mountains and Lake Baikal of southeastern Siberia. In addition, the modern Korean population, which possesses lineages from both southern and northern haplogroups, suggests additional gene flow from southern Asian haplogroups in recent times, but many more ancient samples need to be analyzed to directly tell whether there was regional continuity or replacement of early lineages by other lineages in ancient Korea. PMID:19130795

  2. Burns treatment in ancient times.

    PubMed

    Pećanac, Marija; Janjić, Zlata; Komarcević, Aleksandar; Pajić, Milos; Dobanovacki, Dusanka; Misković, Sanja Skeledzija

    2013-01-01

    Discovery of fire at the dawn of prehistoric time brought not only the benefits to human beings offering the light and heat, but also misfortune due to burns; and that was the beginning of burns treatment. Egyptian doctors made medicines from plants, animal products and minerals, which they combined with magic and religious procedures. The earliest records described burns dressings with milk from mothers of male babies. Goddess Isis was called upon to help. Some remedies and procedures proved so successful that their application continued for centuries. The Edwin Smith papyrus (1500 BC) mentioned the treatment of burns with honey and grease. Ebers Papyrus (1500 BC) contains descriptions of application of mud, excrement, oil and plant extracts. They also used honey, Aloe and tannic acid to heal burns. Ancient Egyptians did not know about microorganisms but they knew that honey, moldy bread and copper salts could prevent infections from dirt in burns healing. Thyme, opium and belladona were used for pain relief. In the 4th century BC, Hippocrates recorded that Greek and Roman doctors used rendered pig fat, resin and bitumen to treat burns. Mixture of honey and bran, or lotion of wine and myrrh were used by Celsus. Honey was also known in Ayurveda (Indian medicine) time. Ayurvedic records Characa and Sushruta included honey in their dressing aids to purify sores and promote the healing. Burn treatment in Chinese medicine was traditional. It was a compilation of philosophy, knowledge and herbal medicine. The successful treatment of burns started in recent time and it has been made possible by better knowledge of the pathophysiology of thermal injuries and their consequences, medical technology advances and improved surgical techniques. PMID:23888738

  3. The Kalash genetic isolate: ancient divergence, drift, and selection.

    PubMed

    Ayub, Qasim; Mezzavilla, Massimo; Pagani, Luca; Haber, Marc; Mohyuddin, Aisha; Khaliq, Shagufta; Mehdi, Syed Qasim; Tyler-Smith, Chris

    2015-05-01

    The Kalash represent an enigmatic isolated population of Indo-European speakers who have been living for centuries in the Hindu Kush mountain ranges of present-day Pakistan. Previous Y chromosome and mitochondrial DNA markers provided no support for their claimed Greek descent following Alexander III of Macedon's invasion of this region, and analysis of autosomal loci provided evidence of a strong genetic bottleneck. To understand their origins and demography further, we genotyped 23 unrelated Kalash samples on the Illumina HumanOmni2.5M-8 BeadChip and sequenced one male individual at high coverage on an Illumina HiSeq 2000. Comparison with published data from ancient hunter-gatherers and European farmers showed that the Kalash share genetic drift with the Paleolithic Siberian hunter-gatherers and might represent an extremely drifted ancient northern Eurasian population that also contributed to European and Near Eastern ancestry. Since the split from other South Asian populations, the Kalash have maintained a low long-term effective population size (2,319-2,603) and experienced no detectable gene flow from their geographic neighbors in Pakistan or from other extant Eurasian populations. The mean time of divergence between the Kalash and other populations currently residing in this region was estimated to be 11,800 (95% confidence interval = 10,600-12,600) years ago, and thus they represent present-day descendants of some of the earliest migrants into the Indian sub-continent from West Asia. PMID:25937445

  4. Molecular mechanism of resolving trinucleotide repeat hairpin by helicases.

    PubMed

    Qiu, Yupeng; Niu, Hengyao; Vukovic, Lela; Sung, Patrick; Myong, Sua

    2015-06-01

    Trinucleotide repeat (TNR) expansion is the root cause for many known congenital neurological and muscular disorders in human including Huntington's disease, fragile X syndrome, and Friedreich's ataxia. The stable secondary hairpin structures formed by TNR may trigger fork stalling during replication, causing DNA polymerase slippage and TNR expansion. Srs2 and Sgs1 are two helicases in yeast that resolve TNR hairpins during DNA replication and prevent genome expansion. Using single-molecule fluorescence, we investigated the unwinding mechanism by which Srs2 and Sgs1 resolves TNR hairpin and compared it with unwinding of duplex DNA. While Sgs1 unwinds both structures indiscriminately, Srs2 displays repetitive unfolding of TNR hairpin without fully unwinding it. Such activity of Srs2 shows dependence on the folding strength and the total length of TNR hairpin. Our results reveal a disparate molecular mechanism of Srs2 and Sgs1 that may contribute differently to efficient resolving of the TNR hairpin. PMID:26004439

