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Sample records for ancient dna strontium

  1. Ancient DNA, Strontium isotopes, and osteological analyses shed light on social and kinship organization of the Later Stone Age

    PubMed Central

    Haak, Wolfgang; Brandt, Guido; de Jong, Hylke N.; Meyer, Christian; Ganslmeier, Robert; Heyd, Volker; Hawkesworth, Chris; Pike, Alistair W. G.; Meller, Harald; Alt, Kurt W.

    2008-01-01

    In 2005 four outstanding multiple burials were discovered near Eulau, Germany. The 4,600-year-old graves contained groups of adults and children buried facing each other. Skeletal and artifactual evidence and the simultaneous interment of the individuals suggest the supposed families fell victim to a violent event. In a multidisciplinary approach, archaeological, anthropological, geochemical (radiogenic isotopes), and molecular genetic (ancient DNA) methods were applied to these unique burials. Using autosomal, mitochondrial, and Y-chromosomal markers, we identified genetic kinship among the individuals. A direct child-parent relationship was detected in one burial, providing the oldest molecular genetic evidence of a nuclear family. Strontium isotope analyses point to different origins for males and children versus females. By this approach, we gain insight into a Late Stone Age society, which appears to have been exogamous and patrilocal, and in which genetic kinship seems to be a focal point of social organization. PMID:19015520

  2. Ancient DNA, Strontium isotopes, and osteological analyses shed light on social and kinship organization of the Later Stone Age.

    PubMed

    Haak, Wolfgang; Brandt, Guido; de Jong, Hylke N; Meyer, Christian; Ganslmeier, Robert; Heyd, Volker; Hawkesworth, Chris; Pike, Alistair W G; Meller, Harald; Alt, Kurt W

    2008-11-25

    In 2005 four outstanding multiple burials were discovered near Eulau, Germany. The 4,600-year-old graves contained groups of adults and children buried facing each other. Skeletal and artifactual evidence and the simultaneous interment of the individuals suggest the supposed families fell victim to a violent event. In a multidisciplinary approach, archaeological, anthropological, geochemical (radiogenic isotopes), and molecular genetic (ancient DNA) methods were applied to these unique burials. Using autosomal, mitochondrial, and Y-chromosomal markers, we identified genetic kinship among the individuals. A direct child-parent relationship was detected in one burial, providing the oldest molecular genetic evidence of a nuclear family. Strontium isotope analyses point to different origins for males and children versus females. By this approach, we gain insight into a Late Stone Age society, which appears to have been exogamous and patrilocal, and in which genetic kinship seems to be a focal point of social organization.

  3. 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

  4. [Ancient DNA: principles and methodologies].

    PubMed

    De Angelis, Flavio; Scorrano, Gabriele; Rickards, Olga

    2013-01-01

    Paleogenetics is providing increasing evidence about the biological characteristics of ancient populations. This paper examines the guiding principles and methodologies to the study of ancient DNA with constant references to the state of the art in this fascinating disciplin.

  5. Epigenetics of Ancient DNA

    PubMed Central

    Zhenilo, S. V.; Sokolov, A.S.; Prokhortchouk, E. B.

    2016-01-01

    Initially, the study of DNA isolated from ancient specimens had been based on the analysis of the primary nucleotide sequence. This approach has allowed researchers to study the evolutionary changes that occur in different populations and determine the influence of the environment on genetic selection. However, the improvement of methodological approaches to genome-wide analysis has opened up new possibilities in the search for the epigenetic mechanisms involved in the regulation of gene expression. It was discovered recently that the methylation status of the regulatory elements of the HOXD cluster and MEIS1 gene changed during human evolution. Epigenetic changes in these genes played a key role in the evolution of the limbs of modern humans. Recent works have demonstrated that it is possible to determine the transcriptional activity of genes in ancient DNA samples by combining information on DNA methylation and the DNAaseI hypersensitive sequences located at the transcription start sites of genes. In the nearest future, if a preserved fossils brain is found, it will be possible to identify the evolutionary changes in the higher nervous system associated with epigenetic differences. PMID:27795845

  6. Synchrotron Study of Strontium in Modern and Ancient Human Bones

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Pingitore, N. E.; Cruz-Jimenez, G.

    2001-05-01

    Archaeologists use the strontium in human bone to reconstruct diet and migration in ancient populations. Because mammals discriminate against strontium relative to calcium, carnivores show lower bone Sr/Ca ratios than herbivores. Thus, in a single population, bone Sr/Ca ratios can discriminate a meat-rich from a vegetarian diet. Also, the ratio of 87-Sr to 86-Sr in soils varies with the underlying geology; incorporated into the food chain, this local signature becomes embedded in our bones. The Sr isotopic ratio in the bones of individuals or populations which migrate to a different geologic terrane will gradually change as bone remodels. In contrast, the isotopic ratio of tooth enamel is fixed at an early age and is not altered later in life. Addition of Sr to bone during post-mortem residence in moist soil or sediment compromises application of the Sr/Ca or Sr-isotope techniques. If this post-mortem Sr resides in a different atomic environment than the Sr deposited in vivo, x-ray absorption spectroscopy could allow us to distinguish pristine from contaminated, and thus unreliable, samples. Initial examination of a suite of modern and ancient human and animal bones by extended x-ray absorption fine structure (EXAFS) showed no obvious differences between the fresh and buried materials. We note, with obvious concern, that the actual location of Sr in modern bone is controversial: there is evidence both that Sr substitutes for Ca and that Sr is sorbed on the surfaces of bone crystallites. Additional material is being studied.

  7. Ancient DNA extraction from plants.

    PubMed

    Kistler, Logan

    2012-01-01

    A variety of protocols for DNA extraction from archaeological and paleobotanical plant specimens have been proposed. This is not surprising given the range of taxa and tissue types that may be preserved and the variety of conditions in which that preservation may take place. Commercially available DNA extraction kits can be used to recover ancient plant DNA, but modifications to standard approaches are often necessary to improve yield. In this chapter, I describe two protocols for extracting DNA from small amounts of ancient plant tissue. The CTAB protocol, which I recommend for use with single seeds, utilizes an incubation period in extraction buffer and subsequent chloroform extraction followed by DNA purification and suspension. The PTB protocol, which I recommend for use with gourd rind and similar tissues, utilizes an overnight incubation of pulverized tissue in extraction buffer, removal of the tissue by centrifugation, and DNA extraction from the buffer using commercial plant DNA extraction kits.

  8. Ancient DNA and human history.

    PubMed

    Slatkin, Montgomery; Racimo, Fernando

    2016-06-07

    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.

  9. 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

  10. Improving ancient DNA genome assembly

    PubMed Central

    Nieselt, Kay

    2017-01-01

    Most reconstruction methods for genomes of ancient origin that are used today require a closely related reference. In order to identify genomic rearrangements or the deletion of whole genes, de novo assembly has to be used. However, because of inherent problems with ancient DNA, its de novo assembly is highly complicated. In order to tackle the diversity in the length of the input reads, we propose a two-layer approach, where multiple assemblies are generated in the first layer, which are then combined in the second layer. We used this two-layer assembly to generate assemblies for two different ancient samples and compared the results to current de novo assembly approaches. We are able to improve the assembly with respect to the length of the contigs and can resolve more repetitive regions. PMID:28392981

  11. 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.

  12. 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

  13. Strontium

    USGS Publications Warehouse

    Ober, J.A.

    1995-01-01

    Part of the 1994 Industrial Minerals Review. The production, consumption, and applications of strontium are reviewed. Consumption for the year is estimated to have been about 35 kt for strontium contained in celestite, strontium carbonate, and strontium nitrate. Exports of strontium totaled only about 1.1 kt for the year. U.S. strontium imports and consumption increased about 30 percent in 1994 due to increased domestic production of color television picture tube glass. The average customs value of celestite coming into the U.S. was about $75/t, strontium carbonate was valued at $661/t, and strontium nitrate was valued at about $1,069/t.

  14. [Biological evolution and ancient DNA].

    PubMed

    Debruyne, Régis; Barriel, Véronique

    2006-05-01

    Twenty years after the advent of ancient DNA studies, this discipline seems to have reached the maturity formerly lacking to the fulfilment of its objectives. In its early development paleogenetics, as it is now acknowledged, had to cope with very limited data due to the technical limitations of molecular biology. It led to phylogenetic assumptions often limited in their scope and sometimes non-focused or even spurious results that cast the reluctance of the scientific community. This time seems now over and huge amounts of sequences have become available which overcome the former limitations and bridge the gap between paleogenetics, genomics and population biology. The recent studies over the charismatic woolly mammoth (independent sequencing of the whole mitochondrial genome and of millions of base pairs of the nuclear genome) exemplify the growing accuracy of ancient DNA studies thanks to new molecular approaches. From the earliest publications up to now, the number of mammoth nucleotides was multiplied by 100,000. Likewise, populational approaches of ice-age taxa provide new historical scenarios about the diversification and extinction of the Pleistocene megafauna on the one hand, and about the processes of domestication of animal and vegetal species by Man on the other. They also shed light on the differential structure of molecular diversity between short-term populational research (below 2 My) and long-term (over 2 My) phylogenetic approaches. All those results confirm the growing importance of paleogenetics among the evolutionary biology disciplines.

  15. Strontium

    USGS Publications Warehouse

    Ober, J.A.

    1996-01-01

    Part of the Annual Commodities Review 1995. In 1995, U.S. strontium imports and consumption increased nearly 30 percent due to increased domestic production of color television picture tube glass. However, strontium compound exports fell during 1995. Strontium is also used in the production of permanent ceramic ferrite magnets. Strontium nitrate, strontium chromate, and strontium chloride are also commonly used materials. Although the development of an affordable flatscreen display could eliminate the need for strontium in television production, this technology is not expected to be perfected in the immediate future.

  16. gargammel: a sequence simulator for ancient DNA.

    PubMed

    Renaud, Gabriel; Hanghøj, Kristian; Willerslev, Eske; Orlando, Ludovic

    2016-10-29

    Ancient DNA has emerged as a remarkable tool to infer the history of extinct species and past populations. However, many of its characteristics, such as extensive fragmentation, damage and contamination, can influence downstream analyses. To help investigators measure how these could impact their analyses in silico, we have developed gargammel, a package that simulates ancient DNA fragments given a set of known reference genomes. Our package simulates the entire molecular process from post-mortem DNA fragmentation and DNA damage to experimental sequencing errors, and reproduces most common bias observed in ancient DNA datasets.

  17. Detecting hybridization using ancient DNA.

    PubMed

    Schaefer, Nathan K; Shapiro, Beth; Green, Richard E

    2016-06-01

    It is well established that related species hybridize and that this can have varied but significant effects on speciation and environmental adaptation. It should therefore come as no surprise that hybridization is not limited to species that are alive today. In the last several decades, advances in technologies for recovering and sequencing DNA from fossil remains have enabled the assembly of high-coverage genome sequences for a growing diversity of organisms, including many that are extinct. Thanks to the development of new statistical approaches for detecting and quantifying admixture from genomic data, genomes from extinct populations have proven useful both in revealing previously unknown hybridization events and informing the study of hybridization between living organisms. Here, we review some of the key recent statistical innovations for detecting ancient hybridization using genomewide sequence data and discuss how these innovations have revised our understanding of human evolutionary history. © 2016 John Wiley & Sons Ltd.

  18. Detecting hybridization using ancient DNA

    PubMed Central

    Schaefer, Nathan K.; Shapiro, Beth; Green, Richard E.

    2016-01-01

    It is well established that related species hybridize and that this can have varied but significant effects on speciation and environmental adaptation. It should therefore come as no surprise that hybridization is not limited to species that are alive today. In the last several decades, advances in technologies for recovering and sequencing DNA from fossil remains have enabled the assembly of high-coverage genome sequences for a growing diversity of organisms, including many that are extinct. Thanks to the development of new statistical approaches for detecting and quantifying admixture from genomic data, genomes from extinct populations have proven useful both in revealing previously unknown hybridization events and informing the study of hybridization between living organisms. Here, we review some of the key recent statistical innovations for detecting ancient hybridization using genome-wide sequence data, and discuss how these innovations have revised our understanding of human evolutionary history. PMID:26826668

  19. Strontium

    USGS Publications Warehouse

    Ober, J.A.

    2000-01-01

    Mexico is the leading producer of celestite, the most common strontium ore. Chemical Products is the only major US maker of strontium compounds. It produces all of its strontium carbonate from imported Mexican celestite. Mexico is also a large producer of strontium carbonate, as are China, Germany, Japan and the Republic of Korea. There has been no celestite production in the United States since 1959.

  20. Strontium

    USGS Publications Warehouse

    Ober, J.A.

    2006-01-01

    China, Mexico, Spain and Turkey are the world's leading producers of celestite (strontium sulphate). These countries accounted for 98% of the total world production in 2005. For the same period, US apparent consumption of strontium decreased to 12.3 kt. Imports were 21.2 kt, of which 84% came from Mexico. Imports of celestite and strontium carbonate decreased 71% and 24% respectively.

  1. Strontium

    USGS Publications Warehouse

    Ober, J.A.

    1994-01-01

    Production figures are not published for stronium carbonate because there is only one company producing strontium carbonate domestically. Strontium carbonate is produced in the U.S. from imported celestite. Consumption can be estimated from trade data published by the U.S. Bureau of the Census. Consumption is estimated at approximately 24.5 kt of strontium. The largest end-use of strontium carbonate is in the production of faceplate glass for color television picturetubes. Other applications and markets for strontium are discussed.

  2. 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...

  3. 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...

  4. Strontium

    USGS Publications Warehouse

    Ober, J.A.

    2013-01-01

    In 2012, U.S. apparent consumption of strontium (contained in celestite and manufactured strontium compounds) decreased to 16.7 kt (18,400 st) from 17.3 kt (19,100 st) in 2011. Gross weight of imports was 34.3 kt (37,800 st), 86 percent of which originated in Mexico.

  5. Strontium

    USGS Publications Warehouse

    Angulo, M.A.

    2011-01-01

    In 2010, U.S. apparent consumption of strontium (contained in celestite and manufactured strontium compounds) decreased by 11 percent to 10.4 kt (11,460 st) from 11.8 kt (13,000 st) in 2009. Gross weight of imports totaled 20.9 kt (23,000 st), of which 65 percent originated from Mexico.

  6. Strontium

    USGS Publications Warehouse

    ,

    2012-01-01

    In 2011, U.S. apparent consumption of strontium (contained in celestite and manufactured strontium compounds) increased markedly to 18.4 kt (20,300 st) from 10.4 kt (11,500 st) in 2010. Gross weight of imports was 34.4 kt (38,000 st), of which 76 percent originated from Mexico.

  7. Strontium

    USGS Publications Warehouse

    Angulo, M.A.

    2010-01-01

    In 2009, U.S. apparent consumption of strontium (contained in celestite and manufactured strontium compounds) increased to 16 kt (17,600 st) from 10.6 kt (11,700 st) in 2008, an increase of 52 percent. This increase was attributed primarily to an increase in imported celestite. Gross weight of imports totaled 25.3 kt (27,900 st), of which 91 percent came from Mexico. Imports in 2009 were 18 percent more than in 2008. Exports of strontium compounds in 2009 decreased 15 percent to 9.3 kt (10,250 st) from 10.9 kt (12,000 st) in 2008. In 2009, the U.S. Customs value of imported strontium carbonate was 65 cents/kg (29 cents/lb); for strontium nitrate, the unit value was $ 1/kg (45 cents/lb). The unit value of imported celestite, all of which was from Mexico, was about $47/t ($43/st).

  8. Ancient plant DNA in lake sediments.

    PubMed

    Parducci, Laura; Bennett, Keith D; Ficetola, Gentile Francesco; Alsos, Inger Greve; Suyama, Yoshihisa; Wood, Jamie R; Pedersen, Mikkel Winther

    2017-04-03

    Contents I. II. III. IV. V. VI. VII. VIII. IX. X. XI. References SUMMARY: Recent advances in sequencing technologies now permit the analyses of plant DNA from fossil samples (ancient plant DNA, plant aDNA), and thus enable the molecular reconstruction of palaeofloras. Hitherto, ancient frozen soils have proved excellent in preserving DNA molecules, and have thus been the most commonly used source of plant aDNA. However, DNA from soil mainly represents taxa growing a few metres from the sampling point. Lakes have larger catchment areas and recent studies have suggested that plant aDNA from lake sediments is a more powerful tool for palaeofloristic reconstruction. Furthermore, lakes can be found globally in nearly all environments, and are therefore not limited to perennially frozen areas. Here, we review the latest approaches and methods for the study of plant aDNA from lake sediments and discuss the progress made up to the present. We argue that aDNA analyses add new and additional perspectives for the study of ancient plant populations and, in time, will provide higher taxonomic resolution and more precise estimation of abundance. Despite this, key questions and challenges remain for such plant aDNA studies. Finally, we provide guidelines on technical issues, including lake selection, and we suggest directions for future research on plant aDNA studies in lake sediments.

  9. Faunal histories from Holocene ancient DNA.

    PubMed

    de Bruyn, Mark; Hoelzel, A Rus; Carvalho, Gary R; Hofreiter, Michael

    2011-08-01

    Recent studies using ancient DNA have been instrumental in advancing understanding of the impact of Holocene climate change on biodiversity. Ancient DNA has been used to track demography, migration and diversity, and is providing new insights into the long-term dynamics of species and population distributions. The Holocene is key to understanding how the past has impacted on the present, as it bridges the gap between contemporary phylogeographic studies and those with inference on Pleistocene patterns, based on ancient DNA studies. Here, we examine the major patterns of Holocene faunal population dynamics and connectivity; highlighting the dynamic nature of species and population responses to Holocene climatic change, thereby providing an 'analogue' for understanding potential impacts of future change.

  10. Strontium

    USGS Publications Warehouse

    Ober, J.A.

    1993-01-01

    Part of a special section reviewing the market performance of industrial minerals in 1992. Imports of celestite (strontium ore) reached nearly 45 kt, which represents an increase of 35 percent over 1991. Mexico supplied almost all of the celestite. Nearly 70 percent of the strontium consumed in the U.S. is used in television picture tube faceplate glass to block X-ray emissions.

  11. 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. Copyright © 2014 Elsevier Ltd. All rights reserved.

  12. Strontium

    Integrated Risk Information System (IRIS)

    Strontium ; CASRN 7440 - 24 - 6 Human health assessment information on a chemical substance is included in the IRIS database only after a comprehensive review of toxicity data , as outlined in the IRIS assessment development process . Sections I ( Health Hazard Assessments for Noncarcinogenic Effect

  13. Strontium

    USGS Publications Warehouse

    Ober, J.A.

    2003-01-01

    Mexico and Spain are the leading producers of celestite, the most common strontium ore. Those countries produced nearly 80 percent of the estimated 360 kt (397,000 st) of celestite produced worldwide during 2002. China and Turkey are other significant celestite producers.

  14. 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

  15. Fossil avian eggshell preserves ancient DNA.

    PubMed

    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

    2010-07-07

    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.

  16. Mitochondrial DNA analysis of ancient Peruvian highlanders.

    PubMed

    Shinoda, Ken-ichi; Adachi, Noboru; Guillen, Sonia; Shimada, Izumi

    2006-09-01

    Ancient DNA recovered from 57 individuals excavated by Hiram Bingham at the rural communities of Paucarcancha, Patallacta, and Huata near the famed Inca royal estate and ritual site of Machu Picchu was analyzed by polymerase chain reaction, and the results were compared with ancient and modern DNA from various Central Andean areas to test their hypothesized indigenous highland origins. The control and coding regions of the mitochondrial DNA (mtDNA) of 35 individuals in this group were sequenced, and the haplogroups of each individual were determined. The frequency data for the haplogroups of these samples show clear proximity to those of modern Quechua and Aymara populations in the Peruvian and Bolivian highlands, and contrast with those of pre-Hispanic individuals of the north coast of Peru that we defined previously. Our study suggests a strong genetic affinity between sampled late pre-Hispanic individuals and modern Andean highlanders. A previous analysis of the Machu Picchu osteological collection suggests that the residents there were a mixed group of natives from various coastal and highland regions relocated by the Inca state for varied purposes. Overall, our study indicates that the sampled individuals from Paucarcancha and Patallacta were indigenous highlanders who provided supportive roles for nearby Machu Picchu. 2006 Wiley-Liss, Inc.

  17. Ancient bacteria show evidence of DNA repair

    PubMed Central

    Johnson, Sarah Stewart; Hebsgaard, Martin B.; Christensen, Torben R.; Mastepanov, Mikhail; Nielsen, Rasmus; Munch, Kasper; Brand, Tina; Gilbert, M. Thomas P.; Zuber, Maria T.; Bunce, Michael; Rønn, Regin; Gilichinsky, David; Froese, Duane; Willerslev, Eske

    2007-01-01

    Recent claims of cultivable ancient bacteria within sealed environments highlight our limited understanding of the mechanisms behind long-term cell survival. It remains unclear how dormancy, a favored explanation for extended cellular persistence, can cope with spontaneous genomic decay over geological timescales. There has been no direct evidence in ancient microbes for the most likely mechanism, active DNA repair, or for the metabolic activity necessary to sustain it. In this paper, we couple PCR and enzymatic treatment of DNA with direct respiration measurements to investigate long-term survival of bacteria sealed in frozen conditions for up to one million years. Our results show evidence of bacterial survival in samples up to half a million years in age, making this the oldest independently authenticated DNA to date obtained from viable cells. Additionally, we find strong evidence that this long-term survival is closely tied to cellular metabolic activity and DNA repair that over time proves to be superior to dormancy as a mechanism in sustaining bacteria viability. PMID:17728401

  18. 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.

  19. Proving the Authenticity of Ancient DNA by Comparative Genomic Hybridization

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Hummel, S.; Herrmann, B.; Rameckers, J.; Müller, D.; Sperling, K.; Neitzel, H.; Tönnies, H.

    In PCR-supported amplification of ancient, degraded DNA, contamination with contemporary DNA can lead to false-positive results, which frequently give rise to discussions in which the mere existence of ancient DNA is doubted. Our confirmation of ancient DNA using comparative genome hybridization (CGH) eliminates these doubts. Unlike PCR methods, CGH requires no amplification of the DNA to be analyzed if adequate amounts of specimen DNA is used. Thus, false results traceable to contaminations are practically ruled out. The examples provided here prove the authenticity of ancient DNA for a 250-year-old and a 3000-year-old sample. At the same time, the CGH of ancient DNA offers the chance to gain insight into the pattern of DNA degradation and to monitor the preservation of certain chromosomal segments.

  20. Evolutionary Patterns and Processes: Lessons from Ancient DNA.

    PubMed

    Leonardi, Michela; Librado, Pablo; Der Sarkissian, Clio; Schubert, Mikkel; Alfarhan, Ahmed H; Alquraishi, Saleh A; Al-Rasheid, Khaled A S; Gamba, Cristina; Willerslev, Eske; Orlando, Ludovic

    2016-07-05

    Ever since its emergence in 1984, the field of ancient DNA has struggled to overcome the challenges related to the decay of DNA molecules in the fossil record. With the recent development of high-throughput DNA sequencing technologies and molecular techniques tailored to ultra-damaged templates, it has now come of age, merging together approaches in phylogenomics, population genomics, epigenomics, and metagenomics. Leveraging on complete temporal sample series, ancient DNA provides direct access to the most important dimension in evolution-time, allowing a wealth of fundamental evolutionary processes to be addressed at unprecedented resolution. This review taps into the most recent findings in ancient DNA research to present analyses of ancient genomic and metagenomic data. [Ancient DNA; metagenomics; palaeogenomics; population genomics; temporal sampling.].

  1. Computational challenges in the analysis of ancient DNA

    PubMed Central

    2010-01-01

    High-throughput sequencing technologies have opened up a new avenue for studying extinct organisms. Here we identify and quantify biases introduced by particular characteristics of ancient DNA samples. These analyses demonstrate the importance of closely related genomic sequence for correctly identifying and classifying bona fide endogenous DNA fragments. We show that more accurate genome divergence estimates from ancient DNA sequence can be attained using at least two outgroup genomes and appropriate filtering. PMID:20441577

  2. 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.

  3. 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

  4. 2000 Year-old ancient equids: an ancient-DNA lesson from pompeii remains.

    PubMed

    Di Bernardo, Giovanni; Del Gaudio, Stefania; Galderisi, Umberto; Cipollaro, Marilena

    2004-11-15

    Ancient DNA extracted from 2000 year-old equine bones was examined in order to amplify mitochondrial and nuclear DNA fragments. A specific equine satellite-type sequence representing 3.7%-11% of the entire equine genome, proved to be a suitable target to address the question of the presence of aDNA in ancient bones. The PCR strategy designed to investigate this specific target also allowed us to calculate the molecular weight of amplifiable DNA fragments. Sequencing of a 370 bp DNA fragment of mitochondrial control region allowed the comparison of ancient DNA sequences with those of modern horses to assess their genetic relationship. The 16S rRNA mitochondrial gene was also examined to unravel the post-mortem base modification feature and to test the status of Pompeian equids taxon on the basis of a Mae III restriction site polymorphism. Copyright 2004 Wiley-Liss, Inc.

  5. 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.

  6. Improving the sensitivity of negative controls in ancient DNA extractions.

    PubMed

    Xu, Zhi; Zhang, Fan; Xu, Bosong; Tan, Jingze; Li, Shilin; Jin, Li

    2009-04-01

    Much attention has been paid on ancient DNA (aDNA) studies, and negative control was used as one of the stringent quality assurance criteria in order to detect potential contamination. However, the results of some aDNA studies showed the evidence of contamination despite their negative controls failed to do so. Using lambda DNA to mock extraneous contaminating DNA, our study showed that aDNA had a property of improving the efficiency of extraction including contaminating DNA, while negative controls had low sensitivity to detect contamination. To circumvent this problem, carrier DNA such as poly(dA) is suggested to be introduced into aDNA extraction.

  7. 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

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

    PubMed

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

    2014-06-01

    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.

  9. A blind testing design for authenticating ancient DNA sequences.

    PubMed

    Yang, H; Golenberg, E M; Shoshani, J

    1997-04-01

    Reproducibility is a serious concern among researchers of ancient DNA. We designed a blind testing procedure to evaluate laboratory accuracy and authenticity of ancient DNA obtained from closely related extant and extinct species. Soft tissue and bones of fossil and contemporary museum proboscideans were collected and identified based on morphology by one researcher, and other researchers carried out DNA testing on the samples, which were assigned anonymous numbers. DNA extracted using three principal isolation methods served as template in PCR amplifications of a segment of the cytochrome b gene (mitochondrial genome), and the PCR product was directly sequenced and analyzed. The results show that such a blind testing design performed in one laboratory, when coupled with phylogenetic analysis, can nonarbitrarily test the consistency and reliability of ancient DNA results. Such reproducible results obtained from the blind testing can increase confidence in the authenticity of ancient sequences obtained from postmortem specimens and avoid bias in phylogenetic analysis. A blind testing design may be applicable as an alternative to confirm ancient DNA results in one laboratory when independent testing by two laboratories is not available.

  10. 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.

  11. Proboscidean DNA from museum and fossil specimens: an assessment of ancient DNA extraction and amplification techniques.

    PubMed

    Yang, H; Golenberg, E M; Shoshani, J

    1997-06-01

    Applications of reliable DNA extraction and amplification techniques to postmortem samples are critical to ancient DNA research. Commonly used methods for isolating DNA from ancient material were tested and compared using both soft tissue and bones from fossil and contemporary museum proboscideans. DNAs isolated using three principal methods served as templates in subsequent PCR amplifications, and the PCR products were directly sequenced. Authentication of the ancient origin of obtained nucleotide sequences was established by demonstrating reproducibility under a blind testing system and by phylogenetic analysis. Our results indicate that ancient samples may respond differently to extraction buffers or purification procedures, and no single method was universally successful. A CTAB buffer method, modified from plant DNA extraction protocols, was found to have the highest success rate. Nested PCR was shown to be a reliable approach to amplify ancient DNA templates that failed in primary amplification.

  12. 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.

  13. High-Resolution Analysis of Cytosine Methylation in Ancient DNA

    PubMed Central

    Cropley, Jennifer E.; Cooper, Alan; Suter, Catherine M.

    2012-01-01

    Epigenetic changes to gene expression can result in heritable phenotypic characteristics that are not encoded in the DNA itself, but rather by biochemical modifications to the DNA or associated chromatin proteins. Interposed between genes and environment, these epigenetic modifications can be influenced by environmental factors to affect phenotype for multiple generations. This raises the possibility that epigenetic states provide a substrate for natural selection, with the potential to participate in the rapid adaptation of species to changes in environment. Any direct test of this hypothesis would require the ability to measure epigenetic states over evolutionary timescales. Here we describe the first single-base resolution of cytosine methylation patterns in an ancient mammalian genome, by bisulphite allelic sequencing of loci from late Pleistocene Bison priscus remains. Retrotransposons and the differentially methylated regions of imprinted loci displayed methylation patterns identical to those derived from fresh bovine tissue, indicating that methylation patterns are preserved in the ancient DNA. Our findings establish the biochemical stability of methylated cytosines over extensive time frames, and provide the first direct evidence that cytosine methylation patterns are retained in DNA from ancient specimens. The ability to resolve cytosine methylation in ancient DNA provides a powerful means to study the role of epigenetics in evolution. PMID:22276161

  14. 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.

  15. [Ancient DNA: Results and Prospects (the 30th Anniversary)].

    PubMed

    Druzhkova, A S; Vorobieva, N V; Trifonov, V A; Graphodatsky, A S

    2015-06-01

    Evolutionary genetics has reached a new level of research thanks to the opportunity to study the genomes of not only present-day but also of ancient organisms. The obtaining of reliable data when working with ancient DNA is possible only in the case of interdisciplinary collaboration between archaeologists, paleontologists, molecular geneticists, and bioinformaticians. Despite laborious and high-cost technologies, the results never cease to amaze and can not only fill the gaps in the knowledge of the evolutionary history of different species but can also review the existing ideas on population development and dynamics. In this review, we discuss the history of the development of investigative techniques in ancient DNA research and the most striking results of these studies, including the most recent achievements.

  16. 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.

  17. Preservation of ancient DNA in thermally damaged archaeological bone.

    PubMed

    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.

  18. The study of human Y chromosome variation through ancient DNA.

    PubMed

    Kivisild, Toomas

    2017-05-01

    High throughput sequencing methods have completely transformed the study of human Y chromosome variation by offering a genome-scale view on genetic variation retrieved from ancient human remains in context of a growing number of high coverage whole Y chromosome sequence data from living populations from across the world. The ancient Y chromosome sequences are providing us the first exciting glimpses into the past variation of male-specific compartment of the genome and the opportunity to evaluate models based on previously made inferences from patterns of genetic variation in living populations. Analyses of the ancient Y chromosome sequences are challenging not only because of issues generally related to ancient DNA work, such as DNA damage-induced mutations and low content of endogenous DNA in most human remains, but also because of specific properties of the Y chromosome, such as its highly repetitive nature and high homology with the X chromosome. Shotgun sequencing of uniquely mapping regions of the Y chromosomes to sufficiently high coverage is still challenging and costly in poorly preserved samples. To increase the coverage of specific target SNPs capture-based methods have been developed and used in recent years to generate Y chromosome sequence data from hundreds of prehistoric skeletal remains. Besides the prospects of testing directly as how much genetic change in a given time period has accompanied changes in material culture the sequencing of ancient Y chromosomes allows us also to better understand the rate at which mutations accumulate and get fixed over time. This review considers genome-scale evidence on ancient Y chromosome diversity that has recently started to accumulate in geographic areas favourable to DNA preservation. More specifically the review focuses on examples of regional continuity and change of the Y chromosome haplogroups in North Eurasia and in the New World.

  19. DNA extraction from rice endosperm (including a protocol for extraction of DNA from ancient seed samples).

    PubMed

    Mutou, Chiaki; Tanaka, Katsunori; Ishikawa, Ryuji

    2014-01-01

    Deoxyribonucleic acid (DNA) extracted from endosperm can be effectively used for rapid genotyping using seed tissue, to evaluate seed quality from packaged grains and to determine the purity of milled grains. Methods outlined here are optimal procedures to isolate DNA from endosperm tissue of modern rice grains and of aged rice remains preserved between 50 and 100 years. The extracted DNA can be used to amplify regions of chloroplast genomic DNA (ctDNA), mitochondrial genomic DNA (mtDNA), and nuclear genomic DNA using standard PCR protocols. In addition, we describe an optimal procedure to process archaeological grain specimens, aged for a couple of thousand years, to isolate DNA from these ancient samples, referred to here as ancient DNA (aDNA). The aDNA can be successfully amplified by PCR using appropriate primer pairs designed specifically for aDNA amplification.

  20. 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

  1. 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

  2. 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.

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

    PubMed

    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

    2015-06-01

    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 a pseudopalindromic target DNA. Here we show that DMRT proteins use 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 use multiple DNA binding modes (tetramer, trimer and dimer). Chromatin immunoprecipitation with exonuclease treatment (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 with male-to-female sex reversal in humans. Our results illuminate an ancient molecular interaction underlying much of metazoan sexual development.

  4. 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

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

    SciTech Connect

    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.

    2015-05-25

    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 a pseudopalindromic target DNA. In this paper, we show that DMRT proteins use 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 use multiple DNA binding modes (tetramer, trimer and dimer). Chromatin immunoprecipitation with exonuclease treatment (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 with male-to-female sex reversal in humans. Finally, our results illuminate an ancient molecular interaction underlying much of metazoan sexual development.

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

    DOE PAGES

    Murphy, Mark W.; Lee, John K.; Rojo, Sandra; ...

    2015-05-25

    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 a pseudopalindromic target DNA. In this paper, we show that DMRT proteins use 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 use multiple DNA binding modes (tetramer, trimer and dimer). Chromatin immunoprecipitation with exonuclease treatment (ChIP-exo) indicates that multiple DNA binding modes also are usedmore » in vivo. We show that mutations affecting residues crucial for DNA recognition are associated with an intersex phenotype in flies and with male-to-female sex reversal in humans. Finally, our results illuminate an ancient molecular interaction underlying much of metazoan sexual development.« less

  7. 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

  8. Comparing Ancient DNA Preservation in Petrous Bone and Tooth Cementum

    PubMed Central

    Margaryan, Ashot; Stenderup, Jesper; Lynnerup, Niels; Willerslev, Eske; Allentoft, Morten E.

