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Burial condition is the most important factor for mtDNA PCR amplification success in Palaeolithic equid remains from the Alpine foreland

  • Faunal remains from Palaeolithic sites are important genetic sources to study preglacial and postglacial populations and to investigate the effect of climate change and human impact. Post mortem decay, resulting in fragmented and chemically modified DNA, is a key obstacle in ancient DNA analyses. In the absence of reliable methods to determine the presence of endogenous DNA in sub-fossil samples, temporal and spatial surveys of DNA survival on a regional scale may help to estimate the potential of faunal remains from a given time period and region. We therefore investigated PCR amplification success, PCR performance and post mortem damage in c. 47,000 to c. 12,000-year-old horse remains from 14 Palaeolithic sites along the Swiss Jura Mountains in relation to depositional context, tissue type, storage time and age, potentially influencing DNA preservation. The targeted 75 base pair mitochondrial DNA fragment could be amplified solely from equid remains from caves and not from any of the open dry and (temporary) wetland sites. WhetherFaunal remains from Palaeolithic sites are important genetic sources to study preglacial and postglacial populations and to investigate the effect of climate change and human impact. Post mortem decay, resulting in fragmented and chemically modified DNA, is a key obstacle in ancient DNA analyses. In the absence of reliable methods to determine the presence of endogenous DNA in sub-fossil samples, temporal and spatial surveys of DNA survival on a regional scale may help to estimate the potential of faunal remains from a given time period and region. We therefore investigated PCR amplification success, PCR performance and post mortem damage in c. 47,000 to c. 12,000-year-old horse remains from 14 Palaeolithic sites along the Swiss Jura Mountains in relation to depositional context, tissue type, storage time and age, potentially influencing DNA preservation. The targeted 75 base pair mitochondrial DNA fragment could be amplified solely from equid remains from caves and not from any of the open dry and (temporary) wetland sites. Whether teeth are better than bones cannot be ultimately decided; however, both storage time after excavation and age significantly affect PCR amplification and performance, albeit not in a linear way. This is best explained by the—inevitable—heterogeneity of the data set. The extent of post mortem damage is not related to any of the potential impact factors. The results encourage comprehensive investigations of Palaeolithic cave sites, even from temperate regions.show moreshow less

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Metadaten
Author:Julia ElsnerGND, Jörg SchiblerORCiDGND, Michael HofreiterORCiDGND, Angela SchlumbaumGND
URN:urn:nbn:de:kobv:517-opus4-429763
DOI:https://doi.org/10.25932/publishup-42976
ISSN:1866-8372
Parent Title (German):Postprints der Universität Potsdam Mathematisch-Naturwissenschaftliche Reihe
Series (Serial Number):Postprints der Universität Potsdam : Mathematisch-Naturwissenschaftliche Reihe (727)
Document Type:Postprint
Language:English
Date of first Publication:2019/06/17
Year of Completion:2015
Publishing Institution:Universität Potsdam
Release Date:2019/06/17
Tag:DNA preservation; Switzerland; ancient DNA; cave; horse
Issue:727
Pagenumber:11
First Page:505
Last Page:515
Source:Archaeological and anthropological sciences 7 (2015) 4, S. 505–515 DOI: 10.1007/s12520-014-0213-4
Organizational units:Mathematisch-Naturwissenschaftliche Fakultät / Institut für Biochemie und Biologie
Dewey Decimal Classification:9 Geschichte und Geografie / 93 Geschichte des Altertums (bis ca. 499), Archäologie / 930 Geschichte des Altertums bis ca. 499, Archäologie
Peer Review:Referiert
Publication Way:Open Access
Licence (German):License LogoCreative Commons - Namensnennung, 4.0 International
Notes extern:Bibliographieeintrag der Originalveröffentlichung/Quelle