  5. History through Art and Architecture: Ancient Greek Architecture [and] Ancient Greek Sculpture. Teacher's Manual.

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Campbell, Ann

    This document consists of two teaching manuals designed to accompany a commercially-available "multicultural, interdisciplinary video program," consisting of four still videotape programs (72 minutes, 226 frames), one teaching poster, and these two manuals. "Teacher's Manual: Ancient Greek Architecture" covers: "Ancient Greek Architecture 1,"…

  6. New interpretation of the ancient constellations

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Dementev, M. S.

    New method of study of the ancient constellations and mythes is discussed. It is based on the comparison of two maps - the sky and the Earth. The Stellar map is built in an equatorial system of coordinates, the geografic map - in the Mercator's projection and of the same scale. The former map is put on the laster one. The constellation of Pleiades (seven daughter of Atlant) is placed on the meridian of Atlant (Western coast of Africa). If the Stellar map is constructed for a epoch J-3000 (3000 years up to B.C.) then we could found the following. The constellations Andromeda (the daughter of the Ethiopian tsar), Cetus, Perseus and Cassiopeia (mother of Andromeda) are projected on the centre, south and west of Ancient Ethiopia and Mediterranean Sea, respectively. That is all the constellations fall to the places, where events described in mythes occured. A constellation Cepheus (Arabian name is "Burning") covers the Caucasus. Possibly, before a epoch J-1000 this group of stars was connected with Prometheus. It is known Prometheus was chained to the Caucasian rock because of stealing of a fire. Ancient Chineses divided the sky in other way. They called "The Heavenly Town" the area of sky consisting of stars in Herculis, Aquilae and Ophiuchi. Parts of the mentioned constellation were called as a provinces in Ancient China. If the Heavenly Town locate near the Ancient China then the Greek constellations (Andromeda, Perseus and Cetus) will appear over Africa. Three important conclusions follow from this: (i) the geography of the Earth is reflected on the sky; (ii) the ancient astronomers were investigating a connection between the sky and Earth; (iii) the ancient peoples exchanged by the information about a construction of the world.

  7. Ancient humans and the origin of modern humans.

    PubMed

    Kelso, Janet; Prüfer, Kay

    2014-12-01

    Recent advances in sequencing technologies and molecular methods have facilitated the sequencing of DNA from ancient human remains which has, in turn, provided unprecedented insight into human history. Within the past 4 years the genomes of Neandertals and Denisovans, as well as the genomes of at least two early modern humans, have been sequenced. These sequences showed that there have been several episodes of admixture between modern and archaic groups; including admixture from Neandertals into modern human populations outside of Africa, and admixture from Denisovans into modern human populations in Oceania. Recent results indicate that some of these introgressed regions may have been advantageous for modern humans as they expanded into new regions outside of Africa. PMID:25286439

  8. Studies of Ancient Lice Reveal Unsuspected Past Migrations of Vectors

    PubMed Central

    Drali, Rezak; Mumcuoglu, Kosta Y.; Yesilyurt, Gonca; Raoult, Didier

    2015-01-01

    Lice are among the oldest parasites of humans representing an excellent marker of the evolution and migration of our species over time. Here, we analyzed by real-time polymerase chain reaction (RT-PCR) developed in this study the mitochondrial DNA of seven ancient head louse eggs found on hair remains recovered from two sites in Israel: 1) five nits dating from Chalcolithic period (4,000 bc) were found in the Cave of the Treasure located at Nahal Mishmar, in the Judean Desert and 2) two nits dating from Early Islamic Period (ad 650–810) were found in Nahal Omer in the Arava Valley (between Dead Sea and Red Sea). Our results suggest that these eggs belonged to people originating from west Africa based on identification of the louse mitochondrial sub-clade specific to that region. PMID:26078317

  9. Studies of Ancient Lice Reveal Unsuspected Past Migrations of Vectors.

    PubMed

    Drali, Rezak; Mumcuoglu, Kosta Y; Yesilyurt, Gonca; Raoult, Didier

    2015-09-01

    Lice are among the oldest parasites of humans representing an excellent marker of the evolution and migration of our species over time. Here, we analyzed by real-time polymerase chain reaction (RT-PCR) developed in this study the mitochondrial DNA of seven ancient head louse eggs found on hair remains recovered from two sites in Israel: 1) five nits dating from Chalcolithic period (4,000 bc) were found in the Cave of the Treasure located at Nahal Mishmar, in the Judean Desert and 2) two nits dating from Early Islamic Period (ad 650-810) were found in Nahal Omer in the Arava Valley (between Dead Sea and Red Sea). Our results suggest that these eggs belonged to people originating from west Africa based on identification of the louse mitochondrial sub-clade specific to that region. PMID:26078317