    2017-01-01

    Large-scale genomic analyses of ancient human populations have become feasible partly due to refined sampling methods. The inner part of petrous bones and the cementum layer in teeth roots are currently recognized as the best substrates for such research. We present a comparative analysis of DNA preservation in these two substrates obtained from the same human skulls, across a range of different ages and preservation environments. Both substrates display significantly higher endogenous DNA content (average of 16.4% and 40.0% for teeth and petrous bones, respectively) than parietal skull bone (average of 2.2%). Despite sample-to-sample variation, petrous bone overall performs better than tooth cementum (p = 0.001). This difference, however, is driven largely by a cluster of viking skeletons from one particular locality, showing relatively poor molecular tooth preservation (<10% endogenous DNA). In the remaining skeletons there is no systematic difference between the two substrates. A crude preservation (good/bad) applied to each sample prior to DNA-extraction predicted the above/below 10% endogenous DNA threshold in 80% of the cases. Interestingly, we observe signficantly higher levels of cytosine to thymine deamination damage and lower proportions of mitochondrial/nuclear DNA in petrous bone compared to tooth cementum. Lastly, we show that petrous bones from ancient cremated individuals contain no measurable levels of authentic human DNA. Based on these findings we discuss the pros and cons of sampling the different elements. PMID:28129388

  9. Ancient DNA perspectives on American colonization and population history.

    PubMed

    Raff, Jennifer A; Bolnick, Deborah A; Tackney, Justin; O'Rourke, Dennis H

    2011-12-01

    Ancient DNA (aDNA) analyses have proven to be important tools in understanding human population dispersals, settlement patterns, interactions between prehistoric populations, and the development of regional population histories. Here, we review the published results of sixty-three human populations from throughout the Americas and compare the levels of diversity and geographic patterns of variation in the ancient samples with contemporary genetic variation in the Americas in order to investigate the evolution of the Native American gene pool over time. Our analysis of mitochondrial haplogroup frequencies and prehistoric population genetic diversity presents a complex evolutionary picture. Although the broad genetic structure of American prehistoric populations appears to have been established relatively early, we nevertheless identify examples of genetic discontinuity over time in select regions. We discuss the implications this finding may have for our interpretation of the genetic evidence for the initial colonization of the Americas and its subsequent population history.

  10. Preamplification Procedure for the Analysis of Ancient DNA Samples

    PubMed Central

    Del Gaudio, Stefania; Cirillo, Alessandra; Di Bernardo, Giovanni; Galderisi, Umberto; Thanassoulas, Theodoros; Pitsios, Theodoros; Cipollaro, Marilena

    2013-01-01

    In ancient DNA studies the low amount of endogenous DNA represents a limiting factor that often hampers the result achievement. In this study we extracted the DNA from nine human skeletal remains of different ages found in the Byzantine cemetery of Abdera Halkidiki and in the medieval cemetery of St. Spiridion in Rhodes (Greece). Real-time quantitative polymerase chain reaction (qPCR) was used to detect in the extracts the presence of PCR inhibitors and to estimate the DNA content. As mitochondrial DNA was detected in all samples, amplification of nuclear targets, as amelogenin and the polymorphism M470V of the transmembrane conductance regulator gene, yielded positive results in one case only. In an effort to improve amplification success, we applied, for the first time in ancient DNA, a preamplification strategy based on TaqMan PreAmp Master Mix. A comparison between results obtained from nonpreamplified and preamplified samples is reported. Our data, even if preliminary, show that the TaqMan PreAmp procedure may improve the sensitivity of qPCR analysis. PMID:24187523

  11. Detection of DNA in ancient bones using histochemical methods.

    PubMed

    Guarino, F M; Angelini, F; Odierna, G; Bianco, M R; Di Bernardo, G; Forte, A; Cascino, A; Cipollaro, M

    2000-05-01

    We describe histochemical techniques for detecting DNA within the osteocytic lacunae of ancient bones. The bones examined were fragments of femurs from two human individuals found in the Pompeian C. I. Polybius house and fragments of metacarpals from two horses (Equus sp.) found in the Pompeian "Casti Amanti" house. Both buildings were buried by the 79 A. D. Vesuvius eruption. Fragments of femurs from a modern horse, a modern swine and a modern amphibian also were studied as controls. Some bone sections were stained with two different DNA-specific fluorochromes, 4'-'6-diamidino-2-phenylindole (DAPI) and chromomycin A3 (CMA), while others were stained by the Feulgen reaction. All of the techniques gave a positive reaction within the osteocytic lacunae. Histological analysis of the undecalcified, ground and unstained sections agreed well with results of bone sections stained with either the fluorochromes or the Feulgen reaction. Bones showing good histology also were positive by our DNA-specific stain. Histochemical and histological analyses correlated well with the success of DNA extraction and amplification. Using conventional DNA-specific histochemical techniques in conjunction with histological analysis can be useful in the study of DNA extracted from ancient bone remains while reducing both the amount of time and cost.

  12. Preamplification procedure for the analysis of ancient DNA samples.

    PubMed

    Del Gaudio, Stefania; Cirillo, Alessandra; Di Bernardo, Giovanni; Galderisi, Umberto; Thanassoulas, Theodoros; Pitsios, Theodoros; Cipollaro, Marilena

    2013-01-01

    In ancient DNA studies the low amount of endogenous DNA represents a limiting factor that often hampers the result achievement. In this study we extracted the DNA from nine human skeletal remains of different ages found in the Byzantine cemetery of Abdera Halkidiki and in the medieval cemetery of St. Spiridion in Rhodes (Greece). Real-time quantitative polymerase chain reaction (qPCR) was used to detect in the extracts the presence of PCR inhibitors and to estimate the DNA content. As mitochondrial DNA was detected in all samples, amplification of nuclear targets, as amelogenin and the polymorphism M470V of the transmembrane conductance regulator gene, yielded positive results in one case only. In an effort to improve amplification success, we applied, for the first time in ancient DNA, a preamplification strategy based on TaqMan PreAmp Master Mix. A comparison between results obtained from nonpreamplified and preamplified samples is reported. Our data, even if preliminary, show that the TaqMan PreAmp procedure may improve the sensitivity of qPCR analysis.

  13. Mitochondrial DNA analysis of ancient sheep from Altai.

    PubMed

    Dymova, M A; Zadorozhny, A V; Mishukova, O V; Khrapov, E A; Druzhkova, A S; Trifonov, V A; Kichigin, I G; Tishkin, A A; Grushin, S P; Filipenko, M L

    2017-10-01

    A comparative analysis of the genetic diversity of ancient and modern sheep can shed light on the origin of these animals and their distribution as well as help to evaluate the role of humans at each formation stage of different sheep breeds. Here we isolated ancient DNA and performed sequencing of the mitochondrial DNA D-loop from 17 sheep bone remains (~4000-1000 years old) found in the archaeological complexes in the south of Altai (Western Siberia). The length of the sequences obtained ranged between 318 and 586 bp. The haplotype diversity and nucleotide diversity were 0.801 ± 0.081 and 0.0096 ± 0.0014 respectively. The average number of nucleotide differences was ~3.1. Nucleotide sequence analysis revealed that 15 specimens were nested within previously described A,B,C,D and E lineages and that two specimens had a basal position relative to the rest of the analyzed samples. A relatively high diversity of sheep haplotypes, including the presence of two basal haplotypes, indicates that the Altai region may have been a transport route of human migration. Further ancient DNA analysis of other specimens and deeper genome sequencing of samples with novel haplotypes is needed to better understand the demographic history of sheep in Southern Siberia. © 2017 Stichting International Foundation for Animal Genetics.

  14. 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

  15. 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.

  16. Blocking human contaminant DNA during PCR allows amplification of rare mammal species from sedimentary ancient DNA.

    PubMed

    Boessenkool, Sanne; Epp, Laura S; Haile, James; Bellemain, Eva; Edwards, Mary; Coissac, Eric; Willerslev, Eske; Brochmann, Christian

    2012-04-01

    Analyses of degraded DNA are typically hampered by contamination, especially when employing universal primers such as commonly used in environmental DNA studies. In addition to false-positive results, the amplification of contaminant DNA may cause false-negative results because of competition, or bias, during the PCR. In this study, we test the utility of human-specific blocking primers in mammal diversity analyses of ancient permafrost samples from Siberia. Using quantitative PCR (qPCR) on human and mammoth DNA, we first optimized the design and concentration of blocking primer in the PCR. Subsequently, 454 pyrosequencing of ancient permafrost samples amplified with and without the addition of blocking primer revealed that DNA sequences from a diversity of mammalian representatives of the Beringian megafauna were retrieved only when the blocking primer was added to the PCR. Notably, we observe the first retrieval of woolly rhinoceros (Coelodonta antiquitatis) DNA from ancient permafrost cores. In contrast, reactions without blocking primer resulted in complete dominance by human DNA sequences. These results demonstrate that in ancient environmental analyses, the PCR can be biased towards the amplification of contaminant sequences to such an extent that retrieval of the endogenous DNA is severely restricted. The application of blocking primers is a promising tool to avoid this bias and can greatly enhance the quantity and the diversity of the endogenous DNA sequences that are amplified. © 2011 Blackwell Publishing Ltd.

  17. Novel Substrates as Sources of Ancient DNA: Prospects and Hurdles

    PubMed Central

    Green, Eleanor Joan

    2017-01-01

    Following the discovery in the late 1980s that hard tissues such as bones and teeth preserve genetic information, the field of ancient DNA analysis has typically concentrated upon these substrates. The onset of high-throughput sequencing, combined with optimized DNA recovery methods, has enabled the analysis of a myriad of ancient species and specimens worldwide, dating back to the Middle Pleistocene. Despite the growing sophistication of analytical techniques, the genetic analysis of substrates other than bone and dentine remain comparatively “novel”. Here, we review analyses of other biological substrates which offer great potential for elucidating phylogenetic relationships, paleoenvironments, and microbial ecosystems including (1) archaeological artifacts and ecofacts; (2) calcified and/or mineralized biological deposits; and (3) biological and cultural archives. We conclude that there is a pressing need for more refined models of DNA preservation and bespoke tools for DNA extraction and analysis to authenticate and maximize the utility of the data obtained. With such tools in place the potential for neglected or underexploited substrates to provide a unique insight into phylogenetics, microbial evolution and evolutionary processes will be realized. PMID:28703741

  18. 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

  19. [DNA analysis in the anthropological approach of ancient populations].

    PubMed

    Keyser, Christine; Crubézy, Eric; Ludes, Bertrand

    2013-01-01

    The authors highlight the opportunities to reconstruct the human Eurasian steppe migration movements with the analyses of nuclear DNA markers (short tandem repeats on autosomal DNA and on the Y chromosome) as well as mitochondrial DNA markers. They studied 26 ancient human samples from the Krasnoyarsk area (Southern Siberia). The specimens were dated from the middle of the second millennium BC to the fourth century AD. The Y chromosome and the mitochondrial analyses revealed that few of them seem to be related matrilineally or patrilineally, but all subjects belong to Y haplogroup R1a1a-M17 which is known as a marker of the eastward migration of the early Indo-Europeans. Their results are in accordance with the hypothesis that at the Bronze and Iron Ages south Siberia was settled predominantly by European subjects suggesting an eastward migration of kurgan people across the Russo-Kazakh steppe. The single nucleotide polymorphisms (SNP) analyses on the physical traits indicate that the ancient studied specimens were blue or green eyed, fair skinned and light-haired.

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

    PubMed

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

    2016-01-11

    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.

  1. No ancient DNA damage in Actinobacteria from the Neanderthal bone.

    PubMed

    Zaremba-Niedźwiedzka, Katarzyna; Andersson, Siv G E

    2013-01-01

    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. 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. 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.

  2. 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

  3. Bayesian estimation of sequence damage in ancient DNA.

    PubMed

    Ho, Simon Y W; Heupink, Tim H; Rambaut, Andrew; Shapiro, Beth

    2007-06-01

    DNA extracted from archaeological and paleontological remains is usually damaged by biochemical processes postmortem. Some of these processes lead to changes in the structure of the DNA molecule, which can result in the incorporation of incorrect nucleotides during polymerase chain reaction. These base misincorporations, or miscoding lesions, can lead to the inclusion of spurious additional mutations in ancient DNA (aDNA) data sets. This has the potential to affect the outcome of phylogenetic and population genetic analyses, including estimates of mutation rates and genetic diversity. We present a novel model, termed the delta model, which estimates the amount of damage in DNA data and accounts for its effects in a Bayesian phylogenetic framework. The ability of the delta model to estimate damage is first investigated using a simulation study. The model is then applied to 13 aDNA data sets. The amount of damage in these data sets is shown to be significant but low (about 1 damaged base per 750 nt), suggesting that precautions for limiting the influence of damaged sites, such as cloning and enzymatic treatment, are worthwhile. The results also suggest that relatively high rates of mutation previously estimated from aDNA data are not entirely an artifact of sequence damage and are likely to be due to other factors such as the persistence of transient polymorphisms. The delta model appears to be particularly useful for placing upper credibility limits on the amount of sequence damage in an alignment, and this capacity might be beneficial for future aDNA studies or for the estimation of sequencing errors in modern DNA.

  4. Bacillus DNA in fossil bees: an ancient symbiosis?

    PubMed Central

    Cano, R J; Borucki, M K; Higby-Schweitzer, M; Poinar, H N; Poinar, G O; Pollard, K J

    1994-01-01

    We report here the isolation of DNA from abdominal tissue of four extinct stingless bees (Proplebeia dominicana) in Dominican amber, PCR amplification of a 546-bp fragment of the 16S rRNA gene from Bacillus spp., and their corresponding nucleotide sequences. These sequences were used in basic local alignment search tool searches of nonredundant nucleic acid data bases, and the highest scores were obtained with 16S rRNA sequences from Bacillus spp. Phylogenetic inference analysis by the maximum-likelihood method revealed close phylogenetic relationships of the four presumed ancient Bacillus sequences with Bacillus pumilus, B. firmus, B. subtilis, and B. circulans. These four extant Bacillus spp. are commonly isolated from abdominal tissue of stingless bees. The close phylogenetic association of the extracted DNA sequences with these bee colonizers suggests that a similar bee-Bacillus association existed in the extinct species P. dominicana. PMID:8031102

  5. 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. Copyright © 2015 Elsevier Ltd. All rights reserved.

  6. 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.

  7. Removal of deaminated cytosines and detection of in vivo methylation in ancient DNA

    PubMed Central

    Briggs, Adrian W.; Stenzel, Udo; Meyer, Matthias; Krause, Johannes; Kircher, Martin; Pääbo, Svante

    2010-01-01

    DNA sequences determined from ancient organisms have high error rates, primarily due to uracil bases created by cytosine deamination. We use synthetic oligonucleotides, as well as DNA extracted from mammoth and Neandertal remains, to show that treatment with uracil–DNA–glycosylase and endonuclease VIII removes uracil residues from ancient DNA and repairs most of the resulting abasic sites, leaving undamaged parts of the DNA fragments intact. Neandertal DNA sequences determined with this protocol have greatly increased accuracy. In addition, our results demonstrate that Neandertal DNA retains in vivo patterns of CpG methylation, potentially allowing future studies of gene inactivation and imprinting in ancient organisms. PMID:20028723

  8. 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

  9. Problems of reproducibility--does geologically ancient DNA survive in amber-preserved insects?

    PubMed Central

    Austin, J J; Ross, A J; Smith, A B; Fortey, R A; Thomas, R H

    1997-01-01

    Apparently ancient DNA has been reported from amber-preserved insects many millions of years old. Rigorous attempts to reproduce these DNA sequences from amber- and copal-preserved bees and flies have failed to detect any authentic ancient insect DNA. Lack of reproducibility suggests that DNA does not survive over millions of years even in amber, the most promising of fossil environments. PMID:9149422

  10. 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.

  11. 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

  12. Ancient DNA and the human settlement of the Pacific: a review.

    PubMed

    Matisoo-Smith, Elizabeth

    2015-02-01

    The Pacific region provides unique opportunities to study human evolution including through analyses of ancient DNA. While some of the earliest studies involving ancient DNA from skeletal remains focused on Pacific samples, in the following 25 years, several factors meant that little aDNA research, particularly research focused on human populations, has emerged. This paper briefly presents the genetic evidence for population origins, reviews what ancient DNA work has been undertaken to address human history and evolution in the Pacific region, and argues that the future is bright but research requires a collaborative approach between academic disciplines but also with local communities. Copyright © 2014 Elsevier Ltd. All rights reserved.

  13. Setting the stage - building and working in an ancient DNA laboratory.

    PubMed

    Knapp, Michael; Clarke, Andrew C; Horsburgh, K Ann; Matisoo-Smith, Elizabeth A

    2012-01-20

    With the introduction of next generation high throughput sequencing in 2005 and the resulting revolution in genetics, ancient DNA research has rapidly developed from an interesting but marginal field within evolutionary biology into one that can contribute significantly to our understanding of evolution in general and the development of our own species in particular. While the amount of sequence data available from ancient human, other animal and plant remains has increased dramatically over the past five years, some key limitations of ancient DNA research remain. Most notably, reduction of contamination and the authentication of results are of utmost importance. A number of studies have addressed different aspects of sampling, DNA extraction and DNA manipulation in order to establish protocols that most efficiently generate reproducible and authentic results. As increasing numbers of researchers from different backgrounds become interested in using ancient DNA technology to address key questions, the need for practical guidelines on how to construct and use an ancient DNA facility arises. The aim of this article is therefore to provide practical tips for building a state-of-the-art ancient DNA facility. It is intended to help researchers new to the field of ancient DNA research generally, and those considering the application of next generation sequencing, in their planning process.

  14. A paleogenomic perspective on evolution and gene function: new insights from ancient DNA.

    PubMed

    Shapiro, B; Hofreiter, M

    2014-01-24

    The publication of partial and complete paleogenomes within the last few years has reinvigorated research in ancient DNA. No longer limited to short fragments of mitochondrial DNA, inference of evolutionary processes through time can now be investigated from genome-wide data sampled as far back as 700,000 years. Tremendous insights have been made, in particular regarding the hominin lineage. With rare exception, however, a paleogenomic perspective has been mired by the quality and quantity of recoverable DNA. Though conceptually simple, extracting ancient DNA remains challenging, and sequencing ancient genomes to high coverage remains prohibitively expensive for most laboratories. Still, with improvements in DNA isolation and declining sequencing costs, the taxonomic and geographic purview of paleogenomics is expanding at a rapid pace. With improved capacity to screen large numbers of samples for those with high proportions of endogenous ancient DNA, paleogenomics is poised to become a key technology to better understand recent evolutionary events.

  15. Ancient DNA analysis of human remains from the Upper Capital City of Kublai Khan.

    PubMed

    Fu, Yuqin; Xie, Chengzhi; Xu, Xuelian; Li, Chunxiang; Zhang, Quanchao; Zhou, Hui; Zhu, Hong

    2009-01-01

    Analysis of DNA from human archaeological remains is a powerful tool for reconstructing ancient events in human history. To help understand the origin of the inhabitants of Kublai Khan's Upper Capital in Inner Mongolia, we analyzed mitochondrial DNA (mtDNA) polymorphisms in 21 ancient individuals buried in the Zhenzishan cemetery of the Upper Capital. MtDNA coding and noncoding region polymorphisms identified in the ancient individuals were characteristic of the Asian mtDNA haplogroups A, B, N9a, C, D, Z, M7b, and M. Phylogenetic analysis of the ancient mtDNA sequences, and comparison with extant reference populations, revealed that the maternal lineages of the population buried in the Zhenzishan cemetery are of Asian origin and typical of present-day Han Chinese, despite the presence of typical European morphological features in several of the skeletons.

  16. 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

  17. 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

  18. 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

  19. Discovery of lost diversity of paternal horse lineages using ancient DNA.

    PubMed

    Lippold, Sebastian; Knapp, Michael; Kuznetsova, Tatyana; Leonard, Jennifer A; Benecke, Norbert; Ludwig, Arne; Rasmussen, Morten; Cooper, Alan; Weinstock, Jaco; Willerslev, Eske; Shapiro, Beth; Hofreiter, Michael

    2011-08-23

    Modern domestic horses display abundant genetic diversity within female-inherited mitochondrial DNA, but practically no sequence diversity on the male-inherited Y chromosome. Several hypotheses have been proposed to explain this discrepancy, but can only be tested through knowledge of the diversity in both the ancestral (pre-domestication) maternal and paternal lineages. As wild horses are practically extinct, ancient DNA studies offer the only means to assess this ancestral diversity. Here we show considerable ancestral diversity in ancient male horses by sequencing 4 kb of Y chromosomal DNA from eight ancient wild horses and one 2,800-year-old domesticated horse. Both ancient and modern domestic horses form a separate branch from the ancient wild horses, with the Przewalski horse at its base. Our methodology establishes the feasibility of re-sequencing long ancient nuclear DNA fragments and demonstrates the power of ancient Y chromosome DNA sequence data to provide insights into the evolutionary history of populations. © 2011 Macmillan Publishers Limited. All rights reserved.

  20. Case study: ancient DNA recovered from pleistocene-age remains of a Florida armadillo.

    PubMed

    Letts, Brandon; Shapiro, Beth

    2012-01-01

    Warm, humid regions are not ideal for long-term DNA preservation. Consequently, little ancient DNA research has been carried out involving taxa that lived in, for example, tropical and subtropical regions. Those studies that have isolated ancient DNA from warm environments have mostly been limited to the most recent several thousand years. Here, we discuss an ancient DNA experiment in which we attempt to amplify mitochondrial DNA from remains of armadillo, glyptodont, and pampathere from sites in Florida, USA, all believed to be around 10,000-12,000 years old. We were successful in recovering DNA from only one of these samples. However, based on the amount and distribution of DNA damage, the ancient DNA recovered was well-preserved despite the age and preservation environment. In this case study chapter, we discuss the experimental procedure we used to characterize the DNA from the Floridian samples, focusing on challenges of working with ancient specimens from warm environments and steps taken to confirm the authenticity of the recovered sequence.

  1. 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...

  2. 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...

  3. 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

  4. 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

  5. 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

  6. Ligation bias in illumina next-generation DNA libraries: implications for sequencing ancient genomes.

    PubMed

    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.

  7. 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

  8. Separating endogenous ancient DNA from modern day contamination in a Siberian Neandertal

    PubMed Central

    Skoglund, Pontus; Northoff, Bernd H.; Shunkov, Michael V.; Derevianko, Anatoli P.; Pääbo, Svante; Krause, Johannes; Jakobsson, Mattias

    2014-01-01

    One of the main impediments for obtaining DNA sequences from ancient human skeletons is the presence of contaminating modern human DNA molecules in many fossil samples and laboratory reagents. However, DNA fragments isolated from ancient specimens show a characteristic DNA damage pattern caused by miscoding lesions that differs from present day DNA sequences. Here, we develop a framework for evaluating the likelihood of a sequence originating from a model with postmortem degradation—summarized in a postmortem degradation score—which allows the identification of DNA fragments that are unlikely to originate from present day sources. We apply this approach to a contaminated Neandertal specimen from Okladnikov Cave in Siberia to isolate its endogenous DNA from modern human contaminants and show that the reconstructed mitochondrial genome sequence is more closely related to the variation of Western Neandertals than what was discernible from previous analyses. Our method opens up the potential for genomic analysis of contaminated fossil material. PMID:24469802

  9. 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...

  10. 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...

  11. 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

  12. Ancient DNA from nomads in 2500-year-old archeological sites of Pengyang, China.

    PubMed

    Zhao, Yong-Bin; Li, Hong-Jie; Cai, Da-Wei; Li, Chun-Xiang; Zhang, Quan-Chao; Zhu, Hong; Zhou, Hui

    2010-04-01

    Six human remains (dating approximately 2500 years ago) were excavated from Pengyang, China, an area occupied by both ancient nomadic and farming people. The funerary objects found with these remains suggested they were nomads. To further confirm their ancestry, we analyzed both the maternal lineages and paternal lineages of the ancient DNA. From the mitochondrial DNA, six haplotypes were identified as three haplogroups: C, D4 and M10. The haplotype-sharing populations and phylogenetic analyses revealed that these individuals were closely associated with the ancient Xiongnu and modern northern Asians. Single-nucleotide polymorphism analysis of Y chromosomes from four male samples that were typed as haplogroup Q indicated that these people had originated in Siberia. These results show that these ancient people from Pengyang present a close genetic affinity to nomadic people, indicating that northern nomads had reached the Central Plain area of China nearly 2500 years ago.

  13. Ancient DNA, climatic change, and loss of genetic diversity in an endemic Patagonian mammal

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Chan, Y.; Lacey, E.; Ramakrishnan, U.; Pearson, O.; Hadly, E.

    2004-12-01

    Understanding the response of animal populations to climatic change is essential for the future maintenance of biodiversity. One question that remains difficult to answer, and is particularly important to conservation, is how animals respond over time scales relevant to evolutionary change. Ancient DNA provides a unique opportunity to track animal response to Holocene climate change and to study species replacement patterns and genetic diversity over time. We used ancient DNA to compare response to climatic change in two species, C. sociabilis and C. haigi, over the last 8,000 years. Our study site, Cueva Traful, is a late-Holocene raptor roost in Parque Nacional Nahuel Huapi, Argentina. A lack of genetic diversity in modern C. sociabilis populations is indicative of past bottleneck events and a previous ancient DNA study found that it had remained genetically identical for at least 1000 years in the face of climatic change and human disturbance. Since Cueva Traful goes back further in time, our first goal was to examine genetic diversity in order to place a longer term historical perspective on the modern bottleneck. The second goal was to compare changes in genetic diversity in C. sociabilis to C. haigi a closely related species that may respond differently to climatic change. The use of ancient DNA presents unique challenges due to low copy number, environmental damage to template, and high contamination risk. Despite these challenges, ancient DNA provides a unique perspective on evolutionary history.

  14. Ancient Out-of-Africa Mitochondrial DNA Variants Associate with Distinct Mitochondrial Gene Expression Patterns

    PubMed Central

    Mishmar, Dan

    2016-01-01

    Mitochondrial DNA (mtDNA) variants have been traditionally used as markers to trace ancient population migrations. Although experiments relying on model organisms and cytoplasmic hybrids, as well as disease association studies, have served to underline the functionality of certain mtDNA SNPs, only little is known of the regulatory impact of ancient mtDNA variants, especially in terms of gene expression. By analyzing RNA-seq data of 454 lymphoblast cell lines from the 1000 Genomes Project, we found that mtDNA variants defining the most common African genetic background, the L haplogroup, exhibit a distinct overall mtDNA gene expression pattern, which was independent of mtDNA copy numbers. Secondly, intra-population analysis revealed subtle, yet significant, expression differences in four tRNA genes. Strikingly, the more prominent African mtDNA gene expression pattern best correlated with the expression of nuclear DNA-encoded RNA-binding proteins, and with SNPs within the mitochondrial RNA-binding proteins PTCD1 and MRPS7. Our results thus support the concept of an ancient regulatory transition of mtDNA-encoded genes as humans left Africa to populate the rest of the world. PMID:27812116

  15. Parallel detection of ancient pathogens via array-based DNA capture

    PubMed Central

    Bos, Kirsten I.; Jäger, Günter; Schuenemann, Verena J.; Vågene, Åshild J.; Spyrou, Maria A.; Herbig, Alexander; Nieselt, Kay; Krause, Johannes

    2015-01-01

    DNA capture coupled with next generation sequencing is highly suitable for the study of ancient pathogens. Screening for pathogens can, however, be meticulous when assays are restricted to the enrichment of single organisms, which is common practice. Here, we report on an array-based DNA capture screening technique for the parallel detection of nearly 100 pathogens that could have potentially left behind molecular signatures in preserved ancient tissues. We demonstrate the sensitivity of our method through evaluation of its performance with a library known to harbour ancient Mycobacterium leprae DNA. This rapid and economical technique will be highly useful for the identification of historical diseases that are difficult to characterize based on archaeological information alone. PMID:25487327

  16. 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

  17. 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

  18. Strontium isotope (87Sr/86Sr) variability in the Nile Valley: identifying residential mobility during ancient Egyptian and Nubian sociopolitical changes in the New Kingdom and Napatan periods.

    PubMed

    Buzon, Michele R; Simonetti, Antonio

    2013-05-01

    As a successful technique for identifying residential mobility in other areas, this study investigates the feasibility of using 87Sr/86Sr analysis to track the movements of the ancient peoples of Egypt and Nubia in the Nile Valley, who interacted via trade, warfare, and political occupations over millennia. Dental enamel from faunal remains is used to examine variability in strontium sources in seven regional sites; human enamel samples are analyzed from eight Nile Valley sites in order to trace human movements. The faunal samples show a wide range of 87Sr/86Sr values demonstrating that some animals were raised in a variety of locales. The results of the human samples reveal overlap in 87Sr/86Sr values between Egyptian and Nubian sites; however, Egyptian 87Sr/86Sr values (mean/median [0.70777], sd [0.00027]) are statistically higher than the Nubian 87Sr/86Sr values (mean [0.70762], median [0.70757], sd [0.00036], suggesting that it is possible to identify if immigrant Egyptians were present at Nubian sites. Samples examined from the site of Tombos provide important information regarding the sociopolitical activities during the New Kingdom and Napatan periods. Based on a newly established local 87Sr/86Sr range, human values, and bioarchaeological evidence, this study confirms the preliminary idea that immigrants, likely from Egypt, were present during the Egyptian New Kingdom occupation of Nubia. In the subsequent Napatan period when Nubia ruled Egypt as the 25th Dynasty, 87Sr/86Sr values are statistically different from the New Kingdom component and indicate that only locals were present at Tombos during this developmental time.

  19. Investigation on maternal lineage of a Neolithic group from northern Shaanxi based on ancient DNA.

    PubMed

    Zhao, Jing; Liu, Fang-E; Lin, Song; Liu, Zhi-Zhen; Sun, Zhou-Yong; Wu, Xiao-Ming; Zhang, Hu-Qin

    2017-09-01

    A magnetic bead purification method was successfully used to extract ancient DNA from the skeletal remains of 10 specimens excavated from Wuzhuangguoliang (Wzhgl) site, which was located in northern Shaanxi. The multidimensional scaling (MDS) and analysis of molecular variance approach (AMOVA) revealed that ancient Wzhgl people bored a very high similarity to southern Han Chinese. By constructing the MJ-network of various modern people including Han Chinese and Japanese, the phylogenetic analysis indicated that the Wzhgl population had close maternal distance with ancient Shandong and Xinjiang people. These findings indicated that Wzhgl contributed to the gene pool of Han Chinese and modern Japanese. In addition, population migration and interflow between Wzhgl people and ancient Shandong or Xinjiang probably occurred in Neolithic period.

  20. 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

  1. 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.

  2. Comparing the performance of three ancient DNA extraction methods for high-throughput sequencing.

    PubMed

    Gamba, Cristina; Hanghøj, Kristian; Gaunitz, Charleen; Alfarhan, Ahmed H; Alquraishi, Saleh A; Al-Rasheid, Khaled A S; Bradley, Daniel G; Orlando, Ludovic

    2016-03-01

    The DNA molecules that can be extracted from archaeological and palaeontological remains are often degraded and massively contaminated with environmental microbial material. This reduces the efficacy of shotgun approaches for sequencing ancient genomes, despite the decreasing sequencing costs of high-throughput sequencing (HTS). Improving the recovery of endogenous molecules from the DNA extraction and purification steps could, thus, help advance the characterization of ancient genomes. Here, we apply the three most commonly used DNA extraction methods to five ancient bone samples spanning a ~30 thousand year temporal range and originating from a diversity of environments, from South America to Alaska. We show that methods based on the purification of DNA fragments using silica columns are more advantageous than in solution methods and increase not only the total amount of DNA molecules retrieved but also the relative importance of endogenous DNA fragments and their molecular diversity. Therefore, these methods provide a cost-effective solution for downstream applications, including DNA sequencing on HTS platforms. © 2015 John Wiley & Sons Ltd.

  3. Patterns of nucleotide misincorporations during enzymatic amplification and direct large-scale sequencing of ancient DNA.

    PubMed

    Stiller, M; Green, R E; Ronan, M; Simons, J F; Du, L; He, W; Egholm, M; Rothberg, J M; Keates, S G; Keats, S G; Ovodov, N D; Antipina, E E; Baryshnikov, G F; Kuzmin, Y V; Vasilevski, A A; Wuenschell, G E; Termini, J; Hofreiter, M; Jaenicke-Després, V; Pääbo, S

    2006-09-12

    Whereas evolutionary inferences derived from present-day DNA sequences are by necessity indirect, ancient DNA sequences provide a direct view of past genetic variants. However, base lesions that accumulate in DNA over time may cause nucleotide misincorporations when ancient DNA sequences are replicated. By repeated amplifications of mitochondrial DNA sequences from a large number of ancient wolf remains, we show that C/G-to-T/A transitions are the predominant type of such misincorporations. Using a massively parallel sequencing method that allows large numbers of single DNA strands to be sequenced, we show that modifications of C, as well as to a lesser extent of G, residues cause such misincorporations. Experiments where oligonucleotides containing modified bases are used as templates in amplification reactions suggest that both of these types of misincorporations can be caused by deamination of the template bases. New DNA sequencing methods in conjunction with knowledge of misincorporation processes have now, in principle, opened the way for the determination of complete genomes from organisms that became extinct during and after the last glaciation.

  4. 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

  5. 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.

  6. 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.

  7. 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

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

    PubMed

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

    2014-02-01

    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.

  9. 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

  10. 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

    2015-07-02

    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.

  11. 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.

  12. Unravelling migrations in the steppe: mitochondrial DNA sequences from ancient central Asians.

    PubMed Central

    Lalueza-Fox, C.; Sampietro, M. L.; Gilbert, M. T. P.; Castri, L.; Facchini, F.; Pettener, D.; Bertranpetit, J.

