Time to spread your wings: A review of the avian ancient DNA field
MetadataShow full item record
Ancient DNA (aDNA) has the ability to inform the evolutionary history of both extant and extinct taxa; however, the use of aDNA in the study of avian evolution is lacking in comparison to other vertebrates, despite birds being one of the most species-rich vertebrate classes. Here, we review the field of “avian ancient DNA” by summarising the past three decades of literature on this topic. Most studies over this time have used avian aDNA to reconstruct phylogenetic relationships and clarify taxonomy based on the sequencing of a few mitochondrial loci, but recent studies are moving toward using a comparative genomics approach to address developmental and functional questions. Applying aDNA analysis with more practical outcomes in mind (such as managing conservation) is another increasingly popular trend among studies that utilise avian aDNA, but the majority of these have yet to influence management policy. We find that while there have been advances in extracting aDNA from a variety of avian substrates including eggshell, feathers, and coprolites, there is a bias in the temporal focus; the majority of the ca. 150 studies reviewed here obtained aDNA from late Holocene (100–1000 yBP) material, with few studies investigating Pleistocene-aged material. In addition, we identify and discuss several other issues within the field that require future attention. With more than one quarter of Holocene bird extinctions occurring in the last several hundred years, it is more important than ever to understand the mechanisms driving the evolution and extinction of bird species through the use of aDNA.
Showing items related by title, author, creator and subject.
Eggshell palaeogenomics: Palaeognath evolutionary history revealed through ancient nuclear and mitochondrial DNA from Madagascan elephant bird (Aepyornis sp.) eggshellGrealy, Alicia Catherine; Phillips, M.; Miller, Gifford; Gilbert, Thomas; Rouillard, J.; Lambert, D.; Bunce, Michael; Haile, J. (2017)Palaeognaths, the sister group of all other living birds (neognaths), were once considered to be vicariant relics from the breakup of the Gondwanan supercontinent. However, recent molecular studies instead argue for ...
New approaches to ancient DNA: using novel substrates to characterise DNA preservation and past biodiversity in warm-climate ecosystemsGrealy, