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Animal DNA in PCR reagents plagues ancient DNA research
Uppsala University, Disciplinary Domain of Science and Technology, Biology, Department of Evolution, Genomics and Systematics, Evolutionary Biology. (Ancient DNA)
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2007 (English)In: Journal of Archaeological Science, ISSN 0305-4403, E-ISSN 1095-9238, Vol. 34, no 9, 1361-1366 p.Article in journal (Refereed) Published
Abstract [en]

Molecular archaeology brings the tools of molecular biology to bear on fundamental questions in archaeology, anthropology, evolution, and ecology. Ancient DNA research is becoming widespread as evolutionary biologists and archaeologists discover the power of the polymerase chain reaction (PCR) to amplify DNA from ancient plant and animal remains. However, the extraordinary susceptibility of PCR to contamination by extraneous DNA is not widely appreciated. We report the independent observation of DNA from domestic animals in PCR reagents and ancient samples in four separate laboratories. Since PCR conditions used in ancient DNA analyses are extremely sensitive, very low concentrations of contaminating DNA can cause false positives. Previously unidentified animal DNA in reagents can confound ancient DNA research on certain domestic animals, especially cows, pigs, and chickens.

Place, publisher, year, edition, pages
2007. Vol. 34, no 9, 1361-1366 p.
Keyword [en]
Sus scrofa, Bos taurus, Gallus gallus, Deoxynucleoside triphosphates
National Category
Biological Sciences Archaeology
URN: urn:nbn:se:uu:diva-15799DOI: 10.1016/j.jas.2006.10.023ISI: 000248408600003OAI: oai:DiVA.org:uu-15799DiVA: diva2:43570
Available from: 2008-03-06 Created: 2008-03-06 Last updated: 2011-01-25Bibliographically approved

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Leonard, Jennifer
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