    2004-01-01

    This study helps to clarify the debate on the Western and Eastern genetic influences in Central Asia. Thirty-six skeletal remains from Kazakhstan (Central Asia), excavated from different sites dating between the fifteenth century BC to the fifth century AD, have been analysed for the hypervariable control region (HVR-I) and haplogroup diagnostic single nucleotide polymorphisms (SNPs) of the mitochondrial DNA genome. Standard authentication criteria for ancient DNA studies, including multiple extractions, cloning of PCR products and independent replication, have been followed. The distribution of east and west Eurasian lineages through time in the region is concordant with the available archaeological information: prior to the thirteenth-seventh century BC, all Kazakh samples belong to European lineages; while later an arrival of east Eurasian sequences that coexisted with the previous west Eurasian genetic substratum can be detected. The presence of an ancient genetic substratum of European origin in West Asia may be related to the discovery of ancient mummies with European features in Xinjiang and to the existence of an extinct Indo-European language, Tocharian. This study demonstrates the usefulness of the ancient DNA in unravelling complex patterns of past human migrations so as to help decipher the origin of present-day admixed populations. PMID:15255049

  13. Ancient DNA: extraction, characterization, molecular cloning, and enzymatic amplification.

    PubMed

    Pääbo, S

    1989-03-01

    Several chemical and enzymatic properties were examined in the DNA extracted from dry remains of soft tissues that vary in age from 4 to 13,000 years and represent four species, including two extinct animals (the marsupial wolf and giant ground sloth). The DNA obtained was invariably of a low average molecular size and damaged by oxidative processes, which primarily manifest themselves as modifications of pyrimidines and sugar residues as well as baseless sites and intermolecular cross-links. This renders molecular cloning difficult. However, the polymerase chain reaction can be used to amplify and study short mitochondrial DNA sequences that are of anthropological and evolutionary significance. This opens up the prospect of performing diachronical studies of molecular evolutionary genetics.

  14. Association between ancient bone preservation and dna yield: a multidisciplinary approach.

    PubMed

    Sosa, C; Vispe, E; Núñez, C; Baeta, M; Casalod, Y; Bolea, M; Hedges, R E M; Martinez-Jarreta, B

    2013-05-01

    Ancient molecular typing depends on DNA survival in archaeological bones. Finding valuable tools to predict DNA presence in ancient samples, which can be measured prior to undertaking a genetic study, has become an important issue as a consequence of the peculiarities of archaeological samples. Since the survival of DNA is explained by complex interrelations of multiple variables, the aim of the present study was to analyze morphological, structural, chemical, and biological aspects of a set of medieval human bones, to provide an accurate reflection of the state of preservation of the bony components and to relate it with DNA presence. Archaeological bones that yielded amplifiable DNA presented high collagen content (generally more than 12%), low racemization values of aspartic acid (lesser than 0.08), leucine and glutamic acid, low infrared splitting factor, small size of crystallite, and more compact appearance of bone in the scanning electron micrographs. Whether these patterns are characteristic of ancient bones or specific of each burial site or specimen requires further investigation. Copyright © 2013 Wiley Periodicals, Inc.

  15. 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.

  16. 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

    2015-07-10

    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.

  17. Ancient DNA in human bone remains from Pompeii archaeological site.

    PubMed

    Cipollaro, M; Di Bernardo, G; Galano, G; Galderisi, U; Guarino, F; Angelini, F; Cascino, A

    1998-06-29

    aDNA extraction and amplification procedures have been optimized for Pompeian human bone remains whose diagenesis has been determined by histological analysis. Single copy genes amplification (X and Y amelogenin loci and Y specific alphoid repeat sequences) have been performed and compared with anthropometric data on sexing.

  18. 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

  19. 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.

  20. Detection of ancient DNA of Encephalitozoon intestinalis (Microsporidia) in archaeological material.

    PubMed

    Myšková, Eva; Ditrich, Oleg; Sak, Bohumil; Kváč, Martin; Cymbalak, Tomasz

    2014-06-01

    Ancient DNA (aDNA) of Encephalitozoon intestinalis (Microsporidia, Fungi) was detected in archaeological material originated from New Town of Prague (Czech Republic) with the use of molecular methods. Microsporidial aDNA was found in 3 samples originating from 2 objects, in a well/cesspit (samples from layers from the 18th century) and in a well from the 18th/19th century. The ability to use molecular methods to detect microsporidia extends the range of paleoparasitological inquiry, and could contribute to a better understanding of parasites shared between human and animals.

  1. 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

  2. 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.

  3. 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.

  4. 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

  5. How microbial ancient DNA, found in association with human remains, can be interpreted.

    PubMed

    Rollo, F; Marota, I

    1999-01-29

    The analysis of the DNA of ancient micro-organisms in archaeological and palaeontological human remains can contribute to the understanding of issues as different as the spreading of a new disease, a mummification process or the effect of diets on historical human populations. The quest for this type of DNA, however, can represent a particularly demanding task. This is mainly due to the abundance and diffusion of bacteria, fungi, yeasts, algae and protozoans in the most diverse environments of the present-day biosphere and the resulting difficulty in distinguishing between ancient and modern DNA. Nevertheless, at least under some special circumstances, by using rigorous protocols, which include an archaeometric survey of the specimens and evaluation of the palaeoecological consistency of the results of DNA sequence analysis, glimpses of the composition of the original microbial flora (e.g. colonic flora) can be caught in ancient human remains. Potentials and pitfalls of this research field are illustrated by the results of research works performed on prehistoric, pre-Columbian and Renaissance human mummies.

  6. Mycolic acids and ancient DNA confirm an osteological diagnosis of tuberculosis.

    PubMed

    Gernaey, A M; Minnikin, D E; Copley, M S; Dixon, R A; Middleton, J C; Roberts, C A

    2001-01-01

    The underlying trends in the past epidemiology of tuberculosis (TB) are obscure, requiring recourse to the archaeological record. It would therefore be of value to develop methods for reliable TB diagnosis in ancient populations. To test the capability of two biomarkers, Mycobacterium tuberculosis complex mycolic acids and a DNA target (IS6110), for confirming an osteological diagnosis of TB in medieval individuals, based on the presence of Pott's disease and/or rib lesions. Osteological examination of three archaeological individuals (Medieval: approximately 1000 years old) revealed a Pott's disease case, one with no changes consistent with TB and one with rib lesions. Rib samples from these individuals were examined for the presence of Mycobacterium tuberculosis complex mycolic acids and mycobacterial DNA. Mycobacterium tuberculosis complex mycolic acids and the DNA target were detected in the Pott's disease case, whilst mycolic acids (insufficient for confirmation) alone were detected in the rib lesion case. Biomarkers provide a sensitive tool to detect ancient TB. Mycobacterium tuberculosis DNA is not distributed homogeneously, making multiple sampling essential. Mycolic acids seem more reliable for ancient TB diagnosis than IS6110. The demonstrated stability of mycolic acids show that they may be of value in tracing the palaeoepidemiology of tuberculosis back into antiquity.

  7. How microbial ancient DNA, found in association with human remains, can be interpreted.

    PubMed Central

    Rollo, F; Marota, I

    1999-01-01

    The analysis of the DNA of ancient micro-organisms in archaeological and palaeontological human remains can contribute to the understanding of issues as different as the spreading of a new disease, a mummification process or the effect of diets on historical human populations. The quest for this type of DNA, however, can represent a particularly demanding task. This is mainly due to the abundance and diffusion of bacteria, fungi, yeasts, algae and protozoans in the most diverse environments of the present-day biosphere and the resulting difficulty in distinguishing between ancient and modern DNA. Nevertheless, at least under some special circumstances, by using rigorous protocols, which include an archaeometric survey of the specimens and evaluation of the palaeoecological consistency of the results of DNA sequence analysis, glimpses of the composition of the original microbial flora (e.g. colonic flora) can be caught in ancient human remains. Potentials and pitfalls of this research field are illustrated by the results of research works performed on prehistoric, pre-Columbian and Renaissance human mummies. PMID:10091251

  8. Extraction and amplification of nuclear and mitochondrial DNA from ancient and artificially aged bones.

    PubMed

    von Wurmb-Schwark, Nicole; Harbeck, Michaela; Wiesbrock, Urs; Schroeder, Inge; Ritz-Timme, Stefanie; Oehmichen, Manfred

    2003-03-01

    An experimental design is presented that simulates an accelerated process of DNA degradation in human bone tissues and thus provides a possibility for a systematic investigation of factors hampering DNA extraction and amplification. Equal sized slices of human femoral bones were incubated in 90 degrees C water for 2 h up to 30 days. DNA was extracted and subjected to a human specific Duplex polymerase chain reaction (PCR) and also to a Multiplex short tandem repeat (STR) PCR. Additionally 24 ancient bones representing different age periods were investigated in the same way. The results were compared to those from the artificially aged samples. After just 12 h of incubation, DNA is totally degraded, but still fully typable. After 36 h no reproducible amplification of DNA is possible. Using Multiplex PCR the DNA from artificially aged bones shows the typical STR pattern for ancient samples suggesting that the in vitro approach provides a useful and comparable method to elucidate the DNA degradation process in bones.

  9. Freshly excavated fossil bones are best for amplification of ancient DNA.

    PubMed

    Pruvost, Mélanie; Schwarz, Reinhard; Correia, Virginia Bessa; Champlot, Sophie; Braguier, Séverine; Morel, Nicolas; Fernandez-Jalvo, Yolanda; Grange, Thierry; Geigl, Eva-Maria

    2007-01-16

    Despite the enormous potential of analyses of ancient DNA for phylogeographic studies of past populations, the impact these analyses, most of which are performed with fossil samples from natural history museum collections, has been limited to some extent by the inefficient recovery of ancient genetic material. Here we show that the standard storage conditions and/or treatments of fossil bones in these collections can be detrimental to DNA survival. Using a quantitative paleogenetic analysis of 247 herbivore fossil bones up to 50,000 years old and originating from 60 different archeological and paleontological contexts, we demonstrate that freshly excavated and nontreated unwashed bones contain six times more DNA and yield twice as many authentic DNA sequences as bones treated with standard procedures. This effect was even more pronounced with bones from one Neolithic site, where only freshly excavated bones yielded results. Finally, we compared the DNA content in the fossil bones of one animal, a approximately 3,200-year-old aurochs, excavated in two separate seasons 57 years apart. Whereas the washed museum-stored fossil bones did not permit any DNA amplification, all recently excavated bones yielded authentic aurochs sequences. We established that during the 57 years when the aurochs bones were stored in a collection, at least as much amplifiable DNA was lost as during the previous 3,200 years of burial. This result calls for a revision of the postexcavation treatment of fossil bones to better preserve the genetic heritage of past life forms.

  10. High potential for using DNA from ancient herring bones to inform modern fisheries management and conservation.

    PubMed

    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

  11. 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

  12. Ancient diversification of eukaryotic MCM DNA replication proteins

    PubMed Central

    Liu, Yuan; Richards, Thomas A; Aves, Stephen J

    2009-01-01

    Background Yeast and animal cells require six mini-chromosome maintenance proteins (Mcm2-7) for pre-replication complex formation, DNA replication initiation and DNA synthesis. These six individual MCM proteins form distinct heterogeneous subunits within a hexamer which is believed to form the replicative helicase and which associates with the essential but non-homologous Mcm10 protein during DNA replication. In contrast Archaea generally only possess one MCM homologue which forms a homohexameric MCM helicase. In some eukaryotes Mcm8 and Mcm9 paralogues also appear to be involved in DNA replication although their exact roles are unclear. Results We used comparative genomics and phylogenetics to reconstruct the diversification of the eukaryotic Mcm2-9 gene family, demonstrating that Mcm2-9 were formed by seven gene duplication events before the last common ancestor of the eukaryotes. Mcm2-7 protein paralogues were present in all eukaryote genomes studied suggesting that no gene loss or functional replacements have been tolerated during the evolutionary diversification of eukaryotes. Mcm8 and 9 are widely distributed in eukaryotes and group together on the MCM phylogenetic tree to the exclusion of all other MCM paralogues suggesting co-ancestry. Mcm8 and Mcm9 are absent in some taxa, including Trichomonas and Giardia, and appear to have been secondarily lost in some fungi and some animals. The presence and absence of Mcm8 and 9 is concordant in all taxa sampled with the exception of Drosophila species. Mcm10 is present in most eukaryotes sampled but shows no concordant pattern of presence or absence with Mcm8 or 9. Conclusion A multifaceted and heterogeneous Mcm2-7 hexamer evolved during the early evolution of the eukaryote cell in parallel with numerous other acquisitions in cell complexity and prior to the diversification of extant eukaryotes. The conservation of all six paralogues throughout the eukaryotes suggests that each Mcm2-7 hexamer component has an

  13. Relationships of the extinct moa-nalos, flightless Hawaiian waterfowl, based on ancient DNA.

    PubMed Central

    Sorenson, M D; Cooper, A; Paxinos, E E; Quinn, T W; James, H F; Olson, S L; Fleischer, R C

    1999-01-01

    The extinct moa-nalos were very large, flightless waterfowl from the Hawaiian islands. We extracted, amplified and sequenced mitochondrial DNA from fossil moa-nalo bones to determine their systematic relationships and lend insight into their biogeographical history. The closest living relatives of these massive, goose-like birds are the familiar dabbling ducks (tribe Anatini). Moa-nalos, however, are not closely related to any one extant species, but represent an ancient lineage that colonized the Hawaiian islands and evolved flightlessness long before the emergence of the youngest island, Hawaii, from which they are absent. Ancient DNA yields a novel hypothesis for the relationships of these bizarre birds, whereas the evidence of phylogeny in morphological characters was obscured by the evolutionary transformation of a small, volant duck into a giant, terrestrial herbivore. PMID:10649633

  14. Ancient DNA sheds new light on the Svalbard foraminiferal fossil record of the last millennium.

    PubMed

    Pawłowska, J; Lejzerowicz, F; Esling, P; Szczuciński, W; Zajączkowski, M; Pawlowski, J

    2014-07-01

    Recent palaeogenetic studies have demonstrated the occurrence of preserved ancient DNA (aDNA) in various types of fossilised material. Environmental aDNA sequences assigned to modern species have been recovered from marine sediments dating to the Pleistocene. However, the match between the aDNA and the fossil record still needs to be evaluated for the environmental DNA approaches to be fully exploited. Here, we focus on foraminifera in sediments up to one thousand years old retrieved from the Hornsund fjord (Svalbard). We compared the diversity of foraminiferal microfossil assemblages with the diversity of aDNA sequenced from subsurface sediment samples using both cloning and high-throughput sequencing (HTS). Our study shows that 57% of the species archived in the fossil record were also detected in the aDNA data. However, the relative abundance of aDNA sequence reads and fossil specimens differed considerably. We also found a limited match between the stratigraphic occurrence of some fossil species and their aDNA sequences, especially in the case of rare taxa. The aDNA data comprised a high proportion of non-fossilised monothalamous species, which are known to dominate in modern foraminiferal communities of the Svalbard region. Our results confirm the relevance of HTS for studying past micro-eukaryotic diversity and provide insight into its ability to reflect fossil assemblages. Palaeogenetic studies including aDNA analyses of non-fossilised groups expand the range of palaeoceanographical proxies and therefore may increase the accuracy of palaeoenvironmental reconstructions.

  15. Combining bleach and mild predigestion improves ancient DNA recovery from bones.

    PubMed

    Boessenkool, Sanne; Hanghøj, Kristian; Nistelberger, Heidi M; Der Sarkissian, Clio; Gondek, Agata T; Orlando, Ludovic; Barrett, James H; Star, Bastiaan

    2017-07-01

    The feasibility of genome-scale studies from archaeological material remains critically dependent on the ability to access endogenous, authentic DNA. In the majority of cases, this represents a few per cent of the DNA extract, at most. A number of specific pre-extraction protocols for bone powder aimed to improve ancient DNA recovery before library amplification have recently been developed. Here, we test the effects of combining two of such protocols, a bleach wash and a predigestion step, on 12 bone samples of Atlantic cod and domestic horse aged 750-1350 cal. years before present. Using high-throughput sequencing, we show that combined together, bleach wash and predigestion consistently yield DNA libraries with higher endogenous content than either of these methods alone. Additionally, the molecular complexity of these libraries is improved and endogenous DNA templates show larger size distributions. Other library characteristics, such as DNA damage profiles or the composition of microbial communities, are little affected by the pre-extraction protocols. Application of the combined protocol presented in this study will facilitate the genetic analysis of an increasing number of ancient remains and will reduce the cost of whole-genome sequencing. © 2016 John Wiley & Sons Ltd.

  16. Ancient DNA provides new insight into the maternal lineages and domestication of Chinese donkeys.

    PubMed

    Han, Lu; Zhu, Songbiao; Ning, Chao; Cai, Dawei; Wang, Kai; Chen, Quanjia; Hu, Songmei; Yang, Junkai; Shao, Jing; Zhu, Hong; Zhou, Hui

    2014-11-30

    The donkey (Equus asinus) is an important domestic animal that provides a reliable source of protein and method of transportation for many human populations. However, the process of domestication and the dispersal routes of the Chinese donkey are still unclear, as donkey remains are sparse in the archaeological record and often confused with horse remains. To explore the maternal origins and dispersal route of Chinese donkeys, both mitochondrial DNA D-loop and cytochrome b gene fragments of 21 suspected donkey remains from four archaeological sites in China were amplified and sequenced. Molecular methods of species identification show that 17 specimens were donkeys and three samples had the maternal genetic signature of horses. One sample that dates to about 20,000 years before present failed to amplify. In this study, the phylogenetic analysis reveals that ancient Chinese donkeys have high mitochondrial DNA diversity and two distinct mitochondrial maternal lineages, known as the Somali and Nubian lineages. These results indicate that the maternal origin of Chinese domestic donkeys was probably related to the African wild ass, which includes the Nubian wild ass (Equus africanus africanus) and the Somali wild ass (Equus africanus somaliensis). Combined with historical records, the results of this study implied that domestic donkeys spread into west and north China before the emergence of the Han dynasty. The number of Chinese domestic donkeys had increased primarily to meet demand for the expansion of trade, and they were likely used as commodities or for shipping goods along the Silk Road during the Tang Dynasty, when the Silk Road reached its golden age. This study is the first to provide valuable ancient animal DNA evidence for early trade between African and Asian populations. The ancient DNA analysis of Chinese donkeys also sheds light on the dynamic process of the maternal origin, domestication, and dispersal route of ancient Chinese donkeys.

  17. Brief communication: Conjoined twins at angel mounds? an ancient DNA perspective.

    PubMed

    Marshall, Charla; Tench, Patricia A; Cook, Della Collins; Kaestle, Frederika A

    2011-09-01

    Conjoined twins are born when a single fertilized egg partially splits into two fetuses. A hypothetical case of infant conjoined twins from Angel Mounds, a Middle Mississippian site (A.D. 1050-1400) on the Ohio River near Evansville, Indiana, was discovered in 1941. Morphological analysis does not rule out the field interpretation of this double burial as twins. Ancient mitochondrial DNA recovered from both infants demonstrates that they were not maternal relatives, and hence that they cannot have been conjoined twins.

  18. Time to Spread Your Wings: A Review of the Avian Ancient DNA Field.

    PubMed

    Grealy, Alicia; Rawlence, Nicolas J; Bunce, Michael

    2017-07-18

    Ancient DNA (aDNA) has the ability to inform the evolutionary history of both extant and extinct taxa; however, the use of aDNA in the study of avian evolution is lacking in comparison to other vertebrates, despite birds being one of the most species-rich vertebrate classes. Here, we review the field of "avian ancient DNA" by summarising the past three decades of literature on this topic. Most studies over this time have used avian aDNA to reconstruct phylogenetic relationships and clarify taxonomy based on the sequencing of a few mitochondrial loci, but recent studies are moving toward using a comparative genomics approach to address developmental and functional questions. Applying aDNA analysis with more practical outcomes in mind (such as managing conservation) is another increasingly popular trend among studies that utilise avian aDNA, but the majority of these have yet to influence management policy. We find that while there have been advances in extracting aDNA from a variety of avian substrates including eggshell, feathers, and coprolites, there is a bias in the temporal focus; the majority of the ca. 150 studies reviewed here obtained aDNA from late Holocene (100-1000 yBP) material, with few studies investigating Pleistocene-aged material. In addition, we identify and discuss several other issues within the field that require future attention. With more than one quarter of Holocene bird extinctions occurring in the last several hundred years, it is more important than ever to understand the mechanisms driving the evolution and extinction of bird species through the use of aDNA.

  19. 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%.

  20. 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

  1. 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

  2. To Clone or Not To Clone: Method Analysis for Retrieving Consensus Sequences In Ancient DNA Samples

    PubMed Central

    Winters, Misa; Barta, Jodi Lynn; Monroe, Cara; Kemp, Brian M.

    2011-01-01

    The challenges associated with the retrieval and authentication of ancient DNA (aDNA) evidence are principally due to post-mortem damage which makes ancient samples particularly prone to contamination from “modern” DNA sources. The necessity for authentication of results has led many aDNA researchers to adopt methods considered to be “gold standards” in the field, including cloning aDNA amplicons as opposed to directly sequencing them. However, no standardized protocol has emerged regarding the necessary number of clones to sequence, how a consensus sequence is most appropriately derived, or how results should be reported in the literature. In addition, there has been no systematic demonstration of the degree to which direct sequences are affected by damage or whether direct sequencing would provide disparate results from a consensus of clones. To address this issue, a comparative study was designed to examine both cloned and direct sequences amplified from ∼3,500 year-old ancient northern fur seal DNA extracts. Majority rules and the Consensus Confidence Program were used to generate consensus sequences for each individual from the cloned sequences, which exhibited damage at 31 of 139 base pairs across all clones. In no instance did the consensus of clones differ from the direct sequence. This study demonstrates that, when appropriate, cloning need not be the default method, but instead, should be used as a measure of authentication on a case-by-case basis, especially when this practice adds time and cost to studies where it may be superfluous. PMID:21738625

  3. Insights into early pig domestication provided by ancient DNA analysis

    PubMed Central

    Caliebe, Amke; Nebel, Almut; Makarewicz, Cheryl; Krawczak, Michael; Krause-Kyora, Ben

    2017-01-01

    Pigs (Sus scrofa) were first domesticated between 8,500 and 8,000 cal BC in the Near East, from where they were subsequently brought into Europe by agriculturalists. Soon after the arrival of the first domestic pigs in northern Europe (~4500 BC), farmers are thought to have started to incorporate local wild boars into their swine herds. This husbandry strategy ultimately resulted in the domestication of European wild boars. Here, we set out to provide a more precise geographic and temporal framework of the early management of suid populations in northern Europe, drawing upon mitochondrial DNA haplotype data from 116 Neolithic Sus specimens. We developed a quantitative mathematical model tracing the haplotypes of the domestic pigs back to their most likely geographic origin. Our modelling results suggest that, between 5000 and 4000 BC, almost all matrilines in the north originated from domesticated animals from the south of central Europe. In the following period (4000–3000 BC), an estimated 78–100% of domesticates in the north were of northern matrilineal origin, largely from local wild boars. These findings point towards a dramatic change in suid management strategies taking place throughout south-central and northern Europe after 4000 BC. PMID:28300151

  4. Insights into early pig domestication provided by ancient DNA analysis.

    PubMed

    Caliebe, Amke; Nebel, Almut; Makarewicz, Cheryl; Krawczak, Michael; Krause-Kyora, Ben

    2017-03-16

    Pigs (Sus scrofa) were first domesticated between 8,500 and 8,000 cal BC in the Near East, from where they were subsequently brought into Europe by agriculturalists. Soon after the arrival of the first domestic pigs in northern Europe (~4500 BC), farmers are thought to have started to incorporate local wild boars into their swine herds. This husbandry strategy ultimately resulted in the domestication of European wild boars. Here, we set out to provide a more precise geographic and temporal framework of the early management of suid populations in northern Europe, drawing upon mitochondrial DNA haplotype data from 116 Neolithic Sus specimens. We developed a quantitative mathematical model tracing the haplotypes of the domestic pigs back to their most likely geographic origin. Our modelling results suggest that, between 5000 and 4000 BC, almost all matrilines in the north originated from domesticated animals from the south of central Europe. In the following period (4000-3000 BC), an estimated 78-100% of domesticates in the north were of northern matrilineal origin, largely from local wild boars. These findings point towards a dramatic change in suid management strategies taking place throughout south-central and northern Europe after 4000 BC.

  5. Taming the Past: Ancient DNA and the Study of Animal Domestication.

    PubMed

    MacHugh, David E; Larson, Greger; Orlando, Ludovic

    2017-02-08

    During the last decade, ancient DNA research has been revolutionized by the availability of increasingly powerful DNA sequencing and ancillary genomics technologies, giving rise to the new field of paleogenomics. In this review, we show how our understanding of the genetic basis of animal domestication and the origins and dispersal of livestock and companion animals during the Upper Paleolithic and Neolithic periods is being rapidly transformed through new scientific knowledge generated with paleogenomic methods. These techniques have been particularly informative in revealing high-resolution patterns of artificial and natural selection and evidence for significant admixture between early domestic animal populations and their wild congeners.

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

    PubMed Central

    Chang, Dan

    2016-01-01

    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

  7. Time to Spread Your Wings: A Review of the Avian Ancient DNA Field

    PubMed Central

    Grealy, Alicia; Rawlence, Nicolas J.

    2017-01-01

    Ancient DNA (aDNA) has the ability to inform the evolutionary history of both extant and extinct taxa; however, the use of aDNA in the study of avian evolution is lacking in comparison to other vertebrates, despite birds being one of the most species-rich vertebrate classes. Here, we review the field of “avian ancient DNA” by summarising the past three decades of literature on this topic. Most studies over this time have used avian aDNA to reconstruct phylogenetic relationships and clarify taxonomy based on the sequencing of a few mitochondrial loci, but recent studies are moving toward using a comparative genomics approach to address developmental and functional questions. Applying aDNA analysis with more practical outcomes in mind (such as managing conservation) is another increasingly popular trend among studies that utilise avian aDNA, but the majority of these have yet to influence management policy. We find that while there have been advances in extracting aDNA from a variety of avian substrates including eggshell, feathers, and coprolites, there is a bias in the temporal focus; the majority of the ca. 150 studies reviewed here obtained aDNA from late Holocene (100–1000 yBP) material, with few studies investigating Pleistocene-aged material. In addition, we identify and discuss several other issues within the field that require future attention. With more than one quarter of Holocene bird extinctions occurring in the last several hundred years, it is more important than ever to understand the mechanisms driving the evolution and extinction of bird species through the use of aDNA. PMID:28718817

  8. 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. Copyright © 2011 Wiley Periodicals, Inc.

  9. STRONTIUM PRECIPITATION

    DOEpatents

    McKenzie, T.R.

    1960-09-13

    A process is given for improving the precipitation of strontium from an aqueous phosphoric-acid-containing solution with nickel or cobalt ferrocyanide by simultaneously precipitating strontium or calcium phosphate. This is accomplished by adding to the ferrocyanide-containing solution calcium or strontium nitrate in a quantity to yield a concentration of from 0.004 to 0.03 and adjusting the pH of the solution to a value of above 8.

  10. Experimental conditions improving in-solution target enrichment for ancient DNA.

    PubMed

    Cruz-Dávalos, Diana I; Llamas, Bastien; Gaunitz, Charleen; Fages, Antoine; Gamba, Cristina; Soubrier, Julien; Librado, Pablo; Seguin-Orlando, Andaine; Pruvost, Mélanie; Alfarhan, Ahmed H; Alquraishi, Saleh A; Al-Rasheid, Khaled A S; Scheu, Amelie; Beneke, Norbert; Ludwig, Arne; Cooper, Alan; Willerslev, Eske; Orlando, Ludovic

    2016-08-27

    High-throughput sequencing has dramatically fostered ancient DNA research in recent years. Shotgun sequencing, however, does not necessarily appear as the best-suited approach due to the extensive contamination of samples with exogenous environmental microbial DNA. DNA capture-enrichment methods represent cost-effective alternatives that increase the sequencing focus on the endogenous fraction, whether it is from mitochondrial or nuclear genomes, or parts thereof. Here, we explored experimental parameters that could impact the efficacy of MYbaits in-solution capture assays of ~5000 nuclear loci or the whole genome. We found that varying quantities of the starting probes had only moderate effect on capture outcomes. Starting DNA, probe tiling, the hybridization temperature and the proportion of endogenous DNA all affected the assay, however. Additionally, probe features such as their GC content, number of CpG dinucleotides, sequence complexity and entropy and self-annealing properties need to be carefully addressed during the design stage of the capture assay. The experimental conditions and probe molecular features identified in this study will improve the recovery of genetic information extracted from degraded and ancient remains.

  11. [Phylogenetic analysis of ancient mitochondrial DNA lineages of human remains found in Yakutia].

    PubMed

    Fedorova, S A; Stepanov, A D; Adoian, M; Parik, J; Argunov, V A; Ozawa, T; Khusnutdinova, E K; Villems, R

    2008-01-01

    Molecular genetic analysis of ancient human remains are mostly based on mitochondrial DNA due to its better preservation in human skeletons in comparison with nuclear DNA. We investigated mtDNA extracted from human skeletons found in graves in Yakutia to determine their haplotypes and to compare them with lineages of modern populations. Ancient DNA was extracted from fragments of three skeletons of Yakut graves at At-Dabaan, Ojuluun and Jaraama sites (dating XVIII century) and two skeletons of Neolithic graves at Kerdugen site found in central Yakutia (Churapchinsky, Kangalassky and Megino-Kangalassky districts of Yakutia). Five different haplotypes belonging to specific Asian haplogroups were identified. Lineages of mtDNA of Yakut graves belong to haplo-groups C4a, D5a2 and B5b. Our results indicate the continuity of mitochondrial lineages in the Yakut gene pool during the last 300 years. Haplotypes of two humans from Kerdugen site graves belong to haplogroups A4 and G2a/D. We compared these haplotypes with that of 40,000 Eurasian individuals, 900 of them from Yakutia. No exact matches were found in Paleoasian populations of Chukchi, Eskimos, Koryaks and Itelmen. Phylogenetically close haplotypes (+/- 1 mutation) were found in populations of Yakuts and Evenks, as well as in some populations of China, Southern and Western Siberia.

  12. 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.

  13. Ancient DNA complements microfossil record in deep-sea subsurface sediments.

    PubMed

    Lejzerowicz, Franck; Esling, Philippe; Majewski, Wojciech; Szczuciński, Witold; Decelle, Johan; Obadia, Cyril; Arbizu, Pedro Martinez; Pawlowski, Jan

    2013-08-23

    Deep-sea subsurface sediments are the most important archives of marine biodiversity. Until now, these archives were studied mainly using the microfossil record, disregarding large amounts of DNA accumulated on the deep-sea floor. Accessing ancient DNA (aDNA) molecules preserved down-core would offer unique insights into the history of marine biodiversity, including both fossilized and non-fossilized taxa. Here, we recover aDNA of eukaryotic origin across four cores collected at abyssal depths in the South Atlantic, in up to 32.5 thousand-year-old sediment layers. Our study focuses on Foraminifera and Radiolaria, two major groups of marine microfossils also comprising diverse non-fossilized taxa. We describe their assemblages in down-core sediment layers applying both micropalaeontological and environmental DNA sequencing approaches. Short fragments of the foraminiferal and radiolarian small subunit rRNA gene recovered from sedimentary DNA extracts provide evidence that eukaryotic aDNA is preserved in deep-sea sediments encompassing the last glacial maximum. Most aDNA were assigned to non-fossilized taxa that also dominate in molecular studies of modern environments. Our study reveals the potential of aDNA to better document the evolution of past marine ecosystems and opens new horizons for the development of deep-sea palaeogenomics.

  14. Ancient DNA analysis identifies marine mollusc shells as new metagenomic archives of the past.

    PubMed

    Der Sarkissian, Clio; Pichereau, Vianney; Dupont, Catherine; Ilsøe, Peter C; Perrigault, Mickael; Butler, Paul; Chauvaud, Laurent; Eiríksson, Jón; Scourse, James; Paillard, Christine; Orlando, Ludovic

    2017-04-10

    Marine mollusc shells enclose a wealth of information on coastal organisms and their environment. Their life history traits as well as (palaeo-) environmental conditions, including temperature, food availability, salinity, and pollution, can be traced through the analysis of their shell (micro-) structure and biogeochemical composition. Adding to this list the DNA entrapped in shell carbonate biominerals potentially offers a novel and complementary proxy both for reconstructing palaeoenvironments and tracking mollusc evolutionary trajectories. Here, we assess this potential by applying DNA extraction, high-throughput shotgun DNA sequencing and metagenomic analyses to marine mollusc shells spanning the last ~7,000 years. We report successful DNA extraction from shells, including a variety of ancient specimens, and find that DNA recovery is highly dependent on their biomineral structure, carbonate layer preservation, and disease state. We demonstrate positive taxonomic identification of mollusc species using a combination of mitochondrial DNA genomes, barcodes, genome-scale data, and metagenomic approaches. We also find shell biominerals to contain a diversity of microbial DNA from the marine environment. Finally, we reconstruct genomic sequences of organisms closely related to the Vibrio tapetis bacteria from Manila clam shells previously diagnosed with Brown Ring Disease. Our results reveal marine mollusc shells as novel genetic archives of the past, which opens new perspectives in ancient DNA research, with the potential to reconstruct the evolutionary history of molluscs, microbial communities, and pathogens in the face of environmental changes. Other future applications include conservation of endangered mollusc species and aquaculture management. This article is protected by copyright. All rights reserved.

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

    PubMed Central

    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

  16. 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

    2014-03-06

    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.

  17. Major transitions in human evolution revisited: a tribute to ancient DNA.

    PubMed

    Ermini, Luca; Der Sarkissian, Clio; Willerslev, Eske; Orlando, Ludovic

    2015-02-01

    The origin and diversification of modern humans have been characterized by major evolutionary transitions and demographic changes. Patterns of genetic variation within modern populations can help with reconstructing this ∼200 thousand year-long population history. However, by combining this information with genomic data from ancient remains, one can now directly access our evolutionary past and reveal our population history in much greater detail. This review outlines the main recent achievements in ancient DNA research and illustrates how the field recently moved from the polymerase chain reaction (PCR) amplification of short mitochondrial fragments to whole-genome sequencing and thereby revisited our own history. Ancient DNA research has revealed the routes that our ancestors took when colonizing the planet, whom they admixed with, how they domesticated plant and animal species, how they genetically responded to changes in lifestyle, and also, which pathogens decimated their populations. These approaches promise to soon solve many pending controversies about our own origins that are indecipherable from modern patterns of genetic variation alone, and therefore provide an extremely powerful toolkit for a new generation of molecular anthropologists.

  18. 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.