  10. Characterizing DNA preservation in degraded specimens of Amara alpina (Carabidae: Coleoptera).

    PubMed

    Heintzman, Peter D; Elias, Scott A; Moore, Karen; Paszkiewicz, Konrad; Barnes, Ian

    2014-05-01

    DNA preserved in degraded beetle (Coleoptera) specimens, including those derived from dry-stored museum and ancient permafrost-preserved environments, could provide a valuable resource for researchers interested in species and population histories over timescales from decades to millenia. However, the potential of these samples as genetic resources is currently unassessed. Here, using Sanger and Illumina shotgun sequence data, we explored DNA preservation in specimens of the ground beetle Amara alpina, from both museum and ancient environments. Nearly all museum specimens had amplifiable DNA, with the maximum amplifiable fragment length decreasing with age. Amplification of DNA was only possible in 45% of ancient specimens. Preserved mitochondrial DNA fragments were significantly longer than those of nuclear DNA in both museum and ancient specimens. Metagenomic characterization of extracted DNA demonstrated that parasite-derived sequences, including Wolbachia and Spiroplasma, are recoverable from museum beetle specimens. Ancient DNA extracts contained beetle DNA in amounts comparable to museum specimens. Overall, our data demonstrate that there is great potential for both museum and ancient specimens of beetles in future genetic studies, and we see no reason why this would not be the case for other orders of insect. PMID:24266987

  11. False positives complicate ancient pathogen identifications using high-throughput shotgun sequencing

    PubMed Central

    2014-01-01

    Background Identification of historic pathogens is challenging since false positives and negatives are a serious risk. Environmental non-pathogenic contaminants are ubiquitous. Furthermore, public genetic databases contain limited information regarding these species. High-throughput sequencing may help reliably detect and identify historic pathogens. Results We shotgun-sequenced 8 16th-century Mixtec individuals from the site of Teposcolula Yucundaa (Oaxaca, Mexico) who are reported to have died from the huey cocoliztli (‘Great Pestilence’ in Nahautl), an unknown disease that decimated native Mexican populations during the Spanish colonial period, in order to identify the pathogen. Comparison of these sequences with those deriving from the surrounding soil and from 4 precontact individuals from the site found a wide variety of contaminant organisms that confounded analyses. Without the comparative sequence data from the precontact individuals and soil, false positives for Yersinia pestis and rickettsiosis could have been reported. Conclusions False positives and negatives remain problematic in ancient DNA analyses despite the application of high-throughput sequencing. Our results suggest that several studies claiming the discovery of ancient pathogens may need further verification. Additionally, true single molecule sequencing’s short read lengths, inability to sequence through DNA lesions, and limited ancient-DNA-specific technical development hinder its application to palaeopathology. PMID:24568097

  12. Diagnosis and management of retroperitoneal ancient schwannomas

    PubMed Central

    Choudry, Haroon A; Nikfarjam, Mehrdad; Liang, John J; Kimchi, Eric T; Conter, Robert; Gusani, Niraj J; Staveley-O'Carroll, Kevin F

    2009-01-01

    Background Ancient schwannomas are degenerate peripheral nerve sheath tumors that very rarely occur in the retroperitoneum. They generally reach large proportions before producing symptoms due to mass effect. We describe three cases of retroperitoneal ancient schwannomas and discuss the diagnosis and management of these tumors. Case presentations Three female patients with retroperitoneal ancient schwannomas were reviewed. One patient presented with several weeks of upper abdominal pain and lower chest discomfort, whereas back pain and leg pain with associated weakness were predominant symptoms in the remaining two. Abdominal imaging findings demonstrated heterogeneous masses in the retroperitoneum with demarcated margins, concerning for malignancy. The patients successfully had radical excision of their tumors. Histological examination showed encapsulated tumors that displayed alternating areas of dense cellularity and areas of myxoid matrix consistent with a diagnosis of ancient schwannoma. Conclusion A diagnosis of ancient schwannoma should be entertained for any heterogeneous, well encapsulated mass in the retroperitoneum. In these cases less radical surgical resection should be considered as malignant transformation of these tumors is extremely rare and recurrence is uncommon following excision. PMID:19187535

  13. The Ancient Martian Climate System

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Haberle, Robert M.

