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To: Multiple recipients of list HUM-MOLGEN <HUM-MOLGEN@NIC.SURFNET.NL>
Subject: BIOT: ancient DNA
From: Arthur Bergen <bergen@AMC.UVA.NL>
Date: Mon, 26 Jun 1995 14:45:29 +0100

Subj:   Interpretation of ancient mtDNA results-problems

This message  was originally submitted by  cummins@POSSUM.MURDOCH.EDU.AU to the

Kuiken CL et al  ( Journal of Molecular Evolution 1995 Jun;40(6):652-657)

"Monkey mummy bones and teeth originating from the North Saqqara Baboon
Galleries (Egypt), soft tissue from a mummified baboon in a museum
collection, and nineteenth/twentieth-century skin fragments from mangabeys
were used for DNA extraction and PCR amplification of part of the
mitochondrial 12S rRNA gene. Sequences aligning with the 12S rRNA gene were
recovered but were only distantly related to contemporary monkey
mitochondrial 12S rRNA sequences. However, many of these sequences were
identical or closely related to human nuclear DNA sequences resembling
mitochondrial 12S rRNA (isolated from a cell line depleted in mitochondria)
and therefore have to be considered contamination. Subsequently in a
separate study we were able to recover genuine mitochondrial 12S rRNA
sequences from many extant species of nonhuman Old World primates and
sequences closely resembling the human nuclear integrations. Analysis of
all sequences by the neighbor-joining (NJ) method indicated that
mitochondrial DNA sequences and their nuclear counterparts can be divided
into two distinct clusters. One cluster contained all temporary cytoplasmic
mitochondrial DNA sequences and approximately half of the monkey nuclear
mitochondriallike sequences. A second cluster contained most human nuclear
sequences and the other half of monkey nuclear sequences with a separate
branch leading to human and gorilla mitochondrial and nuclear sequences.
Sequences recovered from ancient materials were equally divided between the
two clusters. These results constitute a warning for when working with
ancient DNA or performing phylogenetic analysis using mitochondrial DNA as
a target sequence: Nuclear counterparts of mitochondrial genes may lead to
faulty interpretation of results."

Jim "Spermatology rules o~ o~ o~ o~" Cummins

Associate Professor in Veterinary Anatomy
Murdoch University, Western Australia 6150
Tel +61-9-360 2668, Fax +61-9-310 4144
E mail <cummins@possum.murdoch.edu.au>
URL <http://Numbat.murdoch.edu.au/spermatology/spermhp.html>
"An inordinate fondness for Beetles" (Haldane on God).

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