  19. Ancient DNA reveals differences in behaviour and sociality between brown bears and extinct cave bears.

    PubMed

    Fortes, Gloria G; Grandal-d'Anglade, Aurora; Kolbe, Ben; Fernandes, Daniel; Meleg, Ioana N; García-Vázquez, Ana; Pinto-Llona, Ana C; Constantin, Silviu; de Torres, Trino J; Ortiz, Jose E; Frischauf, Christine; Rabeder, Gernot; Hofreiter, Michael; Barlow, Axel

    2016-10-01

    Ancient DNA studies have revolutionized the study of extinct species and populations, providing insights on phylogeny, phylogeography, admixture and demographic history. However, inferences on behaviour and sociality have been far less frequent. Here, we investigate the complete mitochondrial genomes of extinct Late Pleistocene cave bears and middle Holocene brown bears that each inhabited multiple geographically proximate caves in northern Spain. In cave bears, we find that, although most caves were occupied simultaneously, each cave almost exclusively contains a unique lineage of closely related haplotypes. This remarkable pattern suggests extreme fidelity to their birth site in cave bears, best described as homing behaviour, and that cave bears formed stable maternal social groups at least for hibernation. In contrast, brown bears do not show any strong association of mitochondrial lineage and cave, suggesting that these two closely related species differed in aspects of their behaviour and sociality. This difference is likely to have contributed to cave bear extinction, which occurred at a time in which competition for caves between bears and humans was likely intense and the ability to rapidly colonize new hibernation sites would have been crucial for the survival of a species so dependent on caves for hibernation as cave bears. Our study demonstrates the potential of ancient DNA to uncover patterns of behaviour and sociality in ancient species and populations, even those that went extinct many tens of thousands of years ago. © 2016 John Wiley & Sons Ltd.

  20. 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.

  1. 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

  2. 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.

  3. 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.

  4. King penguin population on Macquarie Island recovers ancient DNA diversity after heavy exploitation in historic times.

    PubMed

    Heupink, Tim H; van den Hoff, John; Lambert, David M

    2012-08-23

    Historically, king penguin populations on Macquarie Island have suffered greatly from human exploitation. Two large colonies on the island were drastically reduced to a single small colony as a result of harvesting for the blubber oil industry. However, recent conservation efforts have resulted in the king penguin population expanding in numbers and range to recolonize previous as well as new sites. Ancient DNA methods were used to estimate past genetic diversity and combined with studies of modern populations, we are now able to compare past levels of variation with extant populations on northern Macquarie Island. The ancient and modern populations are closely related and show a similar level of genetic diversity. These results suggest that the king penguin population has recovered past genetic diversity in just 80 years owing to conservation efforts, despite having seen the brink of extinction.

  5. Ancient DNA analysis affirms the canid from Altai as a primitive dog.

    PubMed

    Druzhkova, Anna S; Thalmann, Olaf; 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.

  6. 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

  7. King penguin population on Macquarie Island recovers ancient DNA diversity after heavy exploitation in historic times

    PubMed Central

    Heupink, Tim H.; van den Hoff, John; Lambert, David M.

    2012-01-01

    Historically, king penguin populations on Macquarie Island have suffered greatly from human exploitation. Two large colonies on the island were drastically reduced to a single small colony as a result of harvesting for the blubber oil industry. However, recent conservation efforts have resulted in the king penguin population expanding in numbers and range to recolonize previous as well as new sites. Ancient DNA methods were used to estimate past genetic diversity and combined with studies of modern populations, we are now able to compare past levels of variation with extant populations on northern Macquarie Island. The ancient and modern populations are closely related and show a similar level of genetic diversity. These results suggest that the king penguin population has recovered past genetic diversity in just 80 years owing to conservation efforts, despite having seen the brink of extinction. PMID:22357937

  8. 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

  9. 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

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

    PubMed

    Lech, T

    2016-05-06

    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.

  11. Monitoring DNA contamination in handled vs. directly excavated ancient human skeletal remains.

    PubMed

    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 14(th) 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.

  12. 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.

  13. 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

  14. Biomolecular identification of ancient Mycobacterium tuberculosis complex DNA in human remains from Britain and continental Europe.

    PubMed

    Müller, Romy; Roberts, Charlotte A; Brown, Terence A

    2014-02-01

    Tuberculosis is known to have afflicted humans throughout history and re-emerged towards the end of the 20th century, to an extent that it was declared a global emergency in 1993. The aim of this study was to apply a rigorous analytical regime to the detection of Mycobacterium tuberculosis complex (MTBC) DNA in 77 bone and tooth samples from 70 individuals from Britain and continental Europe, spanning the 1st-19th centuries AD. We performed the work in dedicated ancient DNA facilities designed to prevent all types of modern contamination, we checked the authenticity of all products obtained by the polymerase chain reaction, and we based our conclusions on up to four replicate experiments for each sample, some carried out in an independent laboratory. We identified 12 samples that, according to our strict criteria, gave definite evidence for the presence of MTBC DNA, and another 22 that we classified as "probable" or "possible." None of the definite samples came from vertebrae displaying lesions associated with TB. Instead, eight were from ribs displaying visceral new bone formation, one was a tooth from a skeleton with rib lesions, one was taken from a skeleton with endocranial lesions, one from an individual with lesions to the sacrum and sacroiliac joint and the last was from an individual with no lesions indicative of TB or possible TB. Our results add to information on the past temporal and geographical distribution of TB and affirm the suitability of ribs for studying ancient TB. Copyright © 2013 Wiley Periodicals, Inc.

  15. Ancient DNA reveals traces of Iberian Neolithic and Bronze Age lineages in modern Iberian horses.

    PubMed

    Lira, Jaime; Linderholm, Anna; Olaria, Carmen; Brandström Durling, Mikael; Gilbert, M Thomas P; Ellegren, Hans; Willerslev, Eske; Lidén, Kerstin; Arsuaga, Juan Luis; Götherström, Anders

    2010-01-01

    Multiple geographical regions have been proposed for the domestication of Equus caballus. It has been suggested, based on zooarchaeological and genetic analyses that wild horses from the Iberian Peninsula were involved in the process, and the overrepresentation of mitochondrial D1 cluster in modern Iberian horses supports this suggestion. To test this hypothesis, we analysed mitochondrial DNA from 22 ancient Iberian horse remains belonging to the Neolithic, the Bronze Age and the Middle Ages, against previously published sequences. Only the medieval Iberian sequence appeared in the D1 group. Neolithic and Bronze Age sequences grouped in other clusters, one of which (Lusitano group C) is exclusively represented by modern horses of Iberian origin. Moreover, Bronze Age Iberian sequences displayed the lowest nucleotide diversity values when compared with modern horses, ancient wild horses and other ancient domesticates using nonparametric bootstrapping analyses. We conclude that the excessive clustering of Bronze Age horses in the Lusitano group C, the observed nucleotide diversity and the local continuity from wild Neolithic Iberian to modern Iberian horses, could be explained by the use of local wild mares during an early Iberian domestication or restocking event, whereas the D1 group probably was introduced into Iberia in later historical times.

  16. Integrating archaeology and ancient DNA to address invasive species colonization in the Gulf of Alaska.

    PubMed

    West, Catherine; Hofman, Courtney A; Ebbert, Steve; Martin, John; Shirazi, Sabrina; Dunning, Samantha; Maldonado, Jesus E

    2016-11-17

    The intentional and unintentional movement of plants and animals by humans has transformed ecosystems and landscapes globally. Assessing when and how a species was introduced are central to managing these transformed landscapes, particularly in island environments. In the Gulf of Alaska, there is considerable interest in the history of mammal introductions and rehabilitating Gulf of Alaska island environments by eradicating those mammals classified as invasive species. The Arctic ground squirrel (Urocitellus parryii) is of concern because of its effect on vegetation and seabirds on Gulf of Alaska islands. This animal is assumed to have been introduced by historic settlers, however, ground squirrel remains in the prehistoric archaeological record of Chirikof Island, Alaska challenges this timeline, suggesting that they colonized the islands long ago. This study uses three lines of evidence to address this problem: 1) direct radiocarbon dating of archaeological squirrel remains; 2) evidence of prehistoric human use of squirrels; and 3) ancient DNA analysis of dated squirrel remains. The results suggest that squirrels have been on Chirikof longer than previously assumed and that the current population of squirrels is closely related to the ancient population. This challenges the assumption that ground squirrels were a recent, human-mediated introduction and supports the hypothesis that they may have colonized the island via a natural dispersal event or an ancient human translocation. This article is protected by copyright. All rights reserved.

  17. HLTF's Ancient HIRAN Domain Binds 3' DNA Ends to Drive Replication Fork Reversal.

    PubMed

    Kile, Andrew C; Chavez, Diana A; Bacal, Julien; Eldirany, Sherif; Korzhnev, Dmitry M; Bezsonova, Irina; Eichman, Brandt F; Cimprich, Karlene A

    2015-06-18

    Stalled replication forks are a critical problem for the cell because they can lead to complex genome rearrangements that underlie cell death and disease. Processes such as DNA damage tolerance and replication fork reversal protect stalled forks from these events. A central mediator of these DNA damage responses in humans is the Rad5-related DNA translocase, HLTF. Here, we present biochemical and structural evidence that the HIRAN domain, an ancient and conserved domain found in HLTF and other DNA processing proteins, is a modified oligonucleotide/oligosaccharide (OB) fold that binds to 3' ssDNA ends. We demonstrate that the HIRAN domain promotes HLTF-dependent fork reversal in vitro through its interaction with 3' ssDNA ends found at forks. Finally, we show that HLTF restrains replication fork progression in cells in a HIRAN-dependent manner. These findings establish a mechanism of HLTF-mediated fork reversal and provide insight into the requirement for distinct fork remodeling activities in the cell.

  18. Surveying the repair of ancient DNA from bones via high-throughput sequencing.

    PubMed

    Mouttham, Nathalie; Klunk, Jennifer; Kuch, Melanie; Fourney, Ron; Poinar, Hendrik

    2015-07-01

    DNA damage in the form of abasic sites, chemically altered nucleotides, and strand fragmentation is the foremost limitation in obtaining genetic information from many ancient samples. Upon cell death, DNA continues to endure various chemical attacks such as hydrolysis and oxidation, but repair pathways found in vivo no longer operate. By incubating degraded DNA with specific enzyme combinations adopted from these pathways, it is possible to reverse some of the post-mortem nucleic acid damage prior to downstream analyses such as library preparation, targeted enrichment, and high-throughput sequencing. Here, we evaluate the performance of two available repair protocols on previously characterized DNA extracts from four mammoths. Both methods use endonucleases and glycosylases along with a DNA polymerase-ligase combination. PreCR Repair Mix increases the number of molecules converted to sequencing libraries, leading to an increase in endogenous content and a decrease in cytosine-to-thymine transitions due to cytosine deamination. However, the effects of Nelson Repair Mix on repair of DNA damage remain inconclusive.

  19. Ancient DNA forces reconsideration of evolutionary history of Mediterranean pygmy elephantids

    PubMed Central

    Poulakakis, Nikos; Parmakelis, Aris; Lymberakis, Petros; Mylonas, Moysis; Zouros, Eleftherios; Reese, David S; Glaberman, Scott; Caccone, Adalgisa

    2006-01-01

    During the Pleistocene pygmy elephantids, some only a quarter of their ancestors' size, were present on Mediterranean islands until about 10 000 years ago (y.a.). Using a new methodology for ancient DNA (aDNA) studies, the whole genomic multiple displacement amplification method, we were able to retrieve cytochrome b (cytb) DNA fragments from 4200 to 800 000 y.a. specimens from island and mainland samples, including pygmy and normal-sized forms. The short DNA sequence (43 bp) retrieved from the 800 000 y.a. sample is one of the oldest DNA fragment ever retrieved. Duplication of the experiments in two laboratories, the occurrence of three diagnostic sites and the results of the phylogenetic analyses strongly support its authenticity. Our results challenge the prevailing view that pygmy elephantids of the eastern Mediterranean originated exclusively from Elephas, suggesting independent histories of dwarfism and the presence of both pygmy mammoths and elephant-like taxa on these islands. Based on our molecular data, the origin of the Tilos and Cyprus elephantids from a lineage within the genus Elephas is confirmed, while the DNA sequence from the Cretan sample falls clearly within the mammoth clade. Thus, the name Mammuthus creticus rather than Elephas creticus, seems to be justified for this form. Our findings also suggest a need to re-evaluate the evolutionary history of the Sicilian/Maltese species, traditionally included in the genus Elephas. PMID:17148428

  20. Recharacterization of ancient DNA miscoding lesions: insights in the era of sequencing-by-synthesis.

    PubMed

    Gilbert, M Thomas P; Binladen, Jonas; Miller, Webb; Wiuf, Carsten; Willerslev, Eske; Poinar, Hendrik; Carlson, John E; Leebens-Mack, James H; Schuster, Stephan C

    2007-01-01

    Although ancient DNA (aDNA) miscoding lesions have been studied since the earliest days of the field, their nature remains a source of debate. A variety of conflicting hypotheses exist about which miscoding lesions constitute true aDNA damage as opposed to PCR polymerase amplification error. Furthermore, considerable disagreement and speculation exists on which specific damage events underlie observed miscoding lesions. The root of the problem is that it has previously been difficult to assemble sufficient data to test the hypotheses, and near-impossible to accurately determine the specific strand of origin of observed damage events. With the advent of emulsion-based clonal amplification (emPCR) and the sequencing-by-synthesis technology this has changed. In this paper we demonstrate how data produced on the Roche GS20 genome sequencer can determine miscoding lesion strands of origin, and subsequently be interpreted to enable characterization of the aDNA damage behind the observed phenotypes. Through comparative analyses on 390,965 bp of modern chloroplast and 131,474 bp of ancient woolly mammoth GS20 sequence data we conclusively demonstrate that in this sample at least, a permafrost preserved specimen, Type 2 (cytosine-->thymine/guanine-->adenine) miscoding lesions represent the overwhelming majority of damage-derived miscoding lesions. Additionally, we show that an as yet unidentified guanine-->adenine analogue modification, not the conventionally argued cytosine-->uracil deamination, underpins a significant proportion of Type 2 damage. How widespread these implications are for aDNA will become apparent as future studies analyse data recovered from a wider range of substrates.

  1. 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

  2. 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.

  3. Ancient DNA from lake sediments: bridging the gap between paleoecology and genetics.

    PubMed

    Anderson-Carpenter, Lynn L; McLachlan, Jason S; Jackson, Stephen T; Kuch, Melanie; Lumibao, Candice Y; Poinar, Hendrik N

    2011-01-27

    Quaternary plant ecology in much of the world has historically relied on morphological identification of macro- and microfossils from sediments of small freshwater lakes. Here, we report new protocols that reliably yield DNA sequence data from Holocene plant macrofossils and bulk lake sediment used to infer ecological change. This will allow changes in census populations, estimated from fossils and associated sediment, to be directly associated with population genetic changes. We successfully sequenced DNA from 64 samples (out of 126) comprised of bulk sediment and seeds, leaf fragments, budscales, and samaras extracted from Holocene lake sediments in the western Great Lakes region of North America. Overall, DNA yields were low. However, we were able to reliably amplify samples with as few as 10 copies of a short cpDNA fragment with little detectable PCR inhibition. Our success rate was highest for sediments < 2000 years old, but we were able to successfully amplify DNA from samples up to 4600 years old. DNA sequences matched the taxonomic identity of the macrofossil from which they were extracted 79% of the time. Exceptions suggest that DNA molecules from surrounding nearby sediments may permeate or adhere to macrofossils in sediments. An ability to extract ancient DNA from Holocene sediments potentially allows exciting new insights into the genetic consequences of long-term environmental change. The low DNA copy numbers we found in fossil material and the discovery of multiple sequence variants from single macrofossil extractions highlight the need for careful experimental and laboratory protocols. Further application of these protocols should lead to better understanding of the ecological and evolutionary consequences of environmental change.

  4. Ancient DNA from lake sediments: Bridging the gap between paleoecology and genetics

    PubMed Central

    2011-01-01

    Background Quaternary plant ecology in much of the world has historically relied on morphological identification of macro- and microfossils from sediments of small freshwater lakes. Here, we report new protocols that reliably yield DNA sequence data from Holocene plant macrofossils and bulk lake sediment used to infer ecological change. This will allow changes in census populations, estimated from fossils and associated sediment, to be directly associated with population genetic changes. Results We successfully sequenced DNA from 64 samples (out of 126) comprised of bulk sediment and seeds, leaf fragments, budscales, and samaras extracted from Holocene lake sediments in the western Great Lakes region of North America. Overall, DNA yields were low. However, we were able to reliably amplify samples with as few as 10 copies of a short cpDNA fragment with little detectable PCR inhibition. Our success rate was highest for sediments < 2000 years old, but we were able to successfully amplify DNA from samples up to 4600 years old. DNA sequences matched the taxonomic identity of the macrofossil from which they were extracted 79% of the time. Exceptions suggest that DNA molecules from surrounding nearby sediments may permeate or adhere to macrofossils in sediments. Conclusions An ability to extract ancient DNA from Holocene sediments potentially allows exciting new insights into the genetic consequences of long-term environmental change. The low DNA copy numbers we found in fossil material and the discovery of multiple sequence variants from single macrofossil extractions highlight the need for careful experimental and laboratory protocols. Further application of these protocols should lead to better understanding of the ecological and evolutionary consequences of environmental change. PMID:21272315

  5. Preferential access to genetic information from endogenous hominin ancient DNA and accurate quantitative SNP-typing via SPEX

    PubMed Central

    Brotherton, Paul; Sanchez, Juan J.; Cooper, Alan; Endicott, Phillip

    2010-01-01

    The analysis of targeted genetic loci from ancient, forensic and clinical samples is usually built upon polymerase chain reaction (PCR)-generated sequence data. However, many studies have shown that PCR amplification from poor-quality DNA templates can create sequence artefacts at significant levels. With hominin (human and other hominid) samples, the pervasive presence of highly PCR-amplifiable human DNA contaminants in the vast majority of samples can lead to the creation of recombinant hybrids and other non-authentic artefacts. The resulting PCR-generated sequences can then be difficult, if not impossible, to authenticate. In contrast, single primer extension (SPEX)-based approaches can genotype single nucleotide polymorphisms from ancient fragments of DNA as accurately as modern DNA. A single SPEX-type assay can amplify just one of the duplex DNA strands at target loci and generate a multi-fold depth-of-coverage, with non-authentic recombinant hybrids reduced to undetectable levels. Crucially, SPEX-type approaches can preferentially access genetic information from damaged and degraded endogenous ancient DNA templates over modern human DNA contaminants. The development of SPEX-type assays offers the potential for highly accurate, quantitative genotyping from ancient hominin samples. PMID:19864251

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

    PubMed

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

    2014-04-29

    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.

  7. 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

  8. 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. © 2016 The Author(s).

  9. Ancient DNA reveals Holocene loss of genetic diversity in a South American rodent.

    PubMed

    Chan, Yvonne L; Lacey, Eileen A; Pearson, Oliver P; Hadly, Elizabeth A

    2005-12-22

    Understanding how animal populations have evolved in response to palaeoenvironmental conditions is essential for predicting the impact of future environmental change on current biodiversity. Analyses of ancient DNA provide a unique opportunity to track population responses to prehistoric environments. We explored the effects of palaeoenvironmental change on the colonial tuco-tuco (Ctenomys sociabilis), a highly endemic species of Patagonian rodent that is currently listed as threatened by the IUCN. By combining surveys of modern genetic variation from throughout this species' current geographic range with analyses of DNA samples from fossil material dating back to 10,000 ybp, we demonstrate a striking decline in genetic diversity that is concordant with environmental events in the study region. Our results highlight the importance of non-anthropogenic factors in loss of diversity, including reductions in smaller mammals such as rodents.

  10. Ancient DNA evidence for the loss of a highly divergent brown bear clade during historical times.

    PubMed

    Calvignac, Sebastien; Hughes, Sandrine; Tougard, Christelle; Michaux, Jacques; Thevenot, Michel; Philippe, Michel; Hamdine, Watik; Hänni, Catherine

    2008-04-01

    The genetic diversity of present-day brown bears (Ursus arctos) has been extensively studied over the years and appears to be geographically structured into five main clades. The question of the past diversity of the species has been recently addressed by ancient DNA studies that concluded to a relative genetic stability over the last 35,000 years. However, the post-last glacial maximum genetic diversity of the species still remains poorly documented, notably in the Old World. Here, we analyse Atlas brown bears, which became extinct during the Holocene period. A divergent brown bear mitochondrial DNA lineage not present in any of the previously studied modern or ancient bear samples was uncovered, suggesting that the diversity of U. arctos was larger in the past than it is now. Specifically, a significant portion (with respect to sequence divergence) of the intraspecific diversity of the brown bear was lost with the extinction of the Atlas brown bear after the Pleistocene/Holocene transition.

  11. Neanderthal behaviour, diet, and disease inferred from ancient DNA in dental calculus.

    PubMed

    Weyrich, Laura S; Duchene, Sebastian; Soubrier, Julien; Arriola, Luis; Llamas, Bastien; Breen, James; Morris, Alan G; Alt, Kurt W; Caramelli, David; Dresely, Veit; Farrell, Milly; Farrer, Andrew G; Francken, Michael; Gully, Neville; Haak, Wolfgang; Hardy, Karen; Harvati, Katerina; Held, Petra; Holmes, Edward C; Kaidonis, John; Lalueza-Fox, Carles; de la Rasilla, Marco; Rosas, Antonio; Semal, Patrick; Soltysiak, Arkadiusz; Townsend, Grant; Usai, Donatella; Wahl, Joachim; Huson, Daniel H; Dobney, Keith; Cooper, Alan

    2017-04-20

    Recent genomic data have revealed multiple interactions between Neanderthals and modern humans, but there is currently little genetic evidence regarding Neanderthal behaviour, diet, or disease. Here we describe the shotgun-sequencing of ancient DNA from five specimens of Neanderthal calcified dental plaque (calculus) and the characterization of regional differences in Neanderthal ecology. At Spy cave, Belgium, Neanderthal diet was heavily meat based and included woolly rhinoceros and wild sheep (mouflon), characteristic of a steppe environment. In contrast, no meat was detected in the diet of Neanderthals from El Sidrón cave, Spain, and dietary components of mushrooms, pine nuts, and moss reflected forest gathering. Differences in diet were also linked to an overall shift in the oral bacterial community (microbiota) and suggested that meat consumption contributed to substantial variation within Neanderthal microbiota. Evidence for self-medication was detected in an El Sidrón Neanderthal with a dental abscess and a chronic gastrointestinal pathogen (Enterocytozoon bieneusi). Metagenomic data from this individual also contained a nearly complete genome of the archaeal commensal Methanobrevibacter oralis (10.2× depth of coverage)-the oldest draft microbial genome generated to date, at around 48,000 years old. DNA preserved within dental calculus represents a notable source of information about the behaviour and health of ancient hominin specimens, as well as a unique system that is useful for the study of long-term microbial evolution.

  12. 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.

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

    PubMed Central

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

    2010-01-01

    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

  14. 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

  15. Prehistoric introduction of domestic pigs onto the Okinawa Islands: ancient mitochondrial DNA evidence.

    PubMed

    Watanobe, Takuma; Ishiguro, Naotaka; Nakano, Masuo; Takamiya, Hiroto; Matsui, Akira; Hongo, Hitomi

    2002-08-01

    Ancient DNAs of Sus scrofa specimens excavated from archaeological sites on the Okinawa islands were examined to clarify the genetic relationships among prehistoric Sus scrofa, modern wild boars and domestic pigs inhabiting the Ryukyu archipelago, the Japanese islands, and the Asian continent. We extracted remain DNA from 161 bone specimens excavated from 12 archaeological sites on the Okinawa islands and successfully amplified mitochondrial DNA control region fragments from 33 of 161 specimens. Pairwise difference between prehistoric and modern S. scrofa nucleotide sequences showed that haplotypes of the East Asian domestic pig lineage were found from archaeological specimens together with Ryukyu wild boars native to the Ryukyu archipelago. Phylogenetic analysis of 14 ancient sequences (11 haplotypes; 574 bp) indicated that S. scrofa specimens from two Yayoi-Heian sites (Kitahara and Ara shellmiddens) and two Recent Times sites (Wakuta Kiln and Kiyuna sites) are grouped with modern East Asian domestic pigs. Sus scrofa specimens from Shimizu shellmidden (Yayoi-Heian Period) were very closely related to modern Sus scrofa riukiuanus but had a unique nucleotide insertion, indicating that the population is genetically distinct from the lineage of modern Ryukyu wild boars. This genetic evidence suggests that domestic pigs from the Asian continent were introduced to the Okinawa islands in the early Yayoi-Heian period (1700-2000 BP), or earlier.

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

    PubMed

    Pickrell, Joseph K; Reich, David

    2014-09-01

    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 reevaluate 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.

  17. Multiplexed SNP typing of ancient DNA clarifies the origin of Andaman mtDNA haplogroups amongst South Asian tribal populations.

    PubMed

    Endicott, Phillip; Metspalu, Mait; Stringer, Chris; Macaulay, Vincent; Cooper, Alan; Sanchez, Juan J

    2006-12-20

    The issue of errors in genetic data sets is of growing concern, particularly in population genetics where whole genome mtDNA sequence data is coming under increased scrutiny. Multiplexed PCR reactions, combined with SNP typing, are currently under-exploited in this context, but have the potential to genotype whole populations rapidly and accurately, significantly reducing the amount of errors appearing in published data sets. To show the sensitivity of this technique for screening mtDNA genomic sequence data, 20 historic samples of the enigmatic Andaman Islanders and 12 modern samples from three Indian tribal populations (Chenchu, Lambadi and Lodha) were genotyped for 20 coding region sites after provisional haplogroup assignment with control region sequences. The genotype data from the historic samples significantly revise the topologies for the Andaman M31 and M32 mtDNA lineages by rectifying conflicts in published data sets. The new Indian data extend the distribution of the M31a lineage to South Asia, challenging previous interpretations of mtDNA phylogeography. This genetic connection between the ancestors of the Andamanese and South Asian tribal groups approximately 30 kya has important implications for the debate concerning migration routes and settlement patterns of humans leaving Africa during the late Pleistocene, and indicates the need for more detailed genotyping strategies. The methodology serves as a low-cost, high-throughput model for the production and authentication of data from modern or ancient DNA, and demonstrates the value of museum collections as important records of human genetic diversity.

  18. 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.

  19. 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.

  20. Is a large-scale DNA-based inventory of ancient life possible?

    PubMed

    Lambert, D M; Baker, A; Huynen, L; Haddrath, O; Hebert, P D N; Millar, C D

    2005-01-01

    A complete DNA-based inventory of the Earth's present biota using large-scale high-throughput DNA sequencing of signature region(s) (DNA barcoding) is an ambitious proposal rivaling the Human Genome Project. We examine whether this approach will also enable us to assess the past diversity of the earth's biota. To test this, we sequenced the 5' terminus of the mitochondrial cytochrome c oxidase I (COI) gene of individuals belonging to a group of extinct ratite birds, the moa of New Zealand. Moa comprised a large number of taxa that radiated in isolation on this oceanic landmass. Using a phylogenetic approach based on a large data set including protein coding and 12S DNA sequences as well as morphology, we now have precise information about the number of moa species that once existed. We show that each of the moa species detected using this extensive data set has a unique COI barcode(s) and that they all show low levels of within-species COI variation. Consequently, we conclude that COI sequences accurately identify the species discovered using the larger data set. Hence, more generally, this study suggests that DNA barcoding might also help us detect other extinct animal species and that a large-scale inventory of ancient life is possible.

  1. Ancient DNA Reveals Late Pleistocene Existence of Ostriches in Indian Sub-Continent.

    PubMed

    Jain, Sonal; Rai, Niraj; Kumar, Giriraj; Pruthi, Parul Aggarwal; Thangaraj, Kumarasamy; Bajpai, Sunil; Pruthi, Vikas

    2017-01-01

    Ancient DNA (aDNA) analysis of extinct ratite species is of considerable interest as it provides important insights into their origin, evolution, paleogeographical distribution and vicariant speciation in congruence with continental drift theory. In this study, DNA hotspots were detected in fossilized eggshell fragments of ratites (dated ≥25000 years B.P. by radiocarbon dating) using confocal laser scanning microscopy (CLSM). DNA was isolated from five eggshell fragments and a 43 base pair (bp) sequence of a 16S rRNA mitochondrial-conserved region was successfully amplified and sequenced from one of the samples. Phylogenetic analysis of the DNA sequence revealed a 92% identity of the fossil eggshells to Struthio camelus and their position basal to other palaeognaths, consistent with the vicariant speciation model. Our study provides the first molecular evidence for the presence of ostriches in India, complementing the continental drift theory of biogeographical movement of ostriches in India, and opening up a new window into the evolutionary history of ratites.

  2. Ancient DNA Reveals Late Pleistocene Existence of Ostriches in Indian Sub-Continent

    PubMed Central

    Rai, Niraj; Kumar, Giriraj; Pruthi, Parul Aggarwal; Thangaraj, Kumarasamy; Bajpai, Sunil; Pruthi, Vikas

    2017-01-01

    Ancient DNA (aDNA) analysis of extinct ratite species is of considerable interest as it provides important insights into their origin, evolution, paleogeographical distribution and vicariant speciation in congruence with continental drift theory. In this study, DNA hotspots were detected in fossilized eggshell fragments of ratites (dated ≥25000 years B.P. by radiocarbon dating) using confocal laser scanning microscopy (CLSM). DNA was isolated from five eggshell fragments and a 43 base pair (bp) sequence of a 16S rRNA mitochondrial-conserved region was successfully amplified and sequenced from one of the samples. Phylogenetic analysis of the DNA sequence revealed a 92% identity of the fossil eggshells to Struthio camelus and their position basal to other palaeognaths, consistent with the vicariant speciation model. Our study provides the first molecular evidence for the presence of ostriches in India, complementing the continental drift theory of biogeographical movement of ostriches in India, and opening up a new window into the evolutionary history of ratites. PMID:28273082

  3. 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. Copyright © 2015 Elsevier Ltd. All rights reserved.

  4. 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.

  5. Evolutional dynamics of 45S and 5S ribosomal DNA in ancient allohexaploid Atropa belladonna.

    PubMed

    Volkov, Roman A; Panchuk, Irina I; Borisjuk, Nikolai V; Hosiawa-Baranska, Marta; Maluszynska, Jolanta; Hemleben, Vera

    2017-01-23

    inheritance from the tetraploid progenitor. The obtained molecular, cytogenetic and phylogenetic data demonstrate complex evolutionary dynamics of rDNA loci in allohexaploid species of Atropa belladonna. The high level of sequence unification revealed in 45S and 5S rDNA loci of this ancient hybrid species have been seemingly achieved by different molecular mechanisms.

  6. A Holocene paleoecological record from ancient DNA preserved in lake sediments on Baffin Island, Arctic Canada

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Crump, S. E.; Miller, G. H.; Bunce, M.

    2016-12-01

    One expected consequence of a rapidly warming Arctic is a poleward expansion of high-latitude plants. An increase in woody vegetation at high latitudes will both reduce surface albedo and increase atmospheric water vapor, further amplifying warming. In order to accurately capture this positive feedback in future climate projections, it is necessary to constrain the expected ecological response to a warming Arctic. Tracking past changes in vegetation in response to temperature fluctuations, particularly during past warm times, has the potential to provide critical insights into the ecological response to temperature changes and the mode of plant colonization following ice retreat. Here we present the first lacustrine sedimentary ancient DNA (sedaDNA) record from the Eastern Canadian Arctic, in which we use universal plant primers trnL and rbcL to target vascular plant sequences. DNA was extracted from a 1.5-m core from Qauppat Lake (QPT), a small moraine-impounded lake in the Frobisher Bay region of southern Baffin Island, Arctic Canada. Amplifiable DNA was obtained from subsamples down to 140 cm depth, providing a continuous record of vegetation spanning much of the Holocene. Preliminary results reveal a wide range of taxa known to occur in the Arctic, indicating that the DNA analyzed was indeed endogenous, and contamination issues were minimal. Vegetation records based on sedaDNA appear to be highly local, providing higher confidence in tracking plant migration patterns compared to palynological records, which are frequently biased by the long-distance transport of pollen. When paired with other paleoclimate proxies from the same core, particularly paleotemperature proxies, sedaDNA has the potential to significantly advance our understanding of the complex relationship between climate and vegetation.

  7. Ancient substructure in early mtDNA lineages of southern Africa.

    PubMed

    Barbieri, Chiara; Vicente, Mário; Rocha, Jorge; Mpoloka, Sununguko W; Stoneking, Mark; Pakendorf, Brigitte

    2013-02-07

    Among the deepest-rooting clades in the human mitochondrial DNA (mtDNA) phylogeny are the haplogroups defined as L0d and L0k, which are found primarily in southern Africa. These lineages are typically present at high frequency in the so-called Khoisan populations of hunter-gatherers and herders who speak non-Bantu languages, and the early divergence of these lineages led to the hypothesis of ancient genetic substructure in Africa. Here we update the phylogeny of the basal haplogroups L0d and L0k with 500 full mtDNA genome sequences from 45 southern African Khoisan and Bantu-speaking populations. We find previously unreported subhaplogroups and greatly extend the amount of variation and time-depth of most of the known subhaplogroups. Our major finding is the definition of two ancient sublineages of L0k (L0k1b and L0k2) that are present almost exclusively in Bantu-speaking populations from Zambia; the presence of such relic haplogroups in Bantu speakers is most probably due to contact with ancestral pre-Bantu populations that harbored different lineages than those found in extant Khoisan. We suggest that although these populations went extinct after the immigration of the Bantu-speaking populations, some traces of their haplogroup composition survived through incorporation into the gene pool of the immigrants. Our findings thus provide evidence for deep genetic substructure in southern Africa prior to the Bantu expansion that is not represented in extant Khoisan populations. Copyright © 2013 The American Society of Human Genetics. Published by Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved.

  8. 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. © 2012 Society for Applied Microbiology and Blackwell Publishing Ltd.