    2014-01-01

    Today Mars is a cold, dry, desert planet. The atmosphere is thin and liquid water is not stable. But there is evidence that very early in its history it was warmer and wetter. Since Mariner 9 first detected fluvial features on its ancient terrains researchers have been trying to understand what climatic conditions could have permitted liquid water to flow on the surface. Though the evidence is compelling, the problem is not yet solved. The main issue is coping with the faint young sun. During the period when warmer conditions prevailed 3.5-3.8 Gy the sun's luminosity was approximately 25% less than it is today. How can we explain the presence of liquid water on the surface of Mars under such conditions? A similar problem exists for Earth, which would have frozen over under a faint sun even though the evidence suggests otherwise. Attempts to solve the "Faint Young Sun Paradox" rely on greenhouse warming from an atmosphere with a different mass and composition than we see today. This is true for both Mars and Earth. However, it is not a straightforward solution. Any greenhouse theory must (a) produce the warming and rainfall needed, (b) have a plausible source for the gases required, (c) be sustainable, and (d) explain how the atmosphere evolved to its present state. These are challenging requirements and judging from the literature they have yet to be met. In this talk I will review the large and growing body of work on the early Mars climate system. I will take a holistic approach that involves many disciplines since our goal is to present an integrated view that touches on each of the requirements listed in the preceding paragraph. I will begin with the observational evidence, which comes from the geology, mineralogy, and isotopic data. Each of the data sets presents a consistent picture of a warmer and wetter past with a thicker atmosphere. How much warmer and wetter and how much thicker is a matter of debate, but conditions then were certainly different than

  14. Ancient voyaging and Polynesian origins.

    PubMed

    Soares, Pedro; Rito, Teresa; Trejaut, Jean; Mormina, Maru; Hill, Catherine; Tinkler-Hundal, Emma; Braid, Michelle; Clarke, Douglas J; Loo, Jun-Hun; Thomson, Noel; Denham, Tim; Donohue, Mark; Macaulay, Vincent; Lin, Marie; Oppenheimer, Stephen; Richards, Martin B

    2011-02-11

    The "Polynesian motif" defines a lineage of human mtDNA that is restricted to Austronesian-speaking populations and is almost fixed in Polynesians. It is widely thought to support a rapid dispersal of maternal lineages from Taiwan ~4000 years ago (4 ka), but the chronological resolution of existing control-region data is poor, and an East Indonesian origin has also been proposed. By analyzing 157 complete mtDNA genomes, we show that the motif itself most likely originated >6 ka in the vicinity of the Bismarck Archipelago, and its immediate ancestor is >8 ka old and virtually restricted to Near Oceania. This indicates that Polynesian maternal lineages from Island Southeast Asia gained a foothold in Near Oceania much earlier than dispersal from either Taiwan or Indonesia 3-4 ka would predict. However, we find evidence in minor lineages for more recent two-way maternal gene flow between Island Southeast Asia and Near Oceania, likely reflecting movements along a "voyaging corridor" between them, as previously proposed on archaeological grounds. Small-scale mid-Holocene movements from Island Southeast Asia likely transmitted Austronesian languages to the long-established Southeast Asian colonies in the Bismarcks carrying the Polynesian motif, perhaps also providing the impetus for the expansion into Polynesia. PMID:21295281

  15. Genetic analysis of a Scytho-Siberian skeleton and its implications for ancient Central Asian migrations.

    PubMed

    Ricaut, François X; Keyser-Tracqui, C; Bourgeois, J; Crubézy, E; Ludes, B

    2004-02-01

    The excavation of a frozen grave on the Kizil site (dated to be 2500 years old) in the Altai Republic (Central Asia) revealed a skeleton belonging to the Scytho-Siberian population. DNA was extracted from a bone sample and analyzed by autosomal STRs (short tandem repeats) and by sequencing the hypervariable region I (HV1) of the mitochondrial DNA. The resulting STR profile, mitochondrial haplotype, and haplogroup were compared with data from modern Eurasian and northern native American populations and were found only in European populations historically influenced by ancient nomadic tribes of Central Asia. PMID:15222683

  16. The ancient Chinese notes on hydrogeology

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Zhou, Yu; Zwahlen, François; Wang, Yanxin

    2011-08-01

    The ancient Chinese notes on hydrogeology are summarized and interpreted, along with records of some related matters, like groundwater exploration and utilization, karst springs, water circulation, water conservation and saline-land transformation, mine drainage, and environmental hydrogeology. The report focuses only on the earliest recorded notes, mostly up until the Han Dynasty (206 BC - AD 25). Besides the references cited, the discussion in this report is based mainly on archaeological material, the preserved written classic literature, and some assumptions and/or conclusions that have been handed down in legends to later ages. Although most material relates to ancient China, the lessons learned may have practical significance worldwide. Compared to other contemporary parts of the world, ancient China, without doubt, took the lead in the field of groundwater hydrology. The great achievements and experience of the Chinese ancestors should provide motivation and inspiration for hydrogeologists to carry out their scientific research and exploration passionately and actively.

  17. Palaeoparasitology - Human Parasites in