An assessment of ancient DNA preservation in Holocene-Pleistocene fossil bone excavated from the world heritage Naracoorte Caves, South Australia
MetadataShow full item record
Although there is a long history of research into the fossil deposits of the Naracoorte Caves (South Australia), ancient DNA (aDNA) has not been integrated into any palaeontological study from this World Heritage site. Here, we provide the first evidence of aDNA preservation in Holocene- and Pleistocene-aged fossil bone from a deposit inside Robertson Cave. Using a combination of metabarcoding and shotgun next-generation sequencing approaches, we demonstrate that aDNA from diverse taxa can be retrieved from bulk bone as old as 18 600 cal a BP. However, the DNA is highly degraded and contains a lower relative proportion of endogenous sequences in bone older than 8400 cal a BP. Furthermore, modelling of DNA degradation suggests that the decay rate is rapid, and predicts a very low probability of obtaining informative aDNA sequences from extinct megafaunal bones from Naracoorte (ca. 50000 cal a BP). We also provide new information regarding the past faunal biodiversity of Robertson Cave, including families that have not been formerly described in the fossil record from here before. Collectively, these data demonstrate the potential for future aDNA studies to be conducted on material from Naracoorte, which will aid in the understanding of faunal turnover in southern Australia.
Showing items related by title, author, creator and subject.
Antonosyan, M.; Seersholm, Frederik; Grealy, Alicia; Barham, Milo; Werndly, Daniel; Margaryan, A.; Cieślik, A.; Stafford, T.W.; Allentoft, M.E.; Bunce, Michael; Yepiskoposyan, L. (2019)© 2019 Elsevier Ltd In this study, we explore the Late Pleistocene (LP) vertebrate faunal diversity in south-eastern Lesser Caucasus based on morphological and genetic identification of fossil bones from Karin Tak cave. ...
Tropical ancient DNA from bulk archaeological fish bone reveals the subsistence practices of a historic coastal community in southwest MadagascarGrealy, Alicia Catherine; Douglass, K.; Haile, J.; Bruwer, C.; Gough, C.; Bunce, Michael (2016)Taxonomic identification of archaeological fish bones provides important insights into the subsistence practices of ancient coastal peoples. However, it can be difficult to execute robust morphological identification of ...
Thorough assessment of DNA preservation from fossil bone and sediments excavated from a late Pleistocenee-Holocene cave deposit on Kangaroo Island, South AustraliaHaouchar, D.; Haile, James; McDowell, M.; Murray, D.; White, Nicole; Allcock, R.; Phillips, M.; Prideaux, G.; Bunce, Michael (2014)Fossils and sediments preserved in caves are an excellent source of information for investigating impacts of past environmental changes on biodiversity. Until recently studies have relied on morphology-based palaeontological ...