  9. 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

  10. DNA examination of ancient dental pulp incriminates typhoid fever as a probable cause of the Plague of Athens.

    PubMed

    Papagrigorakis, Manolis J; Yapijakis, Christos; Synodinos, Philippos N; Baziotopoulou-Valavani, Effie

    2006-05-01

    Until now, in the absence of direct microbiological evidence, the cause of the Plague of Athens has remained a matter of debate among scientists who have relied exclusively on Thucydides' narrations to introduce several possible diagnoses. A mass burial pit, unearthed in the Kerameikos ancient cemetery of Athens and dated back to the time of the plague outbreak (around 430 BC), has provided the required skeletal material for the investigation of ancient microbial DNA. To determine the probable cause of the Plague of Athens. Dental pulp was our material of choice, since it has been proved to be an ideal DNA source of ancient septicemic microorganisms through its good vascularization, durability and natural sterility. Six DNA amplifications targeted at genomic parts of the agents of plague (Yersinia pestis), typhus (Rickettsia prowazekii), anthrax (Bacillus anthracis), tuberculosis (Mycobacterium tuberculosis), cowpox (cowpox virus) and cat-scratch disease (Bartonella henselae) failed to yield any product in 'suicide' reactions of DNA samples isolated from three ancient teeth. On the seventh such attempt, DNA sequences of Salmonella enterica serovar Typhi were identified providing clear evidence for the presence of that microorganism in the dental pulp of teeth recovered from the Kerameikos mass grave. The results of this study clearly implicate typhoid fever as a probable cause of the Plague of Athens.

  11. Ancient DNA reveals the Arctic origin of Viking Age cod from Haithabu, Germany

    PubMed Central

    Star, Bastiaan; Boessenkool, Sanne; Gondek, Agata T.; Nikulina, Elena A.; Hufthammer, Anne Karin; Pampoulie, Christophe; Knutsen, Halvor; André, Carl; Nistelberger, Heidi M.; Dierking, Jan; Petereit, Christoph; Heinrich, Dirk; Jakobsen, Kjetill S.; Stenseth, Nils Chr.; Jentoft, Sissel

    2017-01-01

    Knowledge of the range and chronology of historic trade and long-distance transport of natural resources is essential for determining the impacts of past human activities on marine environments. However, the specific biological sources of imported fauna are often difficult to identify, in particular if species have a wide spatial distribution and lack clear osteological or isotopic differentiation between populations. Here, we report that ancient fish-bone remains, despite being porous, brittle, and light, provide an excellent source of endogenous DNA (15–46%) of sufficient quality for whole-genome reconstruction. By comparing ancient sequence data to that of modern specimens, we determine the biological origin of 15 Viking Age (800–1066 CE) and subsequent medieval (1066–1280 CE) Atlantic cod (Gadus morhua) specimens from excavation sites in Germany, Norway, and the United Kingdom. Archaeological context indicates that one of these sites was a fishing settlement for the procurement of local catches, whereas the other localities were centers of trade. Fish from the trade sites show a mixed ancestry and are statistically differentiated from local fish populations. Moreover, Viking Age samples from Haithabu, Germany, are traced back to the North East Arctic Atlantic cod population that has supported the Lofoten fisheries of Norway for centuries. Our results resolve a long-standing controversial hypothesis and indicate that the marine resources of the North Atlantic Ocean were used to sustain an international demand for protein as far back as the Viking Age. PMID:28784790

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

    PubMed

    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

    2010-04-27

    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.

  13. Ancient DNA from Nubian and Somali wild ass provides insights into donkey ancestry and domestication.

    PubMed

    Kimura, Birgitta; Marshall, Fiona B; Chen, Shanyuan; Rosenbom, Sónia; Moehlman, Patricia D; Tuross, Noreen; Sabin, Richard C; Peters, Joris; Barich, Barbara; Yohannes, Hagos; Kebede, Fanuel; Teclai, Redae; Beja-Pereira, Albano; Mulligan, Connie J

    2011-01-07

    Genetic data from extant donkeys (Equus asinus) have revealed two distinct mitochondrial DNA haplogroups, suggestive of two separate domestication events in northeast Africa about 5000 years ago. Without distinct phylogeographic structure in domestic donkey haplogroups and with little information on the genetic makeup of the ancestral African wild ass, however, it has been difficult to identify wild ancestors and geographical origins for the domestic mitochondrial clades. Our analysis of ancient archaeological and historic museum samples provides the first genetic information on the historic Nubian wild ass (Equus africanus africanus), Somali wild ass (Equus africanus somaliensis) and ancient donkey. The results demonstrate that the Nubian wild ass was an ancestor of the first donkey haplogroup. In contrast, the Somali wild ass has considerable mitochondrial divergence from the Nubian wild ass and domestic donkeys. These findings resolve the long-standing issue of the role of the Nubian wild ass in the domestication of the donkey, but raise new questions regarding the second ancestor for the donkey. Our results illustrate the complexity of animal domestication, and have conservation implications for critically endangered Nubian and Somali wild ass.

  14. Early cave art and ancient DNA record the origin of European bison

    PubMed Central

    Soubrier, Julien; Gower, Graham; Chen, Kefei; Richards, Stephen M.; Llamas, Bastien; Mitchell, Kieren J.; Ho, Simon Y. W.; Kosintsev, Pavel; Lee, Michael S. Y.; Baryshnikov, Gennady; Bollongino, Ruth; Bover, Pere; Burger, Joachim; Chivall, David; Crégut-Bonnoure, Evelyne; Decker, Jared E.; Doronichev, Vladimir B.; Douka, Katerina; Fordham, Damien A.; Fontana, Federica; Fritz, Carole; Glimmerveen, Jan; Golovanova, Liubov V.; Groves, Colin; Guerreschi, Antonio; Haak, Wolfgang; Higham, Tom; Hofman-Kamińska, Emilia; Immel, Alexander; Julien, Marie-Anne; Krause, Johannes; Krotova, Oleksandra; Langbein, Frauke; Larson, Greger; Rohrlach, Adam; Scheu, Amelie; Schnabel, Robert D.; Taylor, Jeremy F.; Tokarska, Małgorzata; Tosello, Gilles; van der Plicht, Johannes; van Loenen, Ayla; Vigne, Jean-Denis; Wooley, Oliver; Orlando, Ludovic; Kowalczyk, Rafał; Shapiro, Beth; Cooper, Alan

    2016-01-01

    The two living species of bison (European and American) are among the few terrestrial megafauna to have survived the late Pleistocene extinctions. Despite the extensive bovid fossil record in Eurasia, the evolutionary history of the European bison (or wisent, Bison bonasus) before the Holocene (<11.7 thousand years ago (kya)) remains a mystery. We use complete ancient mitochondrial genomes and genome-wide nuclear DNA surveys to reveal that the wisent is the product of hybridization between the extinct steppe bison (Bison priscus) and ancestors of modern cattle (aurochs, Bos primigenius) before 120 kya, and contains up to 10% aurochs genomic ancestry. Although undetected within the fossil record, ancestors of the wisent have alternated ecological dominance with steppe bison in association with major environmental shifts since at least 55 kya. Early cave artists recorded distinct morphological forms consistent with these replacement events, around the Last Glacial Maximum (LGM, ∼21–18 kya). PMID:27754477

  15. Early cave art and ancient DNA record the origin of European bison.

    PubMed

    Soubrier, Julien; Gower, Graham; Chen, Kefei; Richards, Stephen M; Llamas, Bastien; Mitchell, Kieren J; Ho, Simon Y W; Kosintsev, Pavel; Lee, Michael S Y; Baryshnikov, Gennady; Bollongino, Ruth; Bover, Pere; Burger, Joachim; Chivall, David; Crégut-Bonnoure, Evelyne; Decker, Jared E; Doronichev, Vladimir B; Douka, Katerina; Fordham, Damien A; Fontana, Federica; Fritz, Carole; Glimmerveen, Jan; Golovanova, Liubov V; Groves, Colin; Guerreschi, Antonio; Haak, Wolfgang; Higham, Tom; Hofman-Kamińska, Emilia; Immel, Alexander; Julien, Marie-Anne; Krause, Johannes; Krotova, Oleksandra; Langbein, Frauke; Larson, Greger; Rohrlach, Adam; Scheu, Amelie; Schnabel, Robert D; Taylor, Jeremy F; Tokarska, Małgorzata; Tosello, Gilles; van der Plicht, Johannes; van Loenen, Ayla; Vigne, Jean-Denis; Wooley, Oliver; Orlando, Ludovic; Kowalczyk, Rafał; Shapiro, Beth; Cooper, Alan

    2016-10-18

    The two living species of bison (European and American) are among the few terrestrial megafauna to have survived the late Pleistocene extinctions. Despite the extensive bovid fossil record in Eurasia, the evolutionary history of the European bison (or wisent, Bison bonasus) before the Holocene (<11.7 thousand years ago (kya)) remains a mystery. We use complete ancient mitochondrial genomes and genome-wide nuclear DNA surveys to reveal that the wisent is the product of hybridization between the extinct steppe bison (Bison priscus) and ancestors of modern cattle (aurochs, Bos primigenius) before 120 kya, and contains up to 10% aurochs genomic ancestry. Although undetected within the fossil record, ancestors of the wisent have alternated ecological dominance with steppe bison in association with major environmental shifts since at least 55 kya. Early cave artists recorded distinct morphological forms consistent with these replacement events, around the Last Glacial Maximum (LGM, ∼21-18 kya).

  16. Managing shifting species: Ancient DNA reveals conservation conundrums in a dynamic world.

    PubMed

    Waters, Jonathan M; Grosser, Stefanie

    2016-11-01

    The spread of exotic species represents a major driver of biological change across the planet. While dispersal and colonization are natural biological processes, we suggest that the failure to recognize increasing rates of human-facilitated self-introductions may represent a threat to native lineages. Notably, recent biogeographic analyses have revealed numerous cases of biological range shifts in response to anthropogenic impacts and climate change. In particular, ancient DNA analyses have revealed several cases in which lineages traditionally thought to be long-established "natives" are in fact recent colonizers. Such range expansion events have apparently occurred in response to human-mediated native biodiversity declines and ecosystem change, particularly in recently colonized, isolated ecosystems such as New Zealand. While such events can potentially boost local biodiversity, the spread of exotic lineages may also hasten the decline of indigenous species, so it is essential that conservation managers recognize these rapid biotic shifts.​.

  17. 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.

  18. 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

  19. Tropical ancient DNA reveals relationships of the extinct Bahamian giant tortoise Chelonoidis alburyorum.

    PubMed

    Kehlmaier, Christian; Barlow, Axel; Hastings, Alexander K; Vamberger, Melita; Paijmans, Johanna L A; Steadman, David W; Albury, Nancy A; Franz, Richard; Hofreiter, Michael; Fritz, Uwe

    2017-01-11

    Ancient DNA of extinct species from the Pleistocene and Holocene has provided valuable evolutionary insights. However, these are largely restricted to mammals and high latitudes because DNA preservation in warm climates is typically poor. In the tropics and subtropics, non-avian reptiles constitute a significant part of the fauna and little is known about the genetics of the many extinct reptiles from tropical islands. We have reconstructed the near-complete mitochondrial genome of an extinct giant tortoise from the Bahamas (Chelonoidis alburyorum) using an approximately 1 000-year-old humerus from a water-filled sinkhole (blue hole) on Great Abaco Island. Phylogenetic and molecular clock analyses place this extinct species as closely related to Galápagos (C. niger complex) and Chaco tortoises (C. chilensis), and provide evidence for repeated overseas dispersal in this tortoise group. The ancestors of extant Chelonoidis species arrived in South America from Africa only after the opening of the Atlantic Ocean and dispersed from there to the Caribbean and the Galápagos Islands. Our results also suggest that the anoxic, thermally buffered environment of blue holes may enhance DNA preservation, and thus are opening a window for better understanding evolution and population history of extinct tropical species, which would likely still exist without human impact.

  20. 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.

  1. Ancient DNA clarifies the evolutionary history of American Late Pleistocene equids.

    PubMed

    Orlando, Ludovic; Male, Dean; Alberdi, Maria Teresa; Prado, Jose Luis; Prieto, Alfredo; Cooper, Alan; Hänni, Catherine

    2008-05-01

    Hippidions are past members of the equid lineage which appeared in the South American fossil record around 2.5 Ma but then became extinct during the great late Pleistocene megafaunal extinction. According to fossil records and numerous dental, cranial, and postcranial characters, Hippidion and Equus lineages were expected to cluster in two distinct phylogenetic groups that diverged at least 10 MY, long before the emergence of the first Equus. However, the first DNA sequence information retrieved from Hippidion fossils supported a striking different phylogeny, with hippidions nesting inside a paraphyletic group of Equus. This result indicated either that the currently accepted phylogenetic tree of equids was incorrect regarding the timing of the evolutionary split between Hippidion and Equus or that the taxonomic identification of the hippidion fossils used for DNA analysis needed to be reexamined (and attributed to another extinct South American member of the equid lineage). The most likely candidate for the latter explanation is Equus (Amerhippus) neogeus. Here, we show by retrieving new ancient mtDNA sequences that hippidions and Equus (Amerhippus) neogeus were members of two distinct lineages. Furthermore, using a rigorous phylogenetic approach, we demonstrate that while formerly the largest equid from Southern America, Equus (Amerhippus) was just a member of the species Equus caballus. This new data increases the known phenotypic plasticity of horses and consequently casts doubt on the taxonomic validity of the subgenus Equus (Amerhippus).

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

    PubMed Central

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

    2016-01-01

    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

  3. 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

  4. 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

  5. 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.

  6. 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

  7. 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.

  8. 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

  9. 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.

  10. Ancient DNA from an Early Neolithic Iberian population supports a pioneer colonization by first farmers.

    PubMed

    Gamba, C; Fernández, E; Tirado, M; Deguilloux, M F; Pemonge, M H; Utrilla, P; Edo, M; Molist, M; Rasteiro, R; Chikhi, L; Arroyo-Pardo, E

    2012-01-01

    The Neolithic transition has been widely debated particularly regarding the extent to which this revolution implied a demographic expansion from the Near East. We attempted to shed some light on this process in northeastern Iberia by combining ancient DNA (aDNA) data from Early Neolithic settlers and published DNA data from Middle Neolithic and modern samples from the same region. We successfully extracted and amplified mitochondrial DNA from 13 human specimens, found at three archaeological sites dated back to the Cardial culture in the Early Neolithic (Can Sadurní and Chaves) and to the Late Early Neolithic (Sant Pau del Camp). We found that haplogroups with a low frequency in modern populations-N* and X1-are found at higher frequencies in our Early Neolithic population (∼31%). Genetic differentiation between Early and Middle Neolithic populations was significant (F(ST) ∼0.13, P<10(-5)), suggesting that genetic drift played an important role at this time. To improve our understanding of the Neolithic demographic processes, we used a Bayesian coalescence-based simulation approach to identify the most likely of three demographic scenarios that might explain the genetic data. The three scenarios were chosen to reflect archaeological knowledge and previous genetic studies using similar inferential approaches. We found that models that ignore population structure, as previously used in aDNA studies, are unlikely to explain the data. Our results are compatible with a pioneer colonization of northeastern Iberia at the Early Neolithic characterized by the arrival of small genetically distinctive groups, showing cultural and genetic connections with the Near East. © 2011 Blackwell Publishing Ltd.

  11. Population dynamics and genetic changes of Picea abies in the South Carpathians revealed by pollen and ancient DNA analyses

    PubMed Central

    2011-01-01

    Background Studies on allele length polymorphism designate several glacial refugia for Norway spruce (Picea abies) in the South Carpathian Mountains, but infer only limited expansion from these refugia after the last glaciation. To better understand the genetic dynamics of a South Carpathian spruce lineage, we compared ancient DNA from 10,700 and 11,000-year-old spruce pollen and macrofossils retrieved from Holocene lake sediment in the Retezat Mountains with DNA extracted from extant material from the same site. We used eight primer pairs that amplified short and variable regions of the spruce cpDNA. In addition, from the same lake sediment we obtained a 15,000-years-long pollen accumulation rate (PAR) record for spruce that helped us to infer changes in population size at this site. Results We obtained successful amplifications for Norway spruce from 17 out of 462 pollen grains tested, while the macrofossil material provided 22 DNA sequences. Two fossil sequences were found to be unique to the ancient material. Population genetic statistics showed higher genetic diversity in the ancient individuals compared to the extant ones. Similarly, statistically significant Ks and Kst values showed a considerable level of differentiation between extant and ancient populations at the same loci. Lateglacial and Holocene PAR values suggested that population size of the ancient population was small, in the range of 1/10 or 1/5 of the extant population. PAR analysis also detected two periods of rapid population growths (from ca. 11,100 and 3900 calibrated years before present (cal yr BP)) and three bottlenecks (around 9180, 7200 and 2200 cal yr BP), likely triggered by climatic change and human impact. Conclusion Our results suggest that the paternal lineages observed today in the Retezat Mountains persisted at this site at least since the early Holocene. Combination of the results from the genetic and the PAR analyses furthermore suggests that the higher level of genetic

  12. 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

  13. Ancient bacterial diversity in mid-Cretaceous black shale: DNA records of oceanic euxinic paleoenvironmnets

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Inagaki, F.; Okada, H.; Horikoshi, K.

    2001-12-01

    A record of the history of the planet Earth is hidden in the subsurface biosphere, like the annual rings of an old tree. From limited evidences retrieved from underground, one can infer the geographical, geological and biological events that occurred throughout Earthś history. Biosphere in oceanic subseafloor and terrestrial subsurface environment has been already recognized as the biggest microbial world. Recent progress in approaching deep biosphere revealed that numerable microbial populations were consistently present in the drilling core samples and aquifers recovered from deep subsurface environment. However, the microbial community structures and the relationship between their habitats and geological events have been poorly proved. Molecular phylogenetic analyses have been becoming powerful tool for investigating the naturally occurring microbial communities. Using a combination of culture independent molecular phylogenetic analyses, we sought to recapture the indigenous microbial community of ancient oceanic habitats recovered from a continental drilled core of black shale deposited 100 million years ago. We recovered the drilled core sample of black shale from the continental margin at Serre des Castets, the southern part of France. The recovered black shale contained one phosphate-accumulated strata, defined as a part of the mid-Cretaceous OAE (Oceanic Anoxic Evnets). Indigenous DNA was extracted from the several axis parts of the core, then bacterial ribosomal RNA genes (rDNA) was amplified by PCR. The molecular approaches such as the terminal-restriction fragment length polymorphism (T-RFLP) fingerprinting analysis, phylotype analysis of rDNA clone libraries and the phylogenetic analysis of representative rDNA sequences revealed that the genetic signals from mid-Cretaceous black shale were almost similar to bacterial habitats at deep-seafloor sediments. Furthermore, a number of rDNA clone within the delta-subclass (sulfur-reducing bacteria) and epsilon

  14. Combined hybridization capture and shotgun sequencing for ancient DNA analysis of extinct wild and domestic dromedary camel.

    PubMed

    Mohandesan, Elmira; Speller, Camilla F; Peters, Joris; Uerpmann, Hans-Peter; Uerpmann, Margarethe; De Cupere, Bea; Hofreiter, Michael; Burger, Pamela A

    2017-03-01

    The performance of hybridization capture combined with next-generation sequencing (NGS) has seen limited investigation with samples from hot and arid regions until now. We applied hybridization capture and shotgun sequencing to recover DNA sequences from bone specimens of ancient-domestic dromedary (Camelus dromedarius) and its extinct ancestor, the wild dromedary from Jordan, Syria, Turkey and the Arabian Peninsula, respectively. Our results show that hybridization capture increased the percentage of mitochondrial DNA (mtDNA) recovery by an average 187-fold and in some cases yielded virtually complete mitochondrial (mt) genomes at multifold coverage in a single capture experiment. Furthermore, we tested the effect of hybridization temperature and time by using a touchdown approach on a limited number of samples. We observed no significant difference in the number of unique dromedary mtDNA reads retrieved with the standard capture compared to the touchdown method. In total, we obtained 14 partial mitochondrial genomes from ancient-domestic dromedaries with 17-95% length coverage and 1.27-47.1-fold read depths for the covered regions. Using whole-genome shotgun sequencing, we successfully recovered endogenous dromedary nuclear DNA (nuDNA) from domestic and wild dromedary specimens with 1-1.06-fold read depths for covered regions. Our results highlight that despite recent methodological advances, obtaining ancient DNA (aDNA) from specimens recovered from hot, arid environments is still problematic. Hybridization protocols require specific optimization, and samples at the limit of DNA preservation need multiple replications of DNA extraction and hybridization capture as has been shown previously for Middle Pleistocene specimens. © 2016 The Authors. Molecular Ecology Resources Published by John Wiley & Sons Ltd.

  15. Comparing ancient DNA survival and proteome content in 69 archaeological cattle tooth and bone samples from multiple European sites.

    PubMed

    Wadsworth, Caroline; Procopio, Noemi; Anderung, Cecilia; Carretero, José-Miguel; Iriarte, Eneko; Valdiosera, Cristina; Elburg, Rengert; Penkman, Kirsty; Buckley, Michael

    2017-03-31

    Ancient DNA (aDNA) is the most informative biomolecule extracted from skeletal remains at archaeological sites, but its survival is unpredictable and its extraction and analysis is time consuming, expensive and often fails. Several proposed methods for better understanding aDNA survival are based upon the characterisation of some aspect of protein survival, but these are typically non-specific; proteomic analyses may offer an attractive method for understanding preservation processes. In this study, in-depth proteomic (LC-Orbitrap-MS/MS) analyses were carried out on 69 archaeological bovine bone and dentine samples from multiple European archaeological sites and compared with mitochondrial aDNA and amino acid racemisation (AAR) data. Comparisons of these data, including estimations of the relative abundances for seven selected non-collagenous proteins, indicate that the survival of aDNA in bone or dentine may correlate with the survival of some proteins, and that proteome complexity is a more useful predictor of aDNA survival than protein abundance or AAR. The lack of a strong correlation between the recovery of aDNA and the proteome abundance may indicate that the survival of aDNA is more closely linked to its ability to associate with bone hydroxyapatite crystals rather than to associate with proteins. Ancient biomolecule survival remains poorly understood, even with great advancements in 'omics' technologies, both in genomics and proteomics. This study investigates the survival of ancient DNA in relation to that of proteins, taking into account proteome complexity and the relative protein abundances to improve our understanding of survival mechanisms. The results show that although protein abundance is not necessarily directly related to aDNA survival, proteome complexity appears to be. Copyright © 2017. Published by Elsevier B.V.

  16. Ancient mitochondrial DNA and morphology elucidate an extinct island radiation of Indian Ocean giant tortoises (Cylindraspis).

    PubMed

    Austin, J J; Arnold, E N

    2001-12-22

    Ancient mitochondrial DNA sequences were used for investigating the evolution of an entire clade of extinct vertebrates, the endemic tortoises (Cylindraspis) of the Mascarene Islands in the Indian Ocean. Mitochondrial DNA corroborates morphological evidence that there were five species of tortoise with the following relationships: Cylindraspis triserrata ((Cylindraspis vosmaeri and Cylindraspis peltastes) (Cylindraspis inepta and Cylindraspis indica)). Phylogeny indicates that the ancestor of the group first colonized Mauritius where speciation produced C. triserrata and the ancestor of the other species including a second sympatric Mauritian form, C. inepta. A propagule derived from this lineage colonized Rodrigues 590 km to the east, where a second within-island speciation took place producing the sympatric C. vosmaeri and C. peltastes. A recent colonization of Réunion 150 km to the southwest produced C. indica. In the virtual absence of predators, the defensive features of the shells of Mascarene tortoises were largely dismantled, apparently in two stages. 'Saddlebacked' shells with high fronts evolved independently on all three islands. This and other features, such as a derived jaw structure and small body size, may be associated with niche differentiation in sympatric species and may represent a striking example of parallel differentiation in a large terrestrial vertebrate. The history of Mascarene tortoises contrasts with that of the Galápagos, where only a single species is present and surviving populations are genetically much more similar. However, they too show some reduction in anti-predator mechanisms and multiple development of populations with saddlebacked shells.

  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. Copyright © 2015 Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved.

  18. Out of America: ancient DNA evidence for a new world origin of late quaternary woolly mammoths.

    PubMed

    Debruyne, Regis; Chu, Genevieve; King, Christine E; Bos, Kirsti; Kuch, Melanie; Schwarz, Carsten; Szpak, Paul; Gröcke, Darren R; Matheus, Paul; Zazula, Grant; Guthrie, Dale; Froese, Duane; Buigues, Bernard; de Marliave, Christian; Flemming, Clare; Poinar, Debi; Fisher, Daniel; Southon, John; Tikhonov, Alexei N; MacPhee, Ross D E; Poinar, Hendrik N

    2008-09-09

    Although the iconic mammoth of the Late Pleistocene, the woolly mammoth (Mammuthus primigenius), has traditionally been regarded as the end point of a single anagenetically evolving lineage, recent paleontological and molecular studies have shown that successive allopatric speciation events must have occurred within Pleistocene Mammuthus in Asia, with subsequent expansion and hybridization between nominal taxa [1, 2]. However, the role of North American mammoth populations in these events has not been adequately explored from an ancient-DNA standpoint. To undertake this task, we analyzed mtDNA from a large data set consisting of mammoth samples from across Holarctica (n = 160) and representing most of radiocarbon time. Our evidence shows that, during the terminal Pleistocene, haplotypes originating in and characteristic of New World populations replaced or succeeded those endemic to Asia and western Beringia. Also, during the Last Glacial Maximum, mammoth populations do not appear to have suffered an overall decline in diversity, despite differing responses on either side of the Bering land bridge. In summary, the "Out-of-America" hypothesis holds that the dispersal of North American woolly mammoths into other parts of Holarctica created major phylogeographic structuring within Mammuthus primigenius populations, shaping the last phase of their evolutionary history before their demise.

  19. Ancient mitochondrial DNA and morphology elucidate an extinct island radiation of Indian Ocean giant tortoises (Cylindraspis).

    PubMed Central

    Austin, J. J.; Arnold, E. N.

    2001-01-01

    Ancient mitochondrial DNA sequences were used for investigating the evolution of an entire clade of extinct vertebrates, the endemic tortoises (Cylindraspis) of the Mascarene Islands in the Indian Ocean. Mitochondrial DNA corroborates morphological evidence that there were five species of tortoise with the following relationships: Cylindraspis triserrata ((Cylindraspis vosmaeri and Cylindraspis peltastes) (Cylindraspis inepta and Cylindraspis indica)). Phylogeny indicates that the ancestor of the group first colonized Mauritius where speciation produced C. triserrata and the ancestor of the other species including a second sympatric Mauritian form, C. inepta. A propagule derived from this lineage colonized Rodrigues 590 km to the east, where a second within-island speciation took place producing the sympatric C. vosmaeri and C. peltastes. A recent colonization of Réunion 150 km to the southwest produced C. indica. In the virtual absence of predators, the defensive features of the shells of Mascarene tortoises were largely dismantled, apparently in two stages. 'Saddlebacked' shells with high fronts evolved independently on all three islands. This and other features, such as a derived jaw structure and small body size, may be associated with niche differentiation in sympatric species and may represent a striking example of parallel differentiation in a large terrestrial vertebrate. The history of Mascarene tortoises contrasts with that of the Galápagos, where only a single species is present and surviving populations are genetically much more similar. However, they too show some reduction in anti-predator mechanisms and multiple development of populations with saddlebacked shells. PMID:11749704

  20. 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.

  1. 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. Copyright © 2012 Wiley Periodicals, Inc.

  2. Ancient DNA reveals a migration of the ancient Di-qiang populations into Xinjiang as early as the early Bronze Age.

    PubMed

    Gao, Shi-Zhu; Zhang, Ye; Wei, Dong; Li, Hong-Jie; Zhao, Yong-Bin; Cui, Yin-Qiu; Zhou, Hui

    2015-05-01

    Xinjiang is at the crossroads between East and West Eurasia, and it harbors a relatively complex genetic history. In order to better understand the population movements and interactions in this region, mitochondrial and Y chromosome analyses on 40 ancient human remains from the Tianshanbeilu site in eastern Xinjiang were performed. Twenty-nine samples were successfully assigned to specific mtDNA haplogroups, including the west Eurasian maternal lineages of U and W and the east Eurasian maternal lineages of A, C, D, F, G, Z, M7, and M10. In the male samples, two Y chromosome haplogroups, C* and N1 (xN1a, N1c), were successfully assigned. Our mitochondrial and Y-chromosomal DNA analyses combined with the archaeological studies revealed that the Di-qiang populations from the Hexi Corridor had migrated to eastern Xinjiang and admixed with the Eurasian steppe populations in the early Bronze Age. © 2014 Wiley Periodicals, Inc.

  3. 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.

  4. 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

  5. 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

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

    PubMed

    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

    2009-12-29

    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.

  7. 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

  8. 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

  9. Ancient genomics.

    PubMed

    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

    2015-01-19

    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.

  10. 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

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

    PubMed

    Draus-Barini, Jolanta; Walsh, Susan; Pośpiech, Ewelina; Kupiec, Tomasz; Głąb, Henryk; Branicki, Wojciech; Kayser, Manfred

    2013-01-14

    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. 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. 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. 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 ancient DNA studies, for the prediction of

  12. 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

  13. Ancient DNA, pig domestication, and the spread of the Neolithic into Europe

    PubMed Central

    Larson, Greger; Albarella, Umberto; Dobney, Keith; Rowley-Conwy, Peter; Schibler, Jörg; Tresset, Anne; Vigne, Jean-Denis; Edwards, Ceiridwen J.; Schlumbaum, Angela; Dinu, Alexandru; Bălăçsescu, Adrian; Dolman, Gaynor; Tagliacozzo, Antonio; Manaseryan, Ninna; Miracle, Preston; Van Wijngaarden-Bakker, Louise; Masseti, Marco; Bradley, Daniel G.; Cooper, Alan

    2007-01-01

    The Neolithic Revolution began 11,000 years ago in the Near East and preceded a westward migration into Europe of distinctive cultural groups and their agricultural economies, including domesticated animals and plants. Despite decades of research, no consensus has emerged about the extent of admixture between the indigenous and exotic populations or the degree to which the appearance of specific components of the “Neolithic cultural package” in Europe reflects truly independent development. Here, through the use of mitochondrial DNA from 323 modern and 221 ancient pig specimens sampled across western Eurasia, we demonstrate that domestic pigs of Near Eastern ancestry were definitely introduced into Europe during the Neolithic (potentially along two separate routes), reaching the Paris Basin by at least the early 4th millennium B.C. Local European wild boar were also domesticated by this time, possibly as a direct consequence of the introduction of Near Eastern domestic pigs. Once domesticated, European pigs rapidly replaced the introduced domestic pigs of Near Eastern origin throughout Europe. Domestic pigs formed a key component of the Neolithic Revolution, and this detailed genetic record of their origins reveals a complex set of interactions and processes during the spread of early farmers into Europe. PMID:17855556

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

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Valleriani, Angelo

    2016-08-01

    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.

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

    PubMed

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

    2007-04-17

    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.

  16. 'Ancient' DNA in the resting egg bank of a microcrustacean can serve as a palaeolimnological database.

    PubMed

    Limburg, Petra A; Weider, Lawrence J

    2002-02-07

    Recent work on the diapausing egg banks of zooplankton, such as Daphnia (Crustacea: Anomopoda), indicates that these eggs can remain viable for decades while, theoretically, DNA can remain intact for even longer periods (i.e. centuries or millennia). We isolated diapausing eggs of Daphnia from a 30 m long sediment core taken from a hypereutrophic, northern German lake (Belauer See), with some eggs found in dated core material as old as 4500 years. Using microsatellite markers, we analysed the genetic structure of the resting eggs dated as old as ca. 200 years, and found that, although levels of heterozygosity remained remarkably stable, significant genetic differentiation (Nei's D = 0.36; F(ST) = 0.15) between recent and 'ancient' resting eggs (including allele frequency shifts and private alleles) was detected. These shifts represent either species-level changes in this complex (i.e. species-specific characters of ephippia are not always robust), or intraspecific shifts in genetic variation, or a combination of both. This study demonstrates that the egg banks of aquatic zooplankton can serve as repositories of both genetic (intrapopulational) and ecological (interspecific) information. The use of molecular markers, such as microsatellites, on diapausing egg/seed banks may open new avenues of enquiry related to tracking the long-term genetic (and/or species) shifts that are associated with long-term environmental changes.

  17. 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

  18. 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.

  19. Ancient DNA reveals lack of continuity between neolithic hunter-gatherers and contemporary Scandinavians.

    PubMed

    Malmström, Helena; Gilbert, M Thomas P; Thomas, Mark G; Brandström, Mikael; Storå, Jan; Molnar, Petra; Andersen, Pernille K; Bendixen, Christian; Holmlund, Gunilla; Götherström, Anders; Willerslev, Eske

    2009-11-03

    The driving force behind the transition from a foraging to a farming lifestyle in prehistoric Europe (Neolithization) has been debated for more than a century [1-3]. Of particular interest is whether population replacement or cultural exchange was responsible [3-5]. Scandinavia holds a unique place in this debate, for it maintained one of the last major hunter-gatherer complexes in Neolithic Europe, the Pitted Ware culture [6]. Intriguingly, these late hunter-gatherers existed in parallel to early farmers for more than a millennium before they vanished some 4,000 years ago [7, 8]. The prolonged coexistence of the two cultures in Scandinavia has been cited as an argument against population replacement between the Mesolithic and the present [7, 8]. Through analysis of DNA extracted from ancient Scandinavian human remains, we show that people of the Pitted Ware culture were not the direct ancestors of modern Scandinavians (including the Saami people of northern Scandinavia) but are more closely related to contemporary populations of the eastern Baltic region. Our findings support hypotheses arising from archaeological analyses that propose a Neolithic or post-Neolithic population replacement in Scandinavia [7]. Furthermore, our data are consistent with the view that the eastern Baltic represents a genetic refugia for some of the European hunter-gatherer populations.

  20. An ancient DNA test of a founder effect in Native American ABO blood group frequencies.

    PubMed

    Halverson, Melissa S; Bolnick, Deborah A

    2008-11-01

    Anthropologists have assumed that reduced genetic diversity in extant Native Americans is due to a founder effect that occurred during the initial peopling of the Americas. However, low diversity could also be the result of subsequent historical events, such as the population decline following European contact. In this study, we show that autosomal DNA from ancient Native American skeletal remains can be used to investigate the low level of ABO blood group diversity in the Americas. Extant Native Americans exhibit a high frequency of blood type O, which may reflect a founder effect, genetic drift associated with the historical population decline, or natural selection in response to the smallpox epidemics that occurred following European contact. To help distinguish between these possibilities, we determined the ABO genotypes of 15 precontact individuals from eastern North America. The precontact ABO frequencies were not significantly different from those observed in extant Native Americans from the same region, but they did differ significantly from the ABO frequencies in extant Siberian populations. Studies of other precontact populations are needed to better test the three hypotheses for low ABO blood group diversity in the Americas, but our findings are most consistent with the hypothesis of a founder effect during the initial settlement of this continent.

