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

Elsner, Julia and Schibler, Jörg and Hofreiter, Michael and Schlumbaum, Angela. (2014) Burial condition is the most important factor for mtDNA PCR amplification success in Palaeolithic equid remains from the Alpine foreland. Archaeological and anthropological sciences, 7 (4). pp. 505-515.

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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. 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.
Faculties and Departments:05 Faculty of Science > Departement Umweltwissenschaften > Ehemalige Einheiten Umweltwissenschaften > Archäozoologie (Schibler)
UniBasel Contributors:Schlumbaum, Angela and Schibler, Jörg M. and Elsner, Julia
Item Type:Article, refereed
Article Subtype:Research Article
Note:Publication type according to Uni Basel Research Database: Journal article
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Last Modified:10 Sep 2018 15:36
Deposited On:29 May 2018 12:53

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