  1. Handbook of stable strontium

    SciTech Connect

    Skoryna, S.C.

    1981-01-01

    This book presents information on the following topics: chemistry of strontium; biogeochemistry of strontium; uptake of stable strontium by plants and effects on plant growth; divalent cation-dependent deposits in paramecium; effects of strontium ion on the hydrolysis of ATP; stronium ions and membranes - screening versus binding at charged surfaces; mitochondrial granules in the liver of rats kept on stable strontium supplementation; divalent cations and regulation of cyclic nucleotides in nervous systems; strontium as the substitute for calcium in the excitation-contraction coupling of crayfish muscle fibers; hemodynamic effects of strontium in the dog; some mechanical characteristics of strontium-mediated contractions in heart muscle; effects of calcium, magnesium, and strontium on drug-receptor interactions; strontium and histamine secretion; and effects of strontium in human dental enamel.

  2. Investigating kinship of Neolithic post-LBK human remains from Krusza Zamkowa, Poland using ancient DNA.

    PubMed

    Juras, Anna; Chyleński, Maciej; Krenz-Niedbała, Marta; Malmström, Helena; Ehler, Edvard; Pospieszny, Łukasz; Łukasik, Sylwia; Bednarczyk, Józef; Piontek, Janusz; Jakobsson, Mattias; Dabert, Miroslawa

    2017-01-01

    We applied an interdisciplinary approach to investigate kinship patterns and funerary practices during the middle Neolithic. Genetic studies, radiocarbon dating, and taphonomic analyses were used to examine two grave clusters from Krusza Zamkowa, Poland. To reconstruct kinship and determine biological sex, we extracted DNA from bones and teeth, analyzed mitochondrial genomes and nuclear SNPs using the HID-Ion AmpliSeq™ Identity panel generated on Illumina and Ion Torrent platforms, respectively. We further dated the material (AMS (14)C) and to exclude aquatic radiocarbon reservoir effects, measures of carbon and nitrogen stable isotopes for diet reconstruction were used. We found distinct mitochondrial genomes belonging to haplogroups U5b2a1a, K1c and H3d in the first grave cluster, and excluded maternal kin patterns among the three analyzed individuals. In the second grave cluster one individual belonged to K1a4. However, we could not affiliate the second individual to a certain haplogroup due to the fragmented state of the mitochondrial genome. Although the individuals from the second grave cluster differ at position 6643, we believe that more data is needed to fully resolve this issue. We retrieved between 26 and 77 autosomal SNPs from three of the individuals. Based on kinship estimations, taking into account the allelic dropout distribution, we could not exclude first degree kin relation between the two individuals from the second grave cluster. We could, however, exclude a first degree kinship between these two individuals and an individual from the first grave cluster. Presumably, not only biological kinship, but also social relations played an important role in the funerary practice during this time period. We further conclude that the HID-Ion AmpliSeq™ Identity Panel may prove useful for first degree kin relation studies for samples with good DNA preservation, and that mitochondrial genome capture enrichment is a powerful tool for excluding direct

  3. 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

  4. 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

  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.

  6. 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

  7. Pulling out the 1%: whole-genome capture for the targeted enrichment of ancient DNA sequencing libraries.

    PubMed

    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

    2013-11-07

    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. Copyright © 2013 The American Society of Human Genetics. Published by Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved.

  8. 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

  9. 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

  10. 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).

  11. Ancient DNA analysis of the extinct North American flat-headed peccary (Platygonus compressus).

    PubMed

    Perry, Tahlia; van Loenen, Ayla L; Heiniger, Holly; Lee, Carol; Gongora, Jaime; Cooper, Alan; Mitchell, Kieren J

    2017-03-28

    The geographical range of extant peccaries extends from the southwestern United States through Central America and into northern Argentina. However, from the Miocene until the Pleistocene now-extinct peccary species inhabited the entirety of North America. Relationships among the living and extinct species have long been contentious. Similarly, how and when peccaries moved from North to South America is unclear. The North American flat-headed peccary (Platygonus compressus) became extinct at the end of the Pleistocene and is one of the most abundant subfossil taxa found in North America, yet despite this extensive fossil record its phylogenetic position has not been resolved. This study is the first to present DNA data from the flat-headed peccary and full mitochondrial genome sequences of all the extant peccary species. We performed a molecular phylogenetic analysis to determine the relationships among ancient and extant peccary species. Our results suggested that the flat-headed peccary is sister-taxon to a clade comprising the extant peccary species. Divergence date estimates from our molecular dating analyses suggest that if extant peccary diversification occurred in South America then their common ancestor must have dispersed from North America to South America well before the establishment of the Isthmus of Panama. We also investigated the genetic diversity of the flat-headed peccary by performing a preliminary population study on specimens from Sheriden Cave, Ohio. Flat-headed peccaries from Sheriden Cave appear to be genetically diverse and show no signature of population decline prior to extinction. Including additional extinct Pleistocene peccary species in future phylogenetic analyses will further clarify peccary evolution.

  12. Detection of the A189G mtDNA heteroplasmic mutation in relation to age in modern and ancient bones.

    PubMed

    Lacan, Marie; Thèves, Catherine; Amory, Sylvain; Keyser, Christine; Crubézy, Eric; Salles, Jean-Pierre; Ludes, Bertrand; Telmon, Norbert

    2009-03-01

    The aim of this study was to demonstrate the presence of the A189G age-related point mutation on DNA extracted from bone. For this, a peptide nucleic acid (PNA)/DNA sequencing method which can determine an age threshold for the appearance of the mutation was used. Initially, work was done in muscle tissue in order to evaluate the sensitivity of the technique and afterwards in bone samples from the same individuals. This method was also applied to ancient bones from six well-preserved skeletal remains. The mutation was invariably found in muscle, and at a rate of up to 20% in individuals over 60 years old. In modern bones, the mutation was detected in individuals aged 38 years old or more, at a rate of up to 1%, but its occurrence was not systematic (only four out of ten of the individuals over 50 years old carried the heteroplasmy). For ancient bones, the mutation was also found in the oldest individuals according to osteologic markers. The study of this type of age-related mutation and a more complete understanding of its manifestation has potentially useful applications. Combined with traditional age markers, it could improve identification accuracy in forensic cases or in anthropological studies of ancient populations.

  13. 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

  14. Ancient DNA analyses of museum specimens from selected Presbytis (primate: Colobinae) based on partial Cyt b sequences

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Aifat, N. R.; Yaakop, S.; Md-Zain, B. M.

    2016-11-01

    The IUCN Red List of Threatened Species has categorized Malaysian primates from being data deficient to critically endanger. Thus, ancient DNA analyses hold great potential to understand phylogeny, phylogeography and population history of extinct and extant species. Museum samples are one of the alternatives to provide important sources of biological materials for a large proportion of ancient DNA studies. In this study, a total of six museum skin samples from species Presbytis hosei (4 samples) and Presbytis frontata (2 samples), aged between 43 and 124 years old were extracted to obtain the DNA. Extraction was done by using QIAGEN QIAamp DNA Investigator Kit and the ability of this kit to extract museum skin samples was tested by amplification of partial Cyt b sequence using species-specific designed primer. Two primer pairs were designed specifically for P. hosei and P. frontata, respectively. These primer pairs proved to be efficient in amplifying 200bp of the targeted species in the optimized PCR conditions. The performance of the sequences were tested to determine genetic distance of genus Presbytis in Malaysia. From the analyses, P. hosei is closely related to P. chrysomelas and P. frontata with the value of 0.095 and 0.106, respectively. Cyt b gave a clear data in determining relationships among Bornean species. Thus, with the optimized condition, museum specimens can be used for molecular systematic studies of the Malaysian primates.

  15. 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

  16. Unravelling the complexity of domestication: a case study using morphometrics and ancient DNA analyses of archaeological pigs from Romania.

    PubMed

    Evin, Allowen; Flink, Linus Girdland; Bălăşescu, Adrian; Popovici, Dragomir; Andreescu, Radian; Bailey, Douglas; Mirea, Pavel; Lazăr, Cătălin; Boroneanţ, Adina; Bonsall, Clive; Vidarsdottir, Una Strand; Brehard, Stéphanie; Tresset, Anne; Cucchi, Thomas; Larson, Greger; Dobney, Keith

    2015-01-19

    Current evidence suggests that pigs were first domesticated in Eastern Anatolia during the ninth millennium cal BC before dispersing into Europe with Early Neolithic farmers from the beginning of the seventh millennium. Recent ancient DNA (aDNA) research also indicates the incorporation of European wild boar into domestic stock during the Neolithization process. In order to establish the timing of the arrival of domestic pigs into Europe, and to test hypotheses regarding the role European wild boar played in the domestication process, we combined a geometric morphometric analysis (allowing us to combine tooth size and shape) of 449 Romanian ancient teeth with aDNA analysis. Our results firstly substantiate claims that the first domestic pigs in Romania possessed the same mtDNA signatures found in Neolithic pigs in west and central Anatolia. Second, we identified a significant proportion of individuals with large molars whose tooth shape matched that of archaeological (likely) domestic pigs. These large 'domestic shape' specimens were present from the outset of the Romanian Neolithic (6100-5500 cal BC) through to later prehistory, suggesting a long history of admixture between introduced domestic pigs and local wild boar. Finally, we confirmed a turnover in mitochondrial lineages found in domestic pigs, possibly coincident with human migration into Anatolia and the Levant that occurred in later prehistory.

  17. Unravelling the complexity of domestication: a case study using morphometrics and ancient DNA analyses of archaeological pigs from Romania

    PubMed Central

    Evin, Allowen; Flink, Linus Girdland; Bălăşescu, Adrian; Popovici, Dragomir; Andreescu, Radian; Bailey, Douglas; Mirea, Pavel; Lazăr, Cătălin; Boroneanţ, Adina; Bonsall, Clive; Vidarsdottir, Una Strand; Brehard, Stéphanie; Tresset, Anne; Cucchi, Thomas; Larson, Greger; Dobney, Keith

    2015-01-01

    Current evidence suggests that pigs were first domesticated in Eastern Anatolia during the ninth millennium cal BC before dispersing into Europe with Early Neolithic farmers from the beginning of the seventh millennium. Recent ancient DNA (aDNA) research also indicates the incorporation of European wild boar into domestic stock during the Neolithization process. In order to establish the timing of the arrival of domestic pigs into Europe, and to test hypotheses regarding the role European wild boar played in the domestication process, we combined a geometric morphometric analysis (allowing us to combine tooth size and shape) of 449 Romanian ancient teeth with aDNA analysis. Our results firstly substantiate claims that the first domestic pigs in Romania possessed the same mtDNA signatures found in Neolithic pigs in west and central Anatolia. Second, we identified a significant proportion of individuals with large molars whose tooth shape matched that of archaeological (likely) domestic pigs. These large ‘domestic shape’ specimens were present from the outset of the Romanian Neolithic (6100–5500 cal BC) through to later prehistory, suggesting a long history of admixture between introduced domestic pigs and local wild boar. Finally, we confirmed a turnover in mitochondrial lineages found in domestic pigs, possibly coincident with human migration into Anatolia and the Levant that occurred in later prehistory. PMID:25487340

  18. Histological analysis and ancient DNA amplification of human bone remains found in caius iulius polybius house in pompeii.

    PubMed

    Cipollaro, M; Di Bernado, G; Forte, A; Galano, G; De Masi, L; Galderisi, U; Guarino, F M; Angelini, F; Cascino, A

    1999-09-01

    Thirteen skeletons found in the Caius Iulius Polybius house, which has been the object of intensive study since its discovery in Pompeii 250 years ago, have provided an opportunity to study either bone diagenesis by histological investigation or ancient DNA by polymerase chain reaction analysis. DNA analysis was done by amplifying both X- and Y-chromosomes amelogenin loci and Y-specific alphoid repeat locus. The von Willebrand factor (vWF) microsatellite locus on chromosome 12 was also analyzed for personal identification in two individuals showing alleles with 10/11 and 12/12 TCTA repeats, respectively. Technical problems were the scarcity of DNA content from osteocytes, DNA molecule fragmentation, microbial contamination which change bone structure, contaminating human DNA which results from mishandling, and frequent presence of Taq DNA polymerase inhibiting molecules like polyphenols and heavy metals. The results suggest that the remains contain endogenous human DNA that can be amplified and analyzed. The amplifiability of DNA corresponds to the bone preservation and dynamics of the burial conditions subsequent to the 79 A.D. eruption.

  19. 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

  20. 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.

  1. 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

  2. Eastern Mediterranean Mobility in the Bronze and Early Iron Ages: Inferences from Ancient DNA of Pigs and Cattle.

    PubMed

    Meiri, Meirav; Stockhammer, Philipp W; Marom, Nimrod; Bar-Oz, Guy; Sapir-Hen, Lidar; Morgenstern, Peggy; Macheridis, Stella; Rosen, Baruch; Huchon, Dorothée; Maran, Joseph; Finkelstein, Israel

    2017-04-06

    The Late Bronze of the Eastern Mediterranean (1550-1150 BCE) was a period of strong commercial relations and great prosperity, which ended in collapse and migration of groups to the Levant. Here we aim at studying the translocation of cattle and pigs during this period. We sequenced the first ancient mitochondrial and Y chromosome DNA of cattle from Greece and Israel and compared the results with morphometric analysis of the metacarpal in cattle. We also increased previous ancient pig DNA datasets from Israel and extracted the first mitochondrial DNA for samples from Greece. We found that pigs underwent a complex translocation history, with links between Anatolia with southeastern Europe in the Bronze Age, and movement from southeastern Europe to the Levant in the Iron I (ca. 1150-950 BCE). Our genetic data did not indicate movement of cattle between the Aegean region and the southern Levant. We detected the earliest evidence for crossbreeding between taurine and zebu cattle in the Iron IIA (ca. 900 BCE). In light of archaeological and historical evidence on Egyptian imperial domination in the region in the Late Bronze Age, we suggest that Egypt attempted to expand dry farming in the region in a period of severe droughts.

  3. Ancient DNA reveals prehistoric gene-flow from siberia in the complex human population history of North East Europe.

    PubMed

    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

  4. 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

  5. First systematic CGH-based analyses of ancient DNA samples of malformed fetuses preserved in the Meckel Anatomical Collection in Halle/Saale (Germany).

    PubMed

    Tönnies, H; Gerlach, A; Klunker, R; Schultka, R; Göbbel, L

    2005-03-01

    We present the first data on our comparative genomic hybridization (CGH)-based strategy for the analysis of ancient DNA (aDNA) samples extracted from fetuses preserved in the Meckel Anatomical Collection in Halle, Germany. The collection contains numerous differently fixed ancient samples of fetal malformations collected from the middle of the 18th to the early 19th century. The main objective of this study is to establish a "standard" aDNA extraction and amplification protocol as a prerequisite for successful CGH analyses to detect or exclude chromosomal imbalances possibly causative for the malformations described for the fetuses.

  6. 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.

  7. 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

    2016-09-06

    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".

  8. HLTF’s Ancient HIRAN Domain Binds 3′-DNA Ends to Drive Replication Fork Reversal

    PubMed Central

    Kile, Andrew C.; Chavez, Diana A.; Bacal, Julien; Eldirany, Sherif; Korzhnev, Dmitry M.; Bezsonova, Irina; Eichman, Brandt F.; Cimprich, Karlene A.

    2015-01-01

    Summary Stalled replication forks are a critical problem for the cell because they can lead to complex genome rearrangements that underlie cell death and disease. Processes such as DNA damage tolerance and replication fork reversal protect stalled forks from these events. A central mediator of these DNA damage responses in humans is the Rad5-related DNA translocase, HLTF. Here, we present biochemical and structural evidence that the HIRAN domain, an ancient and conserved domain found in HLTF and other DNA processing proteins, is a modified oligonucleotide/oligosaccharide (OB) fold that binds to 3′-ssDNA ends. We demonstrate that the HIRAN domain promotes HLTF-dependent fork reversal in vitro, through its interaction with 3′-ssDNA ends found at forks. Finally, we show that HLTF restrains replication fork progression in cells in a HIRAN-dependent manner. These findings establish a mechanism of HLTF-mediated fork reversal and provide insight into the requirement for distinct fork remodeling activities in the cell. PMID:26051180

  9. Evidence Supporting the Uptake and Genomic Incorporation of Environmental DNA in the “Ancient Asexual” Bdelloid Rotifer Philodina roseola

    PubMed Central

    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

  10. A minimally-invasive method for sampling human petrous bones from the cranial base for ancient DNA analysis.

    PubMed

    Sirak, Kendra A; Fernandes, Daniel M; Cheronet, Olivia; Novak, Mario; Gamarra, Beatriz; Balassa, Tímea; Bernert, Zsolt; Cséki, Andrea; Dani, János; Gallina, József Zsolt; Kocsis-Buruzs, Gábor; Kővári, Ivett; László, Orsolya; Pap, Ildikó; Patay, Róbert; Petkes, Zsolt; Szenthe, Gergely; Szeniczey, Tamás; Hajdu, Tamás; Pinhasi, Ron

    2017-06-01

    Ancient DNA (aDNA) research involves invasive and destructive sampling procedures that are often incompatible with anthropological, anatomical, and bioarcheological analyses requiring intact skeletal remains. The osseous labyrinth inside the petrous bone has been shown to yield higher amounts of endogenous DNA than any other skeletal element; however, accessing this labyrinth in cases of a complete or reconstructed skull involves causing major structural damage to the cranial vault or base. Here, we describe a novel cranial base drilling method (CBDM) for accessing the osseous labyrinth from the cranial base that prevents damaging the surrounding cranial features, making it highly complementary to morphological analyses. We assessed this method by comparing the aDNA results from one petrous bone processed using our novel method to its pair, which was processed using established protocols for sampling disarticulated petrous bones. We show a decrease in endogenous DNA and molecular copy numbers when the drilling method is used; however, we also show that this method produces more endogenous DNA and higher copy numbers than any postcranial bone. Our results demonstrate that this minimally-invasive method reduces the loss of genetic data associated with the use of other skeletal elements and enables the combined craniometric and genetic study of individuals with archeological, cultural, and evolutionary value.

  11. 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. © 2015 John Wiley & Sons Ltd.

  12. 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.

  13. 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.

  14. Ancient DNA Analyses Reveal Contrasting Phylogeographic Patterns amongst Kiwi (Apteryx spp.) and a Recently Extinct Lineage of Spotted Kiwi

    PubMed Central

    Shepherd, Lara D.; Worthy, Trevor H.; Tennyson, Alan J. D.; Scofield, R. Paul; Ramstad, Kristina M.; Lambert, David M.

    2012-01-01

    The little spotted kiwi (Apteryx owenii) is a flightless ratite formerly found throughout New Zealand but now greatly reduced in distribution. Previous phylogeographic studies of the related brown kiwi (A. mantelli, A. rowi and A. australis), with which little spotted kiwi was once sympatric, revealed extremely high levels of genetic structuring, with mitochondrial DNA haplotypes often restricted to populations. We surveyed genetic variation throughout the present and pre-human range of little spotted kiwi by obtaining mitochondrial DNA sequences from contemporary and ancient samples. Little spotted kiwi and great spotted kiwi (A. haastii) formed a monophyletic clade sister to brown kiwi. Ancient samples of little spotted kiwi from the northern North Island, where it is now extinct, formed a lineage that was distinct from remaining little spotted kiwi and great spotted kiwi lineages, potentially indicating unrecognized taxonomic diversity. Overall, little spotted kiwi exhibited much lower levels of genetic diversity and structuring than brown kiwi, particularly through the South Island. Our results also indicate that little spotted kiwi (or at least hybrids involving this species) survived on the South Island mainland until more recently than previously thought. PMID:22876319

  15. Ancient DNA analyses reveal contrasting phylogeographic patterns amongst kiwi (Apteryx spp.) and a recently extinct lineage of spotted kiwi.

    PubMed

    Shepherd, Lara D; Worthy, Trevor H; Tennyson, Alan J D; Scofield, R Paul; Ramstad, Kristina M; Lambert, David M

    2012-01-01

    The little spotted kiwi (Apteryx owenii) is a flightless ratite formerly found throughout New Zealand but now greatly reduced in distribution. Previous phylogeographic studies of the related brown kiwi (A. mantelli, A. rowi and A. australis), with which little spotted kiwi was once sympatric, revealed extremely high levels of genetic structuring, with mitochondrial DNA haplotypes often restricted to populations. We surveyed genetic variation throughout the present and pre-human range of little spotted kiwi by obtaining mitochondrial DNA sequences from contemporary and ancient samples. Little spotted kiwi and great spotted kiwi (A. haastii) formed a monophyletic clade sister to brown kiwi. Ancient samples of little spotted kiwi from the northern North Island, where it is now extinct, formed a lineage that was distinct from remaining little spotted kiwi and great spotted kiwi lineages, potentially indicating unrecognized taxonomic diversity. Overall, little spotted kiwi exhibited much lower levels of genetic diversity and structuring than brown kiwi, particularly through the South Island. Our results also indicate that little spotted kiwi (or at least hybrids involving this species) survived on the South Island mainland until more recently than previously thought.

  16. 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.

  17. 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

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

    PubMed

    Niemi, Marianna; Bläuer, Auli; Iso-Touru, Terhi; Nyström, Veronica; Harjula, Janne; Taavitsainen, Jussi-Pekka; Storå, Jan; Lidén, Kerstin; Kantanen, Juha

    2013-01-22

    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. 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. 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 events that occurred in the past

  19. 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

  20. 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.

  1. 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

  2. Genetic history of Southeast Asian populations as revealed by ancient and modern human mitochondrial DNA analysis.

    PubMed

    Lertrit, Patcharee; Poolsuwan, Samerchai; Thosarat, Rachanie; Sanpachudayan, Thitima; Boonyarit, Hathaichanoke; Chinpaisal, Chatchai; Suktitipat, Bhoom

    2008-12-01

    The 360 base-pair fragment in HVS-1 of the mitochondrial genome were determined from ancient human remains excavated at Noen U-loke and Ban Lum-Khao, two Bronze and Iron Age archaeological sites in Northeastern Thailand, radio-carbon dated to circa 3,500-1,500 years BP and 3,200-2,400 years BP, respectively. These two neighboring populations were parts of early agricultural communities prevailing in northeastern Thailand from the fourth millennium BP onwards. The nucleotide sequences of these ancient samples were compared with the sequences of modern samples from various ethnic populations of East and Southeast Asia, encompassing four major linguistic affiliations (Altaic, Sino-Tibetan, Tai-Kadai, and Austroasiatic), to investigate the genetic relationships and history among them. The two ancient samples were most closely related to each other, and next most closely related to the Chao-Bon, an Austroasiatic-speaking group living near the archaeological sites, suggesting that the genetic continuum may have persisted since prehistoric times in situ among the native, perhaps Austroasiatic-speaking population. Tai-Kadai groups formed close affinities among themselves, with a tendency to be more closely related to other Southeast Asian populations than to populations from further north. The Tai-Kadai groups were relatively distant from all groups that have presumably been in Southeast Asia for longer-that is, the two ancient groups and the Austroasiatic-speaking groups, with the exception of the Khmer group. This finding is compatible with the known history of the Thais: their late arrival in Southeast Asia from southern China after the 10th-11th century AD, followed by a period of subjugation under the Khmers.

  3. 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

  4. 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

  5. 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

  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. © 2014 Wiley Periodicals, Inc.

  7. Fragmentation of Contaminant and Endogenous DNA in Ancient Samples Determined by Shotgun Sequencing; Prospects for Human Palaeogenomics

    PubMed Central

    Sanchez-Quinto, Federico; Ramirez, Oscar; Calafell, Francesc; Civit, Sergi; Lalueza-Fox, Carles

    2011-01-01

    Background Despite the successful retrieval of genomes from past remains, the prospects for human palaeogenomics remain unclear because of the difficulty of distinguishing contaminant from endogenous DNA sequences. Previous sequence data generated on high-throughput sequencing platforms indicate that fragmentation of ancient DNA sequences is a characteristic trait primarily arising due to depurination processes that create abasic sites leading to DNA breaks. Methodology/Principals Findings To investigate whether this pattern is present in ancient remains from a temperate environment, we have 454-FLX pyrosequenced different samples dated between 5,500 and 49,000 years ago: a bone from an extinct goat (Myotragus balearicus) that was treated with a depurinating agent (bleach), an Iberian lynx bone not subjected to any treatment, a human Neolithic sample from Barcelona (Spain), and a Neandertal sample from the El Sidrón site (Asturias, Spain). The efficiency of retrieval of endogenous sequences is below 1% in all cases. We have used the non-human samples to identify human sequences (0.35 and 1.4%, respectively), that we positively know are contaminants. Conclusions We observed that bleach treatment appears to create a depurination-associated fragmentation pattern in resulting contaminant sequences that is indistinguishable from previously described endogenous sequences. Furthermore, the nucleotide composition pattern observed in 5′ and 3′ ends of contaminant sequences is much more complex than the flat pattern previously described in some Neandertal contaminants. Although much research on samples with known contaminant histories is needed, our results suggest that endogenous and contaminant sequences cannot be distinguished by the fragmentation pattern alone. PMID:21904610

  8. 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.

  9. Ancient DNA reveals substantial genetic diversity in the California Condor (Gymnogyps californianus) prior to a population bottleneck

    USGS Publications Warehouse

    D'Elia, Jesse; Haig, Susan M.; Mullins, Thomas D.; Miller, Mark P.

    2016-01-01

    Critically endangered species that have undergone severe population bottlenecks often have little remaining genetic variation, making it difficult to reconstruct population histories to apply in reintroduction and recovery strategies. By using ancient DNA techniques, it is possible to combine genetic evidence from the historical population with contemporary samples to provide a more complete picture of a species' genetic variation across its historical range and through time. Applying this approach, we examined changes in the mitochondrial DNA (mtDNA) control region (526 base pairs) of the endangered California Condor (Gymnogyps californianus). Results showed a >80% reduction in unique haplotypes over the past 2 centuries. We found no spatial sorting of haplotypes in the historical population; the periphery of the range contained haplotypes that were common throughout the historical range. Direct examination of mtDNA from California Condor museum specimens provided a new window into historical population connectivity and genetic diversity showing: (1) a substantial loss of haplotypes, which is consistent with the hypothesis that condors were relatively abundant in the nineteenth century, but declined rapidly as a result of human-caused mortality; and (2) no evidence of historical population segregation, meaning that the available genetic data offer no cause to avoid releasing condors in unoccupied portions of their historical range.

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

    PubMed Central

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

    2015-01-01

    By analysing ancient DNA (aDNA) from 74 14C-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

  11. Genotyping of Capreolus pygargus Fossil DNA from Denisova Cave Reveals Phylogenetic Relationships between Ancient and Modern Populations

    PubMed Central

    Vorobieva, Nadezhda V.; Sherbakov, Dmitry Y.; Druzhkova, Anna S.; Stanyon, Roscoe; Tsybankov, Alexander A.; Vasil'ev, Sergey K.; Shunkov, Mikhail V.; Trifonov, Vladimir A.; Graphodatsky, Alexander S.

    2011-01-01

    Background The extant roe deer (Capreolus Gray, 1821) includes two species: the European roe deer (C. capreolus) and the Siberian roe deer (C. pygargus) that are distinguished by morphological and karyotypical differences. The Siberian roe deer occupies a vast area of Asia and is considerably less studied than the European roe deer. Modern systematics of the Siberian roe deer remain controversial with 4 morphological subspecies. Roe deer fossilized bones are quite abundant in Denisova cave (Altai Mountains, South Siberia), where dozens of both extant and extinct mammalian species from modern Holocene to Middle Pleistocene have been retrieved. Methodology/Principal Findings We analyzed a 629 bp fragment of the mitochondrial control region from ancient bones of 10 Holocene and four Pleistocene Siberian roe deer from Denisova cave as well as 37 modern specimen belonging to populations from Altai, Tian Shan (Kyrgyzstan), Yakutia, Novosibirsk region and the Russian Far East. Genealogical reconstructions indicated that most Holocene haplotypes were probably ancestral for modern roe deer populations of Western Siberia and Tian Shan. One of the Pleistocene haplotypes was possibly ancestral for modern Yakutian populations, and two extinct Pleistocene haplotypes were close to modern roe deer from Tian Shan and Yakutia. Most modern geographical populations (except for West Siberian Plains) are heterogeneous and there is some tentative evidence for structure. However, we did not find any distinct phylogenetic signal characterizing particular subspecies in either modern or ancient samples. Conclusion/Significance Analysis of mitochondrial DNA from both ancient and modern samples of Siberian roe deer shed new light on understanding the evolutionary history of roe deer. Our data indicate that during the last 50,000 years multiple replacements of populations of the Siberian roe deer took place in the Altai Mountains correlating with climatic changes. The Siberian roe deer

  12. 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

  13. 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.

  14. 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.

  15. 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

  16. 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

  17. Ancient DNA Assessment of Tiger Salamander Population in Yellowstone National Park

    PubMed Central

    McMenamin, Sarah K.; Hadly, Elizabeth A.

    2012-01-01

    Recent data indicates that blotched tiger salamanders (Ambystoma tigrinum melanostictum) in northern regions of Yellowstone National Park are declining due to climate-related habitat changes. In this study, we used ancient and modern mitochondrial haplotype diversity to model the effective size of this amphibian population through recent geological time and to assess past responses to climatic changes in the region. Using subfossils collected from a cave in northern Yellowstone, we analyzed >700 base pairs of mitochondrial sequence from 16 samples ranging in age from 100 to 3300 years old and found that all shared an identical haplotype. Although mitochondrial diversity was extremely low within the living population, we still were able to detect geographic subdivision within the local area. Using serial coalescent modelling with Bayesian priors from both modern and ancient genetic data we simulated a range of probable population sizes and mutation rates through time. Our simulations suggest that regional mitochondrial diversity has remained relatively constant even through climatic fluctuations of recent millennia. PMID:22427878

  18. Ancient DNA sheds light on the ancestry of pre-hispanic Canarian pigs.

    PubMed

    Olalde, Iñigo; Capote, Juan; Del-Arco, María C; Atoche, Pablo; Delgado, Teresa; González-Anton, Rafael; Pais, Jorge; Amills, Marcel; Lalueza-Fox, Carles; Ramírez, Oscar

    2015-05-06

    Canarian Black (CB) pigs belong to an autochthonous and endangered breed, which is spread throughout the Canarian archipelago. It is commonly accepted that they represent a relic of the pig populations that were bred by the Berbers in North Africa over millennia. It is important to note that the geographic isolation of the Canary Islands has preserved this genetic legacy intact from foreign introgressions until the Spanish conquest of the archipelago in the 15(th) century. Ten years ago, it was demonstrated that, in CB pigs, the frequency of the Asian A2 cytochrome-b haplogroup reached 73%. The current work aimed at investigating whether this observation is explained by either a recent or an ancient introgression of CB pigs with Far Eastern pigs. Genetic analyses of 23 ancient samples from pre-hispanic Canarian pigs (420 to 2500 years before present) showed that Near Eastern and Far Eastern genetic signatures were totally absent in the primitive Canarian pre-hispanic pigs. Indeed, the haplotypes detected in these pigs were closely related to those of North African and European wild boars. Our results demonstrate that the high frequency of the Far Eastern mitochondrial cytochrome B A2 haplotype in modern Canarian Black pigs probably corresponds to a relatively recent introgression with British breeds.

  19. Ancient DNA assessment of tiger salamander population in Yellowstone National Park.

    PubMed

    McMenamin, Sarah K; Hadly, Elizabeth A

    2012-01-01

    Recent data indicates that blotched tiger salamanders (Ambystoma tigrinum melanostictum) in northern regions of Yellowstone National Park are declining due to climate-related habitat changes. In this study, we used ancient and modern mitochondrial haplotype diversity to model the effective size of this amphibian population through recent geological time and to assess past responses to climatic changes in the region. Using subfossils collected from a cave in northern Yellowstone, we analyzed >700 base pairs of mitochondrial sequence from 16 samples ranging in age from 100 to 3300 years old and found that all shared an identical haplotype. Although mitochondrial diversity was extremely low within the living population, we still were able to detect geographic subdivision within the local area. Using serial coalescent modelling with Bayesian priors from both modern and ancient genetic data we simulated a range of probable population sizes and mutation rates through time. Our simulations suggest that regional mitochondrial diversity has remained relatively constant even through climatic fluctuations of recent millennia.

  20. Taming the late Quaternary phylogeography of the Eurasiatic wild ass through ancient and modern DNA.

    PubMed

    Bennett, E Andrew; Champlot, Sophie; Peters, Joris; Arbuckle, Benjamin S; Guimaraes, Silvia; Pruvost, Mélanie; Bar-David, Shirli; Davis, Simon J M; Gautier, Mathieu; Kaczensky, Petra; Kuehn, Ralph; Mashkour, Marjan; Morales-Muñiz, Arturo; Pucher, Erich; Tournepiche, Jean-François; Uerpmann, Hans-Peter; Bălăşescu, Adrian; Germonpré, Mietje; Gündem, Can Y; Hemami, Mahmoud-Reza; Moullé, Pierre-Elie; Ötzan, Aliye; Uerpmann, Margarete; Walzer, Chris; Grange, Thierry; Geigl, Eva-Maria

    2017-01-01

    Taxonomic over-splitting of extinct or endangered taxa, due to an incomplete knowledge of both skeletal morphological variability and the geographical ranges of past populations, continues to confuse the link between isolated extant populations and their ancestors. This is particularly problematic with the genus Equus. To more reliably determine the evolution and phylogeographic history of the endangered Asiatic wild ass, we studied the genetic diversity and inter-relationships of both extinct and extant populations over the last 100,000 years, including samples throughout its previous range from Western Europe to Southwest and East Asia. Using 229 bp of the mitochondrial hypervariable region, an approach which allowed the inclusion of information from extremely poorly preserved ancient samples, we classify all non-African wild asses into eleven clades that show a clear phylogeographic structure revealing their phylogenetic history. This study places the extinct European wild ass, E. hydruntinus, the phylogeny of which has been debated since the end of the 19th century, into its phylogenetic context within the Asiatic wild asses and reveals recent mitochondrial introgression between populations currently regarded as separate species. The phylogeographic organization of clades resulting from these efforts can be used not only to improve future taxonomic determination of a poorly characterized group of equids, but also to identify historic ranges, interbreeding events between various populations, and the impact of ancient climatic changes. In addition, appropriately placing extant relict populations into a broader phylogeographic and genetic context can better inform ongoing conservation strategies for this highly-endangered species.

  1. Intermolecular epistasis shaped the function and evolution of an ancient transcription factor and its DNA binding sites

    PubMed Central

    Anderson, Dave W; McKeown, Alesia N; Thornton, Joseph W

    2015-01-01

    Complexes of specifically interacting molecules, such as transcription factor proteins (TFs) and the DNA response elements (REs) they recognize, control most biological processes, but little is known concerning the functional and evolutionary effects of epistatic interactions across molecular interfaces. We experimentally characterized all combinations of genotypes in the joint protein-DNA sequence space defined by an historical transition in TF-RE specificity that occurred some 500 million years ago in the DNA-binding domain of an ancient steroid hormone receptor. We found that rampant epistasis within and between the two molecules was essential to specific TF-RE recognition and to the evolution of a novel TF-RE complex with unique derived specificity. Permissive and restrictive epistatic mutations across the TF-RE interface opened and closed potential evolutionary paths accessible by the other, making the evolution of each molecule contingent on its partner's history and allowing a molecular complex with novel specificity to evolve. DOI: http://dx.doi.org/10.7554/eLife.07864.001 PMID:26076233

  2. Eggshell palaeogenomics: Palaeognath evolutionary history revealed through ancient nuclear and mitochondrial DNA from Madagascan elephant bird (Aepyornis sp.) eggshell.

    PubMed

    Grealy, Alicia; Phillips, Matthew; Miller, Gifford; Gilbert, M Thomas P; Rouillard, Jean-Marie; Lambert, David; Bunce, Michael; Haile, James

    2017-04-01

    Palaeognaths, the sister group of all other living birds (neognaths), were once considered to be vicariant relics from the breakup of the Gondwanan supercontinent. However, recent molecular studies instead argue for dispersal of volant ancestors across marine barriers. Resolving this debate hinges upon accurately reconstructing their evolutionary relationships and dating their divergences, which often relies on phylogenetic information from extinct relatives and nuclear genomes. Mitogenomes from the extinct elephant birds of Madagascar have helped inform the palaeognath phylogeny; however, nuclear information has remained unavailable. Here, we use ancient DNA (aDNA) extracted from fossil eggshell, together with target enrichment and next-generation sequencing techniques, to reconstruct an additional new mitogenome from Aepyornis sp. with 33.5X coverage. We also recover the first elephant bird nuclear aDNA, represented by 12,500bp of exonic information. While we confirm that elephant birds are sister taxa to the kiwi, our data suggests that, like neognaths, palaeognaths underwent an explosive radiation between 69 and 52Ma-well after the break-up of Gondwana, and more rapidly than previously estimated from mitochondrial data alone. These results further support the idea that ratites primarily diversified immediately following the Cretaceous-Palaeogene mass extinction and convergently evolved flightlessness. Our study reinforces the importance of including information from the nuclear genome of extinct taxa for recovering deep evolutionary relationships. Furthermore, with approximately 3% endogenous aDNA retrieved, avian eggshell can be a valuable substrate for recovering high quality aDNA. We suggest that elephant bird whole genome recovery is ultimately achievable, and will provide future insights into the evolution these birds.

  3. Isolation of the cDNA for erythrocyte integral membrane protein of 28 kilodaltons: member of an ancient channel family.

    PubMed

    Preston, G M; Agre, P

    1991-12-15

    CHIP28 is a 28-kDa integral membrane protein with similarities to membrane channels and is found in erythrocytes and renal tubules. A cDNA for CHIP28 was isolated from human fetal liver cDNA template by a three-step polymerase chain reaction (PCR) cloning strategy, starting with degenerate oligonucleotide primers corresponding to the N-terminal amino acid sequence determined from purified CHIP28 protein. Using the third-step PCR product as a probe, we isolated a recombinant from a human bone marrow cDNA library. The combined sequence of the PCR products and bone marrow cDNA contains 38 base pairs of 5' untranslated nucleotide sequence, an 807-bp open reading frame, and approximately 2 kilobases of 3' untranslated sequence containing a polyadenylation signal. This corresponds to the 3.1-kilobase transcript identified by RNA blot-hybridization analysis. Authenticity of the deduced amino acid sequence of the CHIP28 protein C terminus was confirmed by expression and immunoblotting. Analysis of the deduced amino acid sequence suggests that CHIP28 protein contains six bilayer-spanning domains, two exofacial potential N-glycosylation sites, and intracellular N and C termini. Search of the DNA sequence data base revealed a strong homology with the major intrinsic protein of bovine lens, which is the prototype of an ancient but recently recognized family of membrane channels. These proteins are believed to form channels permeable to water and possibly other small molecules. CHIP28 shares homology with all known members of this channel family, and it is speculated that CHIP28 has a similar function.

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

    PubMed

    Drancourt, M; Aboudharam, G; Signoli, M; Dutour, O; Raoult, D

    1998-10-13

    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 beta-globin gene demonstrated the absence of inhibitors in these preparations. The incorporation of primers specific for Y. pestis rpoB (the RNA polymerase beta-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.

  5. 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. © 2011 Blackwell Publishing Ltd.

  6. Taming the late Quaternary phylogeography of the Eurasiatic wild ass through ancient and modern DNA

    PubMed Central

    Peters, Joris; Arbuckle, Benjamin S.; Guimaraes, Silvia; Pruvost, Mélanie; Bar-David, Shirli; Davis, Simon J. M.; Gautier, Mathieu; Kaczensky, Petra; Kuehn, Ralph; Mashkour, Marjan; Morales-Muñiz, Arturo; Pucher, Erich; Tournepiche, Jean-François; Uerpmann, Hans-Peter; Bălăşescu, Adrian; Germonpré, Mietje; Gündem, Can Y.; Hemami, Mahmoud-Reza; Moullé, Pierre-Elie; Ötzan, Aliye; Uerpmann, Margarete; Walzer, Chris

    2017-01-01

    Taxonomic over-splitting of extinct or endangered taxa, due to an incomplete knowledge of both skeletal morphological variability and the geographical ranges of past populations, continues to confuse the link between isolated extant populations and their ancestors. This is particularly problematic with the genus Equus. To more reliably determine the evolution and phylogeographic history of the endangered Asiatic wild ass, we studied the genetic diversity and inter-relationships of both extinct and extant populations over the last 100,000 years, including samples throughout its previous range from Western Europe to Southwest and East Asia. Using 229 bp of the mitochondrial hypervariable region, an approach which allowed the inclusion of information from extremely poorly preserved ancient samples, we classify all non-African wild asses into eleven clades that show a clear phylogeographic structure revealing their phylogenetic history. This study places the extinct European wild ass, E. hydruntinus, the phylogeny of which has been debated since the end of the 19th century, into its phylogenetic context within the Asiatic wild asses and reveals recent mitochondrial introgression between populations currently regarded as separate species. The phylogeographic organization of clades resulting from these efforts can be used not only to improve future taxonomic determination of a poorly characterized group of equids, but also to identify historic ranges, interbreeding events between various populations, and the impact of ancient climatic changes. In addition, appropriately placing extant relict populations into a broader phylogeographic and genetic context can better inform ongoing conservation strategies for this highly-endangered species. PMID:28422966

  7. Ancient DNA reveals key stages in the formation of Central European mitochondrial genetic diversity

    PubMed Central

    Brandt, Guido; Haak, Wolfgang; Adler, Christina J.; Roth, Christina; Szécsényi-Nagy, Anna; Karimnia, Sarah; Möller-Rieker, Sabine; Meller, Harald; Ganslmeier, Robert; Friederich, Susanne; Dresely, Veit; Nicklisch, Nicole; Pickrell, Joseph K.; Sirocko, Frank; Reich, David; Cooper, Alan; Alt, Kurt W.

    2014-01-01

    The processes which shaped modern European mitochondrial DNA (mtDNA) variation remain unclear. The initial peopling by Palaeolithic hunter-gatherers ~42kyrs ago and the immigration of Neolithic farmers into Europe ~8kyrs ago appear to have played important roles, but do not explain present-day mtDNA diversity. We generated mtDNA profiles of 364 individuals from prehistoric cultures in Central Europe to perform a chronological study, spanning the Early Neolithic to the Early Bronze Age (5,500–1,550 cal BC). We use this transect through time to identify four marked shifts in genetic composition during the Neolithic period, revealing a key role for Late Neolithic cultures in shaping modern Central European genetic diversity. PMID:24115443

  8. Ancient DNA reveals key stages in the formation of central European mitochondrial genetic diversity.

    PubMed

    Brandt, Guido; Haak, Wolfgang; Adler, Christina J; Roth, Christina; Szécsényi-Nagy, Anna; Karimnia, Sarah; Möller-Rieker, Sabine; Meller, Harald; Ganslmeier, Robert; Friederich, Susanne; Dresely, Veit; Nicklisch, Nicole; Pickrell, Joseph K; Sirocko, Frank; Reich, David; Cooper, Alan; Alt, Kurt W

    2013-10-11

    The processes that shaped modern European mitochondrial DNA (mtDNA) variation remain unclear. The initial peopling by Palaeolithic hunter-gatherers ~42,000 years ago and the immigration of Neolithic farmers into Europe ~8000 years ago appear to have played important roles but do not explain present-day mtDNA diversity. We generated mtDNA profiles of 364 individuals from prehistoric cultures in Central Europe to perform a chronological study, spanning the Early Neolithic to the Early Bronze Age (5500 to 1550 calibrated years before the common era). We used this transect through time to identify four marked shifts in genetic composition during the Neolithic period, revealing a key role for Late Neolithic cultures in shaping modern Central European genetic diversity.

  9. 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

  10. 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.

  11. Towards the onset of fruit tree growing north of the Alps: ancient DNA from waterlogged apple (Malus sp.) seed fragments.

    PubMed

    Schlumbaum, Angela; van Glabeke, Sabine; Roldan-Ruiz, Isabel

    2012-01-20

    Wild apples (Malus sp.) have been a major food source in the northern Alpine region since prehistory and their use is well understood. The onset of deliberate fruit tree growing in the area is, however, less clear. It is generally assumed that horticulture was practised in Roman times, but it might be even earlier. In the archaeological record seed testa and pericarp remains are particularly frequent at sites with waterlogged preservation such as lakeshore settlements or wells, pits and ditches, but the distinction between wild and domestic plants is not morphologically possible. With waterlogged remains being one main source of information about past fruit cultivation, we have tested the feasibility of analysing ancient DNA from waterlogged preserved bulk samples of testa fragments. We studied apple seeds from three Neolithic and three Roman sites with waterlogged preservation in the Alpine foreland. Chloroplast markers failed in all samples, but nuclear ITS1 (internal transcribed spacer region 1) of the ribosomal DNA was successfully typed in two Roman samples from the site Oedenburg/Biesheim-Kunheim (Haut-Rhin, F). The retrieved ITS1 sequences are identical to each other and are shared with wild Malus sylvestris and Malus sieversii, and with domestic apple cultivars, supporting the potential of using waterlogged remains for identifying the genetic status of apple diachronically. Copyright © 2011 Elsevier GmbH. All rights reserved.

  12. 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.

  13. Nuclear DNA replication initiation in kinetoplastid parasites: new insights into an ancient process.

    PubMed

    Tiengwe, Calvin; Marques, Catarina A; McCulloch, Richard

    2014-01-01

    Nuclear DNA replication is, arguably, the central cellular process in eukaryotes, because it drives propagation of life and intersects with many other genome reactions. Perhaps surprisingly, our understanding of nuclear DNA replication in kinetoplastids was limited until a clutch of studies emerged recently, revealing new insight into both the machinery and genome-wide coordination of the reaction. Here, we discuss how these studies suggest that the earliest acting components of the kinetoplastid nuclear DNA replication machinery - the factors that demarcate sites of the replication initiation, termed origins - are diverged from model eukaryotes. In addition, we discuss how origin usage and replication dynamics relate to the highly unusual organisation of transcription in the genome of Trypanosoma brucei.

  14. DNA damage induced by Strontium-90 exposure at low concentrations in mesenchymal stromal cells: the functional consequences

    PubMed Central

    Musilli, S.; Nicolas, N.; El Ali, Z.; Orellana-Moreno, P.; Grand, C.; Tack, K.; Kerdine-Römer, S.; Bertho, J. M.

    2017-01-01

    90Sr is one of the radionuclides released after nuclear accidents that can significantly impact human health in the long term. 90Sr accumulates mostly in the bones of exposed populations. Previous research has shown that exposure induces changes in bone physiology both in humans and in mice. We hypothesize that, due to its close location with bone marrow stromal cells (BMSCs), 90Sr could induce functional damage to stromal cells that may explain these biological effects due to chronic exposure to 90Sr. The aim of this work was to verify this hypothesis through the use of an in vitro model of MS5 stromal cell lines exposed to 1 and 10 kBq.mL−1 of 90Sr. Results indicated that a 30-minute exposure to 90Sr induced double strand breaks in DNA, followed by DNA repair, senescence and differentiation. After 7 days of exposure, MS5 cells showed a decreased ability to proliferate, changes in cytokine expression, and changes in their ability to support hematopoietic progenitor proliferation and differentiation. These results demonstrate that chronic exposure to a low concentration of 90Sr can induce functional changes in BMSCs that in turn may explain the health effects observed in following chronic 90Sr exposure. PMID:28134299

  15. DNA damage induced by Strontium-90 exposure at low concentrations in mesenchymal stromal cells: the functional consequences.

    PubMed

    Musilli, S; Nicolas, N; El Ali, Z; Orellana-Moreno, P; Grand, C; Tack, K; Kerdine-Römer, S; Bertho, J M

    2017-01-30

    (90)Sr is one of the radionuclides released after nuclear accidents that can significantly impact human health in the long term. (90)Sr accumulates mostly in the bones of exposed populations. Previous research has shown that exposure induces changes in bone physiology both in humans and in mice. We hypothesize that, due to its close location with bone marrow stromal cells (BMSCs), (90)Sr could induce functional damage to stromal cells that may explain these biological effects due to chronic exposure to (90)Sr. The aim of this work was to verify this hypothesis through the use of an in vitro model of MS5 stromal cell lines exposed to 1 and 10 kBq.mL(-1) of (90)Sr. Results indicated that a 30-minute exposure to (90)Sr induced double strand breaks in DNA, followed by DNA repair, senescence and differentiation. After 7 days of exposure, MS5 cells showed a decreased ability to proliferate, changes in cytokine expression, and changes in their ability to support hematopoietic progenitor proliferation and differentiation. These results demonstrate that chronic exposure to a low concentration of (90)Sr can induce functional changes in BMSCs that in turn may explain the health effects observed in following chronic (90)Sr exposure.

  16. 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.

  17. 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

  18. Ancient DNA confirms native Rocky Mountain fisher (Martes pennanti) avoided early 20th century extinction

    Treesearch

    Michael K. Schwartz

    2007-01-01

    Until recently it was assumed that fishers (Martes pennanti) in the Rocky Mountains all were descended from reintroduced stocks. However, a recent study reported that mitochondrial DNA (cytochrome-b and control region) haplotypes of fishers found only in west-central Montana are likely derived from a relic population of fishers that escaped harvests conducted in the...

  19. Mineral resource of the month: Strontium

    USGS Publications Warehouse

    Ober, Joyce A.

    2014-01-01

    Strontium occurs commonly in nature, ranking as the 15th most abundant chemical element on Earth. Only two minerals contain sufficient strontium, however, to be used commercially to produce strontium compounds: Strontianite (strontium carbonate) has a higher strontium content, but celestite (strontium sulfate) is by far the most abundant strontium mineral.

  20. 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.

  1. Novel contribution on the diagenetic physicochemical features of bone and teeth minerals, as substrates for ancient DNA typing.

    PubMed

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

    2014-07-01

    The extraction of DNA from skeletal remains is a major step in archeological or forensic contexts. However, diagenesis of mineralized tissues often compromises this task although bones and teeth may represent preservation niches allowing DNA to persist over a wide timescale. This exceptional persistence is not only explained on the basis of complex organo-mineral interactions through DNA adsorption on apatite crystals composing the mineral part of bones and teeth but is also linked to environmental factors such as low temperatures and/or a dry environment. The preservation of the apatite phase itself, as an adsorption substrate, is another crucial factor susceptible to significantly impact the retrieval of DNA. With the view to bring physicochemical evidence of the preservation or alteration of diagenetic biominerals, we developed here an analytical approach on various skeletal specimens (ranging from ancient archeological samples to recent forensic specimens), allowing us to highlight several diagenetic indices so as to better apprehend the complexity of bone diagenesis. Based on complementary techniques (X-ray diffraction (XRD), Fourier transform infrared (FTIR), calcium and phosphate titrations, SEM-EDX, and gravimetry), we have identified specific indices that allow differentiating 11 biological samples, primarily according to the crystallinity and maturation state of the apatite phase. A good correlation was found between FTIR results from the analysis of the v3(PO4) and v4(PO4) vibrational domains and XRD-based crystallinity features. A maximal amount of information has been sought from this analytical approach, by way of optimized posttreatment of the data (spectral subtraction and enhancement of curve-fitting parameters). The good overall agreement found between all techniques leads to a rather complete picture of the diagenetic changes undergone by these 11 skeletal specimens. Although the heterogeneity and scarcity of the studied samples did not allow us

  2. Early population differentiation in extinct aborigines from Tierra del Fuego-Patagonia: ancient mtDNA sequences and Y-chromosome STR characterization.

    PubMed

    García-Bour, Jaume; Pérez-Pérez, Alejandro; Alvarez, Sara; Fernández, Eva; López-Parra, Ana María; Arroyo-Pardo, Eduardo; Turbón, Daniel

    2004-04-01

    Ancient mtDNA was successfully recovered from 24 skeletal samples of a total of 60 ancient individuals from Patagonia-Tierra del Fuego, dated to 100-400 years BP, for which consistent amplifications and two-strand sequences were obtained. Y-chromosome STRs (DYS434, DYS437, DYS439, DYS393, DYS391, DYS390, DYS19, DYS389I, DYS389II, and DYS388) and the biallelic system DYS199 were also amplified, Y-STR alleles could be characterized in nine cases, with an average of 4.1 loci per sample correctly typed. In two samples of the same ethnic group (Aonikenk), an identical and complete eight-loci haplotype was recovered. The DYS199 biallelic system was used as a control of contamination by modern DNA and, along with DYS19, as a marker of American origin. The analysis of both mtDNA and Y-STRs revealed DNA from Amerindian ancestry. The observed polymorphisms are consistent with the hypothesis that the ancient Fuegians are close to populations from south-central Chile and Argentina, but their high nucleotide diversity and the frequency of single lineages strongly support early genetic differentiation of the Fuegians through combined processes of population bottleneck, isolation, and/or migration, followed by strong genetic drift. This suggests an early genetic diversification of the Fuegians right after their arrival at the southernmost extreme of South America.

  3. mtDNA haplogroup X: An ancient link between Europe/Western Asia and North America?

    PubMed Central

    Brown, M D; Hosseini, S H; Torroni, A; Bandelt, H J; Allen, J C; Schurr, T G; Scozzari, R; Cruciani, F; Wallace, D C

    1998-01-01

    On the basis of comprehensive RFLP analysis, it has been inferred that approximately 97% of Native American mtDNAs belong to one of four major founding mtDNA lineages, designated haplogroups "A"-"D." It has been proposed that a fifth mtDNA haplogroup (haplogroup X) represents a minor founding lineage in Native Americans. Unlike haplogroups A-D, haplogroup X is also found at low frequencies in modern European populations. To investigate the origins, diversity, and continental relationships of this haplogroup, we performed mtDNA high-resolution RFLP and complete control region (CR) sequence analysis on 22 putative Native American haplogroup X and 14 putative European haplogroup X mtDNAs. The results identified a consensus haplogroup X motif that characterizes our European and Native American samples. Among Native Americans, haplogroup X appears to be essentially restricted to northern Amerindian groups, including the Ojibwa, the Nuu-Chah-Nulth, the Sioux, and the Yakima, although we also observed this haplogroup in the Na-Dene-speaking Navajo. Median network analysis indicated that European and Native American haplogroup X mtDNAs, although distinct, nevertheless are distantly related to each other. Time estimates for the arrival of X in North America are 12,000-36,000 years ago, depending on the number of assumed founders, thus supporting the conclusion that the peoples harboring haplogroup X were among the original founders of Native American populations. To date, haplogroup X has not been unambiguously identified in Asia, raising the possibility that some Native American founders were of Caucasian ancestry. PMID:9837837

  4. 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

  5. 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

    2011-11-08

    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.

  6. 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

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

    PubMed

    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

    2007-03-20

    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.

  8. Ancient DNA analyses exclude humans as the driving force behind late Pleistocene musk ox (Ovibos moschatus) population dynamics.

    PubMed

    Campos, Paula F; Willerslev, Eske; Sher, Andrei; Orlando, Ludovic; Axelsson, Erik; Tikhonov, Alexei; Aaris-Sørensen, Kim; Greenwood, Alex D; Kahlke, Ralf-Dietrich; Kosintsev, Pavel; Krakhmalnaya, Tatiana; Kuznetsova, Tatyana; Lemey, Philippe; MacPhee, Ross; Norris, Christopher A; Shepherd, Kieran; Suchard, Marc A; Zazula, Grant D; Shapiro, Beth; Gilbert, M Thomas P

    2010-03-23

    The causes of the late Pleistocene megafaunal extinctions are poorly understood. Different lines of evidence point to climate change, the arrival of humans, or a combination of these events as the trigger. Although many species went extinct, others, such as caribou and bison, survived to the present. The musk ox has an intermediate story: relatively abundant during the Pleistocene, it is now restricted to Greenland and the Arctic Archipelago. In this study, we use ancient DNA sequences, temporally unbiased summary statistics, and Bayesian analytical techniques to infer musk ox population dynamics throughout the late Pleistocene and Holocene. Our results reveal that musk ox genetic diversity was much higher during the Pleistocene than at present, and has undergone several expansions and contractions over the past 60,000 years. Northeast Siberia was of key importance, as it was the geographic origin of all samples studied and held a large diverse population until local extinction at approximately 45,000 radiocarbon years before present ((14)C YBP). Subsequently, musk ox genetic diversity reincreased at ca. 30,000 (14)C YBP, recontracted at ca. 18,000 (14)C YBP, and finally recovered in the middle Holocene. The arrival of humans into relevant areas of the musk ox range did not affect their mitochondrial diversity, and both musk ox and humans expanded into Greenland concomitantly. Thus, their population dynamics are better explained by a nonanthropogenic cause (for example, environmental change), a hypothesis supported by historic observations on the sensitivity of the species to both climatic warming and fluctuations.

  9. Phylogeography of the New Zealand cicada Maoricicada campbelli based on mitochondrial DNA sequences: ancient clades associated with cenozoic environmental change.

    PubMed

    Buckley, T R; Simon, C; Chambers, G K

    2001-07-01

    New Zealand's isolation, its well-studied rapidly changing landscape, and its many examples of rampant speciation make it an excellent location for studying the process of genetic differentiation. Using 1520 base pairs of mitochondrial DNA from the cytochrome oxidase subunit I, ATPase subunits 6 and 8 and tRNA(Asp) genes, we detected two well-differentiated, parapatrically distributed clades within the widespread New Zealand cicada species Maoricicada campbelli that may prove to represent two species. The situation that we uncovered is unusual in that an ancient lineage with low genetic diversity is surrounded on three sides by two recently diverged lineages. Using a relaxed molecular clock model coupled with Bayesian statistics, we dated the earliest divergence within M. campbelli at 2.3 +/- 0.55 million years. Our data suggest that geological and climatological events of the late Pliocene divided a once-widespread species into northern and southern components and that near the middle of the Pleistocene the northern lineage began moving south eventually reaching the southern clade. The southern clade seems to have moved northward to only a limited extent. We discovered five potential zones of secondary contact through mountain passes that will be examined in future work. We predict that, as in North American periodical cicadas, contact between these highly differentiated lineages will exist but will not involve gene flow.

  10. 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

  11. Analysis of mtDNA variation in African populations reveals the most ancient of all human continent-specific haplogroups.

    PubMed Central

    Chen, Y S; Torroni, A; Excoffier, L; Santachiara-Benerecetti, A S; Wallace, D C

    1995-01-01

    mtDNA sequence variation was examined in 140 Africans, including Pygmies from Zaire and Central African Republic (C.A.R.) and Mandenkalu, Wolof, and Pular from Senegal. More than 76% of the African mtDNAs (100% of the Pygmies and 67.3% of the Senegalese) formed one major mtDNA cluster (haplogroup L) defined by an African-specific HpaI site gain at nucleotide pair (np) 3592. Additional mutations subdivided haplogroup L into two subhaplogroups, each encompassing both Pygmy and Senegalese mtDNAs. A novel 12-bp homoplasmic insertion in the intergenic region between tRNA(Tyr) and cytochrome oxidase I (COI) genes was also observed in 17.6% of the Pygmies from C.A.R. This insertion is one of the largest observed in human mtDNAs. Another 25% of the Pygmy mtDNAs harbored a 9-bp deletion between the cytochrome oxidase II (COII) and tRNA(Lys) genes, a length polymorphism previously reported in non-African populations. In addition to haplogroup L, other haplogroups were observed in the Senegalese. These haplogroups were more similar to those observed in Europeans and Asians than to haplogroup L mtDNAs, suggesting that the African mtDNAs without the HpaI np 3592 site could be the ancestral types from which European and Asian mtDNAs were derived. Comparison of the intrapopulation sequence divergence in African and non-African populations confirms that African populations exhibit the largest extent of mtDNA variation, a result that further supports the hypothesis that Africans represent the most ancient human group and that all modern humans have a common and recent African origin. The age of the total African variation was estimated to be 101,000-133,000 years before present (YBP), while the age of haplogroup L was estimated at 98,000-130,000 YBP. These values substantially exceed the ages of all Asian- and European-specific mtDNA haplogroups. PMID:7611282

  12. 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

  13. 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

  14. 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

  15. Ancient DNA Elucidates the Controversy about the Flightless Island Hens (Gallinula sp.) of Tristan da Cunha

    PubMed Central

    Groenenberg, Dick S. J.; Beintema, Albert J.; Dekker, René W. R. J.; Gittenberger, Edmund

    2008-01-01

    A persistent controversy surrounds the flightless island hen of Tristan da Cunha, Gallinula nesiotis. Some believe that it became extinct by the end of the 19th century. Others suppose that it still inhabits Tristan. There is no consensus about Gallinula comeri, the name introduced for the flightless moorhen from the nearby island of Gough. On the basis of DNA sequencing of both recently collected and historical material, we conclude that G. nesiotis and G. comeri are different taxa, that G. nesiotis indeed became extinct, and that G. comeri now inhabits both islands. This study confirms that among gallinules seemingly radical adaptations (such as the loss of flight) can readily evolve in parallel on different islands, while conspicuous changes in other morphological characters fail to occur. PMID:18350170

  16. Molecular dating of caprines using ancient DNA sequences of Myotragus balearicus, an extinct endemic Balearic mammal

    PubMed Central

    Lalueza-Fox, Carles; Castresana, Jose; Sampietro, Lourdes; Marquès-Bonet, Tomàs; Alcover, Josep Antoni; Bertranpetit, Jaume

    2005-01-01

    Background Myotragus balearicus was an endemic bovid from the Balearic Islands (Western Mediterranean) that became extinct around 6,000-4,000 years ago. The Myotragus evolutionary lineage became isolated in the islands most probably at the end of the Messinian crisis, when the desiccation of the Mediterranean ended, in a geological date established at 5.35 Mya. Thus, the sequences of Myotragus could be very valuable for calibrating the mammalian mitochondrial DNA clock and, in particular, the tree of the Caprinae subfamily, to which Myotragus belongs. Results We have retrieved the complete mitochondrial cytochrome b gene (1,143 base pairs), plus fragments of the mitochondrial 12S gene and the nuclear 28S rDNA multi-copy gene from a well preserved Myotragus subfossil bone. The best resolved phylogenetic trees, obtained with the cytochrome b gene, placed Myotragus in a position basal to the Ovis group. Using the calibration provided by the isolation of Balearic Islands, we calculated that the initial radiation of caprines can be dated at 6.2 ± 0.4 Mya. In addition, alpine and southern chamois, considered until recently the same species, split around 1.6 ± 0.3 Mya, indicating that the two chamois species have been separated much longer than previously thought. Conclusion Since there are almost no extant endemic mammals in Mediterranean islands, the sequence of the extinct Balearic endemic Myotragus has been crucial for allowing us to use the Messinian crisis calibration point for dating the caprines phylogenetic tree. PMID:16332256

  17. Genotyping human ancient mtDNA control and coding region polymorphisms with a multiplexed Single-Base-Extension assay: the singular maternal history of the Tyrolean Iceman.

    PubMed

    Endicott, Phillip; Sanchez, Juan J; Pichler, Irene; Brotherton, Paul; Brooks, Jerome; Egarter-Vigl, Eduard; Cooper, Alan; Pramstaller, Peter

    2009-06-19

    Progress in the field of human ancient DNA studies has been severely restricted due to the myriad sources of potential contamination, and because of the pronounced difficulty in identifying authentic results. Improving the robustness of human aDNA results is a necessary pre-requisite to vigorously testing hypotheses about human evolution in Europe, including possible admixture with Neanderthals. This study approaches the problem of distinguishing between authentic and contaminating sequences from common European mtDNA haplogroups by applying a multiplexed Single-Base-Extension assay, containing both control and coding region sites, to DNA extracted from the Tyrolean Iceman. The multiplex assay developed for this study was able to confirm that the Iceman's mtDNA belongs to a new European mtDNA clade with a very limited distribution amongst modern data sets. Controlled contamination experiments show that the correct results are returned by the multiplex assay even in the presence of substantial amounts of exogenous DNA. The overall level of discrimination achieved by targeting both control and coding region polymorphisms in a single reaction provides a methodology capable of dealing with most cases of homoplasy prevalent in European haplogroups. The new genotyping results for the Iceman confirm the extreme fallibility of human aDNA studies in general, even when authenticated by independent replication. The sensitivity and accuracy of the multiplex Single-Base-Extension methodology forms part of an emerging suite of alternative techniques for the accurate retrieval of ancient DNA sequences from both anatomically modern humans and Neanderthals. The contamination of laboratories remains a pressing concern in aDNA studies, both in the pre and post-PCR environments, and the adoption of a forensic style assessment of a priori risks would significantly improve the credibility of results.

  18. 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

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

    PubMed

    Bilgic, Hatice; Hakki, Erdogan E; Pandey, Anamika; Khan, Mohd Kamran; 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.

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

    PubMed Central

    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

  1. 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

  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. 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

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

    PubMed

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

    2015-01-19

    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.

  5. 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

  6. Strontium-89 Chloride

    MedlinePlus

    ... ever had bone marrow disease, blood disorders, or kidney disease.you should know that strontium-89 chloride may interfere with the normal menstrual cycle (period) in women and may stop sperm production ...

  7. 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.

  8. 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

  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 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

  11. 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

  12. Ancient DNA analyses exclude humans as the driving force behind late Pleistocene musk ox (Ovibos moschatus) population dynamics

    PubMed Central

    Campos, Paula F.; Willerslev, Eske; Sher, Andrei; Orlando, Ludovic; Axelsson, Erik; Tikhonov, Alexei; Aaris-Sørensen, Kim; Greenwood, Alex D.; Kahlke, Ralf-Dietrich; Kosintsev, Pavel; Krakhmalnaya, Tatiana; Kuznetsova, Tatyana; Lemey, Philippe; MacPhee, Ross; Norris, Christopher A.; Shepherd, Kieran; Suchard, Marc A.; Zazula, Grant D.; Shapiro, Beth; Gilbert, M. Thomas P.

    2010-01-01

    The causes of the late Pleistocene megafaunal extinctions are poorly understood. Different lines of evidence point to climate change, the arrival of humans, or a combination of these events as the trigger. Although many species went extinct, others, such as caribou and bison, survived to the present. The musk ox has an intermediate story: relatively abundant during the Pleistocene, it is now restricted to Greenland and the Arctic Archipelago. In this study, we use ancient DNA sequences, temporally unbiased summary statistics, and Bayesian analytical techniques to infer musk ox population dynamics throughout the late Pleistocene and Holocene. Our results reveal that musk ox genetic diversity was much higher during the Pleistocene than at present, and has undergone several expansions and contractions over the past 60,000 years. Northeast Siberia was of key importance, as it was the geographic origin of all samples studied and held a large diverse population until local extinction at ≈45,000 radiocarbon years before present (14C YBP). Subsequently, musk ox genetic diversity reincreased at ca. 30,000 14C YBP, recontracted at ca. 18,000 14C YBP, and finally recovered in the middle Holocene. The arrival of humans into relevant areas of the musk ox range did not affect their mitochondrial diversity, and both musk ox and humans expanded into Greenland concomitantly. Thus, their population dynamics are better explained by a nonanthropogenic cause (for example, environmental change), a hypothesis supported by historic observations on the sensitivity of the species to both climatic warming and fluctuations. PMID:20212118

  13. Multi-scale ancient DNA analyses confirm the western origin of Michelsberg farmers and document probable practices of human sacrifice

    PubMed Central

    Réveillas, Hélène; Pemonge, Marie-Hélène; Mendisco, Fanny; Thomas, Yohann; Lefranc, Philippe; Deguilloux, Marie-France

    2017-01-01

    In Europe, the Middle Neolithic is characterized by an important diversification of cultures. In northeastern France, the appearance of the Michelsberg culture has been correlated with major cultural changes and interpreted as the result of the settlement of new groups originating from the Paris Basin. This cultural transition has been accompanied by the expansion of particular funerary practices involving inhumations within circular pits and individuals in “non-conventional” positions (deposited in the pits without any particular treatment). If the status of such individuals has been highly debated, the sacrifice hypothesis has been retained for the site of Gougenheim (Alsace). At the regional level, the analysis of the Gougenheim mitochondrial gene pool (SNPs and HVR-I sequence analyses) permitted us to highlight a major genetic break associated with the emergence of the Michelsberg in the region. This genetic discontinuity appeared to be linked to new affinities with farmers from the Paris Basin, correlated to a noticeable hunter-gatherer legacy. All of the evidence gathered supports (i) the occidental origin of the Michelsberg groups and (ii) the potential implication of this migration in the progression of the hunter-gatherer legacy from the Paris Basin to Alsace / Western Germany at the beginning of the Late Neolithic. At the local level, we noted some differences in the maternal gene pool of individuals in "conventional" vs. "non-conventional" positions. The relative genetic isolation of these sub-groups nicely echoes both their social distinction and the hypothesis of sacrifices retained for the site. Our investigation demonstrates that a multi-scale aDNA study of ancient communities offers a unique opportunity to disentangle the complex relationships between cultural and biological evolution. PMID:28678860

  14. 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.

  15. 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.

  16. Influence of climate warming on arctic mammals? New insights from ancient DNA studies of the collared lemming Dicrostonyx torquatus.

    PubMed

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

    2010-05-27

    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. 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. 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 lemmings would have severe

  17. Recovery of strontium activity from a strontium-82/rubidium-82 generator

    DOEpatents

    Taylor, Wayne A.; Phillips, Dennis R.; Sosnowski, Kenneth M.

    1999-10-12

    Strontium-82 is recovered from spent strontium-82/rubidium-82 generators to provide a source of strontium-82 for additional strontium-82/rubidium-82 generators. The process involves stripping of the strontium-82 from used strontium-82/rubidium-82 generators followed by purification of the strontium-82 material to remove additional metal contaminants to desired levels.

  18. Sedimentary ancient DNA and pollen reveal the composition of plant organic matter in Late Quaternary permafrost sediments of the Buor Khaya Peninsula (north-eastern Siberia)

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Hildegard Zimmermann, Heike; Raschke, Elena; Saskia Epp, Laura; Rosmarie Stoof-Leichsenring, Kathleen; Schwamborn, Georg; Schirrmeister, Lutz; Overduin, Pier Paul; Herzschuh, Ulrike

    2017-02-01

    Organic matter deposited in ancient, ice-rich permafrost sediments is vulnerable to climate change and may contribute to the future release of greenhouse gases; it is thus important to get a better characterization of the plant organic matter within such sediments. From a Late Quaternary permafrost sediment core from the Buor Khaya Peninsula, we analysed plant-derived sedimentary ancient DNA (sedaDNA) to identify the taxonomic composition of plant organic matter, and undertook palynological analysis to assess the environmental conditions during deposition. Using sedaDNA, we identified 154 taxa and from pollen and non-pollen palynomorphs we identified 83 taxa. In the deposits dated between 54 and 51 kyr BP, sedaDNA records a diverse low-centred polygon plant community including recurring aquatic pond vegetation while from the pollen record we infer terrestrial open-land vegetation with relatively dry environmental conditions at a regional scale. A fluctuating dominance of either terrestrial or swamp and aquatic taxa in both proxies allowed the local hydrological development of the polygon to be traced. In deposits dated between 11.4 and 9.7 kyr BP (13.4-11.1 cal kyr BP), sedaDNA shows a taxonomic turnover to moist shrub tundra and a lower taxonomic richness compared to the older samples. Pollen also records a shrub tundra community, mostly seen as changes in relative proportions of the most dominant taxa, while a decrease in taxonomic richness was less pronounced compared to sedaDNA. Our results show the advantages of using sedaDNA in combination with palynological analyses when macrofossils are rarely preserved. The high resolution of the sedaDNA record provides a detailed picture of the taxonomic composition of plant-derived organic matter throughout the core, and palynological analyses prove valuable by allowing for inferences of regional environmental conditions.

  19. DNA analysis of a 30,000-year-old Urocitellus glacialis from northeastern Siberia reveals phylogenetic relationships between ancient and present-day arctic ground squirrels.

    PubMed

    Faerman, Marina; Bar-Gal, Gila Kahila; Boaretto, Elisabetta; Boeskorov, Gennady G; Dokuchaev, Nikolai E; Ermakov, Oleg A; Golenishchev, Fedor N; Gubin, Stanislav V; Mintz, Eugenia; Simonov, Evgeniy; Surin, Vadim L; Titov, Sergei V; Zanina, Oksana G; Formozov, Nikolai A

    2017-02-16

    In contrast to the abundant fossil record of arctic ground squirrels, Urocitellus parryii, from eastern Beringia, only a limited number of fossils is known from its western part. In 1946, unnamed GULAG prisoners discovered a nest with three mummified carcasses of arctic ground squirrels in the permafrost sediments of the El'ga river, Yakutia, Russia, that were later attributed to a new species, Citellus (Urocitellus) glacialis Vinogr. To verify this assignment and to explore phylogenetic relationships between ancient and present-day arctic ground squirrels, we performed (14)C dating and ancient DNA analyses of one of the El'ga mummies and four contemporaneous fossils from Duvanny Yar, northeastern Yakutia. Phylogenetic reconstructions, based on complete cytochrome b gene sequences of five Late Pleistocene arctic ground squirrels and those of modern U. parryii from 21 locations across western Beringia, provided no support for earlier proposals that ancient arctic ground squirrels from Siberia constitute a distinct species. In fact, we observed genetic continuity of the glacialis mitochondrial DNA lineage in modern U. parryii of the Kamchatka peninsula. When viewed in a broader geographic perspective, our findings provide new insights into the genetic history of U. parryii in Late Pleistocene Beringia.

  20. DNA analysis of a 30,000-year-old Urocitellus glacialis from northeastern Siberia reveals phylogenetic relationships between ancient and present-day arctic ground squirrels

    PubMed Central

    Faerman, Marina; Bar-Gal, Gila Kahila; Boaretto, Elisabetta; Boeskorov, Gennady G.; Dokuchaev, Nikolai E.; Ermakov, Oleg A.; Golenishchev, Fedor N.; Gubin, Stanislav V.; Mintz, Eugenia; Simonov, Evgeniy; Surin, Vadim L.; Titov, Sergei V.; Zanina, Oksana G.; Formozov, Nikolai A.

    2017-01-01

    In contrast to the abundant fossil record of arctic ground squirrels, Urocitellus parryii, from eastern Beringia, only a limited number of fossils is known from its western part. In 1946, unnamed GULAG prisoners discovered a nest with three mummified carcasses of arctic ground squirrels in the permafrost sediments of the El’ga river, Yakutia, Russia, that were later attributed to a new species, Citellus (Urocitellus) glacialis Vinogr. To verify this assignment and to explore phylogenetic relationships between ancient and present-day arctic ground squirrels, we performed 14C dating and ancient DNA analyses of one of the El’ga mummies and four contemporaneous fossils from Duvanny Yar, northeastern Yakutia. Phylogenetic reconstructions, based on complete cytochrome b gene sequences of five Late Pleistocene arctic ground squirrels and those of modern U. parryii from 21 locations across western Beringia, provided no support for earlier proposals that ancient arctic ground squirrels from Siberia constitute a distinct species. In fact, we observed genetic continuity of the glacialis mitochondrial DNA lineage in modern U. parryii of the Kamchatka peninsula. When viewed in a broader geographic perspective, our findings provide new insights into the genetic history of U. parryii in Late Pleistocene Beringia. PMID:28205612

  1. 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

  2. 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

  3. 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. Copyright © 2014 Elsevier Ltd. All rights reserved.

  4. 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

  5. A comparative study of ancient sedimentary DNA, pollen and macrofossils from permafrost sediments of northern Siberia reveals long-term vegetational stability.

    PubMed

    Jørgensen, Tina; Haile, James; Möller, Per; Andreev, Andrei; Boessenkool, Sanne; Rasmussen, Morten; Kienast, Frank; Coissac, Eric; Taberlet, Pierre; Brochmann, Christian; Bigelow, Nancy H; Andersen, Kenneth; Orlando, Ludovic; Gilbert, M Thomas P; Willerslev, Eske

    2012-04-01

    Although ancient DNA from sediments (sedaDNA) has been used to investigate past ecosystems, the approach has never been directly compared with the traditional methods of pollen and macrofossil analysis. We conducted a comparative survey of 18 ancient permafrost samples spanning the Late Pleistocene (46-12.5 thousand years ago), from the Taymyr Peninsula in northern Siberia. The results show that pollen, macrofossils and sedaDNA are complementary rather than overlapping and, in combination, reveal more detailed information on plant palaeocommunities than can be achieved by each individual approach. SedaDNA and macrofossils share greater overlap in plant identifications than with pollen, suggesting that sedaDNA is local in origin. These two proxies also permit identification to lower taxonomic levels than pollen, enabling investigation into temporal changes in species composition and the determination of indicator species to describe environmental changes. Combining data from all three proxies reveals an area continually dominated by a mosaic vegetation of tundra-steppe, pioneer and wet-indicator plants. Such vegetational stability is unexpected, given the severe climate changes taking place in the Northern Hemisphere during this time, with changes in average annual temperatures of >22 °C. This may explain the abundance of ice-age mammals such as horse and bison in Taymyr Peninsula during the Pleistocene and why it acted as a refugium for the last mainland woolly mammoth. Our finding reveals the benefits of combining sedaDNA, pollen and macrofossil for palaeovegetational reconstruction and adds to the increasing evidence suggesting large areas of the Northern Hemisphere remained ecologically stable during the Late Pleistocene.

  6. 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

  7. Cheek tooth morphology and ancient mitochondrial DNA of late Pleistocene horses from the western interior of North America: Implications for the taxonomy of North American Late Pleistocene Equus

    PubMed Central

    Rodrigues, Antonia T.; Theodor, Jessica M.; Kooyman, Brian P.; Yang, Dongya Y.; Speller, Camilla F.

    2017-01-01

    Horses were a dominant component of North American Pleistocene land mammal communities and their remains are well represented in the fossil record. Despite the abundant material available for study, there is still considerable disagreement over the number of species of Equus that inhabited the different regions of the continent and on their taxonomic nomenclature. In this study, we investigated cheek tooth morphology and ancient mtDNA of late Pleistocene Equus specimens from the Western Interior of North America, with the objective of clarifying the species that lived in this region prior to the end-Pleistocene extinction. Based on the morphological and molecular data analyzed, a caballine (Equus ferus) and a non-caballine (E. conversidens) species were identified from different localities across most of the Western Interior. A second non-caballine species (E. cedralensis) was recognized from southern localities based exclusively on the morphological analyses of the cheek teeth. Notably the separation into caballine and non-caballine species was observed in the Bayesian phylogenetic analysis of ancient mtDNA as well as in the geometric morphometric analyses of the upper and lower premolars. Teeth morphologically identified as E. conversidens that yielded ancient mtDNA fall within the New World stilt-legged clade recognized in previous studies and this is the name we apply to this group. Geographic variation in morphology in the caballine species is indicated by statistically different occlusal enamel patterns in the specimens from Bluefish Caves, Yukon Territory, relative to the specimens from the other geographic regions. Whether this represents ecomorphological variation and/or a certain degree of geographic and genetic isolation of these Arctic populations requires further study. PMID:28817644

  8. Cheek tooth morphology and ancient mitochondrial DNA of late Pleistocene horses from the western interior of North America: Implications for the taxonomy of North American Late Pleistocene Equus.

    PubMed

    Barrón-Ortiz, Christina I; Rodrigues, Antonia T; Theodor, Jessica M; Kooyman, Brian P; Yang, Dongya Y; Speller, Camilla F

    2017-01-01

    Horses were a dominant component of North American Pleistocene land mammal communities and their remains are well represented in the fossil record. Despite the abundant material available for study, there is still considerable disagreement over the number of species of Equus that inhabited the different regions of the continent and on their taxonomic nomenclature. In this study, we investigated cheek tooth morphology and ancient mtDNA of late Pleistocene Equus specimens from the Western Interior of North America, with the objective of clarifying the species that lived in this region prior to the end-Pleistocene extinction. Based on the morphological and molecular data analyzed, a caballine (Equus ferus) and a non-caballine (E. conversidens) species were identified from different localities across most of the Western Interior. A second non-caballine species (E. cedralensis) was recognized from southern localities based exclusively on the morphological analyses of the cheek teeth. Notably the separation into caballine and non-caballine species was observed in the Bayesian phylogenetic analysis of ancient mtDNA as well as in the geometric morphometric analyses of the upper and lower premolars. Teeth morphologically identified as E. conversidens that yielded ancient mtDNA fall within the New World stilt-legged clade recognized in previous studies and this is the name we apply to this group. Geographic variation in morphology in the caballine species is indicated by statistically different occlusal enamel patterns in the specimens from Bluefish Caves, Yukon Territory, relative to the specimens from the other geographic regions. Whether this represents ecomorphological variation and/or a certain degree of geographic and genetic isolation of these Arctic populations requires further study.

  9. 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

  10. Accumulation of bone strontium measured by in vivo XRF in rats supplemented with strontium citrate and strontium ranelate.

    PubMed

    Wohl, Gregory R; Chettle, David R; Pejović-Milić, Ana; Druchok, Cheryl; Webber, Colin E; Adachi, Jonathan D; Beattie, Karen A

    2013-01-01

    Strontium ranelate is an approved pharmacotherapy for osteoporosis in Europe and Australia, but not in Canada or the United States. Strontium citrate, an alternative strontium salt, however, is available for purchase over-the-counter as a nutritional supplement. The effects of strontium citrate on bone are largely unknown. The study's objectives were 1) to quantify bone strontium accumulation in female Sprague Dawley rats administered strontium citrate (N=7) and compare these levels to rats administered strontium ranelate (N=6) and vehicle (N=6) over 8 weeks, and 2) to verify an in vivo X-ray fluorescence spectroscopy (XRF) system for measurement of bone strontium in the rat. Daily doses of strontium citrate and strontium ranelate were determined with the intention to achieve equivalent amounts of elemental strontium. However, post-hoc analyses of each strontium compound conducted using energy dispersive spectrometry microanalysis revealed a higher elemental strontium concentration in strontium citrate than strontium ranelate. Bone strontium levels were measured at baseline and 8 weeks follow-up using a unique in vivo XRF technique previously used in humans. XRF measurements were validated against ex vivo measurements of bone strontium using inductively coupled plasma mass spectrometry. Weight gain in rats in all three groups was equivalent over the study duration. A two-way ANOVA was conducted to compare bone strontium levels amongst the three groups. Bone strontium levels in rats administered strontium citrate were significantly greater (p<0.05) than rats administered strontium ranelate and vehicle. ANCOVA analyses were performed with Sr dose as a covariate to account for differences in strontium dosing. The ANCOVA revealed differences in bone strontium levels between the strontium groups were not significant, but that bone strontium levels were still very significantly greater than vehicle.

  11. 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).

  12. 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

  13. A comparative study of ancient environmental DNA to pollen and macrofossils from lake sediments reveals taxonomic overlap and additional plant taxa

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Pedersen, Mikkel Winther; Ginolhac, Aurélien; Orlando, Ludovic; Olsen, Jesper; Andersen, Kenneth; Holm, Jakob; Funder, Svend; Willerslev, Eske; Kjær, Kurt H.

    2013-09-01

    We use 2nd generation sequencing technology on sedimentary ancient DNA (sedaDNA) from a lake in South Greenland to reconstruct the local floristic history around a low-arctic lake and compare the results with those previously obtained from pollen and macrofossils in the same lake. Thirty-eight of thirty-nine samples from the core yielded putative DNA sequences. Using a multiple assignment strategy on the trnL g-h DNA barcode, consisting of two different phylogenetic and one sequence similarity assignment approaches, thirteen families of plants were identified, of which two (Scrophulariaceae and Asparagaceae) are absent from the pollen and macrofossil records. An age model for the sediment based on twelve radiocarbon dates establishes a chronology and shows that the lake record dates back to 10,650 cal yr BP. Our results suggest that sedaDNA analysis from lake sediments, although taxonomically less detailed than pollen and macrofossil analyses can be a complementary tool for establishing the composition of both terrestrial and aquatic local plant communities and a method for identifying additional taxa.

  14. 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…

  15. 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

  16. 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.

  17. Strontium ranelate discontinued.

    PubMed

    2017-08-02

    Strontium ranelate discontinued ● Limited treatment options for molluscum contagiosum ● Finasteride drug safety alert ● Does doxycycline delay the next COPD exacerbation? ● Support for WHO standards on reporting clinical trial results ● Delayed antibiotic prescription for lower respiratory tract infections ● Nystatin dose change - much ado about nothing? Published by the BMJ Publishing Group Limited. For permission to use (where not already granted under a licence) please go to http://www.bmj.com/company/products-services/rights-and-licensing/.

  18. 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

  19. HVS-I polymorphism screening of ancient human mitochondrial DNA provides evidence for N9a discontinuity and East Asian haplogroups in the Neolithic Hungary.

    PubMed

    Guba, Zsuzsanna; Hadadi, Éva; Major, Ágnes; Furka, Tünde; Juhász, Emese; Koós, Judit; Nagy, Károly; Zeke, Tamás

    2011-11-01

    Analysis of mitochondrial mutations in the HVS-I region is an effective method for ancient human populational studies. Discontinuous haplotype data between the first farmers and contemporary Europeans has been described before. Our contribution is based on a survey initiated on the Neolithic skeletons from Hungarian archaeological sites in the Alföld. This Lowland, the Hungarian Plain, is well excavated as an important region for spread of Neolithic culture from Near East and Balkans toward Central and Western Europe, started circa 8000 years ago. HVS-I sequences from nt15977 to nt16430 of 11 such specimens with sufficient mitochondrial DNA preservation among an extended Neolithic collection were analysed for polymorphisms, identifying 23 different ones. After assigning all single-nucleotide polymorphisms, a novel, N9a, N1a, C5, D1/G1a, M/R24 haplogroups were determined. On mitochondrial control mutations at nt16257 and nt16261, polymorphic PCRs were carried out to assess their distribution in remains. Neolithic data set was compared with contemporary Vác samples and references, resulting in higher frequency of N9a in Alföld as a remarkable genetic discontinuity. Our investigation is the first to study mutations form Neolithic of Hungary, resulting in an outcome of Far Eastern haplogroups in the Carpathian Basin. It is worth further investigation as a non-descendant theory, instead of a continuous population history, supporting genetic gaps between ancient and recent human populations.

  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. Pre-whaling genetic diversity and population ecology in eastern Pacific gray whales: insights from ancient DNA and stable isotopes.

    PubMed

    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.

  2. 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

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

    2015-01-01

    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. 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.

  3. 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

  4. Inferring allele frequency trajectories from ancient DNA indicates that selection on a chicken gene coincided with changes in medieval husbandry practices.

    PubMed

    Loog, Liisa; Thomas, Mark G; Barnett, Ross; Allen, Richard; Sykes, Naomi; Paxinos, Ptolemaios D; Lebrasseur, Ophelie; Dobney, Keith; Peters, Joris; Manica, Andrea; Larson, Greger; Eriksson, Anders

    2017-04-21

    Ancient DNA provides an opportunity to infer the drivers of natural selection by linking allele frequency changes to temporal shifts in environment or cultural practices. However, analyses have often been hampered by uneven sampling and uncertainties in sample dating, as well as being confounded by demographic processes. Here we present a Bayesian statistical framework for quantifying the timing and strength of selection using ancient DNA that explicitly addresses these challenges. We applied this method to time series data for two loci: TSHR and BCDO2, both argued to have undergone strong and recent selection in domestic chickens. The derived variant in TSHR, associated with reduced aggression to conspecifics and faster onset of egg laying, shows strong selection beginning around 1,100 years ago, coincident with archaeological evidence for intensified chicken production and documented changes in egg and chicken consumption. To our knowledge, this is the first example of pre-industrial domesticate trait selection in response to a historically attested cultural shift in food preference. For BCDO2, we find support for selection, but demonstrate that the recent rise in allele frequency could also have been driven by gene flow from imported Asian chickens during more recent breed formations. Our findings highlight that traits found ubiquitously in modern domestic species may not necessarily have originated during the early stages of domestication. In addition our results demonstrate the importance of precise estimation of allele frequency trajectories through time for understanding the drivers of selection. © The Author(s) 2017. Published by Oxford University Press on behalf of the Society for Molecular Biology and Evolution.

  5. 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

  6. Presynaptic strontium dynamics and synaptic transmission.

    PubMed

    Xu-Friedman, M A; Regehr, W G

    1999-04-01

    Strontium can replace calcium in triggering neurotransmitter release, although peak release is reduced and the duration of release is prolonged. Strontium has therefore become useful in probing release, but its mechanism of action is not well understood. Here we study the action of strontium at the granule cell to Purkinje cell synapse in mouse cerebellar slices. Presynaptic residual strontium levels were monitored with fluorescent indicators, which all responded to strontium (fura-2, calcium orange, fura-2FF, magnesium green, and mag-fura-5). When calcium was replaced by equimolar concentrations of strontium in the external bath, strontium and calcium both entered presynaptic terminals. Contaminating calcium was eliminated by including EGTA in the extracellular bath, or by loading parallel fibers with EGTA, enabling the actions of strontium to be studied in isolation. After a single stimulus, strontium reached higher peak free levels than did calcium (approximately 1.7 times greater), and decayed more slowly (half-decay time 189 ms for strontium and 32 ms for calcium). These differences in calcium and strontium dynamics are likely a consequence of greater strontium permeability through calcium channels, lower affinity of the endogenous buffer for strontium, and less efficient extrusion of strontium. Measurements of presynaptic divalent levels help to explain properties of release evoked by strontium. Parallel fiber synaptic currents triggered by strontium are smaller in amplitude and longer in duration than those triggered by calcium. In both calcium and strontium, release consists of two components, one more steeply dependent on divalent levels than the other. Strontium drives both components less effectively than does calcium, suggesting that the affinities of the sensors involved in both phases of release are lower for strontium than for calcium. Thus, the larger and slower strontium transients account for the prominent slow component of release triggered by

  7. Presynaptic strontium dynamics and synaptic transmission.

    PubMed Central

    Xu-Friedman, M A; Regehr, W G

    1999-01-01

    Strontium can replace calcium in triggering neurotransmitter release, although peak release is reduced and the duration of release is prolonged. Strontium has therefore become useful in probing release, but its mechanism of action is not well understood. Here we study the action of strontium at the granule cell to Purkinje cell synapse in mouse cerebellar slices. Presynaptic residual strontium levels were monitored with fluorescent indicators, which all responded to strontium (fura-2, calcium orange, fura-2FF, magnesium green, and mag-fura-5). When calcium was replaced by equimolar concentrations of strontium in the external bath, strontium and calcium both entered presynaptic terminals. Contaminating calcium was eliminated by including EGTA in the extracellular bath, or by loading parallel fibers with EGTA, enabling the actions of strontium to be studied in isolation. After a single stimulus, strontium reached higher peak free levels than did calcium (approximately 1.7 times greater), and decayed more slowly (half-decay time 189 ms for strontium and 32 ms for calcium). These differences in calcium and strontium dynamics are likely a consequence of greater strontium permeability through calcium channels, lower affinity of the endogenous buffer for strontium, and less efficient extrusion of strontium. Measurements of presynaptic divalent levels help to explain properties of release evoked by strontium. Parallel fiber synaptic currents triggered by strontium are smaller in amplitude and longer in duration than those triggered by calcium. In both calcium and strontium, release consists of two components, one more steeply dependent on divalent levels than the other. Strontium drives both components less effectively than does calcium, suggesting that the affinities of the sensors involved in both phases of release are lower for strontium than for calcium. Thus, the larger and slower strontium transients account for the prominent slow component of release triggered by

  8. High-resolution stratigraphy with strontium isotopes.

    PubMed

    Depaolo, D J; Ingram, B L

    1985-02-22

    The isotopic ratio of strontium-87 to strontium-86 shows no detectable variation in present-day ocean water but changes slowly over millions of years. The strontium contained in carbonate shells of marine organisms records the ratio of strontium-87 to strontium-86 of the oceans at the time that the shells form. Sedimentary rocks composed of accumulated fossil carbonate shells can be dated and correlated with the use of high precision measurements of the ratio of strontium-87 to strontium-86 with a resolution that is similar to that of other techniques used in age correlation. This method may prove valuable for many geological, paleontological, paleooceanographic, and geochemical problems.

  9. Strontium ranelate in osteoporosis.

    PubMed

    Reginster, J-Y

    2002-01-01

    Strontium ranelate is composed of an organic moiety (ranelic acid) and of two atoms of stable non-radioactive strontium. In vitro, strontium ranelate increases collagen and non-collagenic proteins synthesis by mature osteoblast enriched cells. The effects of strontium ranelate on bone formation were confirmed as strontium ranelate enhanced pre-osteoblastic cells replication. The stimulation by strontium ranelate of the replication of osteoprogenitor cells and collagen as well as non-collagenic protein synthesis in osteoblasts provides substantial evidence to categorise SR ranelate as a bone forming agent. In the mouse calvaria culture system, SR ranelate induces a dose-dependent inhibition of labelled calcium release. The inhibitory effects of SR ranelate on bone resorption were close to those of salmon calcitonin. In the isolated rat osteoclast assay, a pre-incubation of bone slices with SR ranelate induced a dose-dependent inhibition of the bone resorbing activity of a treated rat osteoclast. SR ranelate also dose-dependently inhibited, in a chicken bone marrow culture, the expression of both CA II and the alpha-subunit of the vitronectin receptor. These effects showing that SR ranelate significantly affects bone resorption due to direct and/or matrix-mediated inhibition of osteoclast activity and also inhibits osteoclasts differentiation are compatible with the profile of an anti-resorptive drug. In normal rats, administration of SR ranelate induces an improvement in the mechanical properties of the humerus and/or the lumbar vertebra associated with a commensurate increase in bone dimension, shaft and volume. This was not related to any change in the stiffness, suggesting the absence of a mineralisation defect. After oral administration of SR ranelate in humans, the absolute bio-availability of SR ranelate is 27 % after a dose of 2g is given as sachets. The simultaneous intake of SR ranelate and calcium remarkably reduces the bio-availability of SR. SR ranelate

  10. Interferometry with Strontium Ions

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Jackson, Jarom; Lambert, Enoch; Otterstrom, Nils; Jones, Tyler; Durfee, Dallin

    2014-05-01

    We describe progress on a cold ion matter-wave interferometer. Cold Strontium atoms are extracted from an LVIS. The atoms will be photo-ionized with a two-photon transition to an auto-ionizing state in the continuum. The ions will be split and recombined using stimulated Raman transitions from a pair of diode lasers injection locked to two beams from a master laser which have been shifted up and down by half the hyperfine splitting. We are developing laser instrumentation for this project including a method to prevent mode-hopping by analyzing laser frequency noise, and an inexpensive, robust wavelength meter. Supported by NSF Award No. 1205736.

  11. 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. Copyright © 2011 Elsevier GmbH. All rights reserved.

  12. Ancient biomolecules in Quaternary palaeoecology

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Hofreiter, Michael; Collins, Matthew; Stewart, John R.

    2012-02-01

    The last few years have seen an enormous proliferation of ancient biomolecules research, especially in the field of ancient DNA. Ancient DNA studies have been transformed by the advent of next generation sequencing, with the first Pleistocene sample being analysed in 2005, and several complete and draft genomes that have been compiled from ancient DNA to date. At the same time, although less conspicuous, research on ancient proteins has also seen advances, with the time limit for research on ancient biomolecules now extending to over 1 million years. Here we review which effects these developments have on research in Quaternary science. We identify several lines of research that have the potential to profit substantially from these recent developments in ancient biomolecules research. First, the identification of taxa can be made using ancient biomolecules, and in the case of ancient DNA, specimens can even be assigned to specific populations within a species. Second, increasingly large DNA data sets from Pleistocene animals allow the elucidation of ever more precise pictures of the population dynamic processes whereby organisms respond to climate and environmental change. With the accompanying better understanding of process in the Quaternary, past ecologies can also more realistically be interpreted from proxy data sets. The dominant message from this research so far is that the Quaternary saw a great deal more dynamism in populations than had been forecast by conventional palaeoecology. This suggests that reconstructions of past environmental conditions need to be done with caution. Third, ancient DNA can also now be obtained directly from sediments to elucidate the presence of both plant and animal species in an area even in the absence of identifiable fossils, be it macro- or micro-fossils. Finally, the analysis of proteins enables the identification of bone remains to genus and sometimes species level far beyond the survival time of DNA, at least in temperate

  13. Thermoelectricity in strontium titanate

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Scullin, Matthew Leo

    This dissertation treats the synthesis, experimental characterization, thermoelectric properties, potential applications of, and theoretical basis for strontium titanate thermoelectric materials. It is found that doubly-doped strontium titanate, Sr1-xLaxTiO3-d is an efficient n-type thermoelectric material, yielding a dimensionless thermoelectric figure of merit zT higher than other oxides and among the highest of any thermoelectric material in general. The improvement in thermoelectric efficiency of this material over other oxides is attributed in large part to the oxygen vacancy, which increases the electronic effective mass m* and in turn thermopower, increases electrical conductivity through donating electrons, and decreases lattice thermal conductivity. Through proper selection of La and oxygen vacancy doping, m* can be tuned in the material in the range of 2-20 me and thermal conductivity reduced by over a factor of three compared to stoichiometric SrTiO3. The potential applications of thin-film thermoelectrics in energy conversion are explored. In addition, the remarkable oxygen reduction of SrTiO3 single-crystal substrates is reported as resulting from pulsed laser deposition growth of oxide thin-films on their surfaces.

  14. Boron implanted strontium titanate

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Cooper, C. J. M.

    Single crystals of strontium titanate implanted with boron were found to have highly conductive surface layers. The effects of varying dose from 10 to the 16th power to 10 to the 17th power ions/sq cm, implantation voltage from 50 to 175 keV and annealing conditions on the room temperature surface resistance and Hall mobility are presented. Variation of the implantation voltage did not have a major effect on the sheet resistances obtained by boron implantation of strontium titanate, while dose and annealing conditions have major effects. Doses of 5 x 10 to the 16th power ions/sq cm required annealing on the order of one hour at 500 K for maximum reduction of the room temperature resistance in the implanted layer. Samples implanted with a dose of 1 x 10 to the 17th power ions/sq cm required slightly higher temperatures (approximately 575 K) to obtain a minimum resistance at room temperature. Long term (several weeks) room temperature annealing was found to occur in high dose samples. After one to two months at room temperature followed by an anneal to 575 K, the surface resistances were found to be lower than those produced by the annealing of a freshly implanted sample to 575 K.

  15. Ancient mtDNA analysis of early 16(th) century Caribbean cattle provides insight into founding populations of New World creole cattle breeds.

    PubMed

    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 15(th) to early 16(th) 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 16(th) 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.

  16. 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

  17. 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

    2014-10-17

    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.

  18. 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

  19. The genome of the brown alga Ectocarpus siliculosus contains a series of viral DNA pieces, suggesting an ancient association with large dsDNA viruses

    PubMed Central

    2008-01-01

    Background Ectocarpus siliculosus virus-1 (EsV-1) is a lysogenic dsDNA virus belonging to the super family of nucleocytoplasmic large DNA viruses (NCLDV) that infect Ectocarpus siliculosus, a marine filamentous brown alga. Previous studies indicated that the viral genome is integrated into the host DNA. In order to find the integration sites of the viral genome, a genomic library from EsV-1-infected algae was screened using labelled EsV-1 DNA. Several fragments were isolated and some of them were sequenced and analyzed in detail. Results Analysis revealed that the algal genome is split by a copy of viral sequences that have a high identity to EsV-1 DNA sequences. These fragments are interspersed with DNA repeats, pseudogenes and genes coding for products involved in DNA replication, integration and transposition. Some of these gene products are not encoded by EsV-1 but are present in the genome of other members of the NCLDV family. Further analysis suggests that the Ectocarpus algal genome contains traces of the integration of a large dsDNA viral genome; this genome could be the ancestor of the extant NCLDV genomes. Furthermore, several lines of evidence indicate that the EsV-1 genome might have originated in these viral DNA pieces, implying the existence of a complex integration and recombination system. A protein similar to a new class of tyrosine recombinases might be a key enzyme of this system. Conclusion Our results support the hypothesis that some dsDNA viruses are monophyletic and evolved principally through genome reduction. Moreover, we hypothesize that phaeoviruses have probably developed an original replication system. PMID:18405387

  20. The distribution of mitochondrial DNA haplogroup H in southern Iberia indicates ancient human genetic exchanges along the western edge of the Mediterranean.

    PubMed

    Hernández, Candela L; Dugoujon, Jean M; Novelletto, Andrea; Rodríguez, Juan N; Cuesta, Pedro; Calderón, Rosario

    2017-05-19

    The structure of haplogroup H reveals significant differences between the western and eastern edges of the Mediterranean, as well as between the northern and southern regions. Human populations along the westernmost Mediterranean coasts, which were settled by individuals from two continents separated by a relatively narrow body of water, show the highest frequencies of mitochondrial haplogroup H. These characteristics permit the analysis of ancient migrations between both shores, which may have occurred via primitive sea crafts and early seafaring. We collected a sample of 750 autochthonous people from the southern Iberian Peninsula (Andalusians from Huelva and Granada provinces). We performed a high-resolution analysis of haplogroup H by control region sequencing and coding SNP screening of the 337 individuals harboring this maternal marker. Our results were compared with those of a wide panel of populations, including individuals from Iberia, the Maghreb, and other regions around the Mediterranean, collected from the literature. Both Andalusian subpopulations showed a typical western European profile for the internal composition of clade H, but eastern Andalusians from Granada also revealed interesting traces from the eastern Mediterranean. The basal nodes of the most frequent H sub-haplogroups, H1 and H3, harbored many individuals of Iberian and Maghrebian origins. Derived haplotypes were found in both regions; haplotypes were shared far more frequently between Andalusia and Morocco than between Andalusia and the rest of the Maghreb. These and previous results indicate intense, ancient and sustained contact among populations on both sides of the Mediterranean. Our genetic data on mtDNA diversity, combined with corresponding archaeological similarities, provide support for arguments favoring prehistoric bonds with a genetic legacy traceable in extant populations. Furthermore, the results presented here indicate that the Strait of Gibraltar and the adjacent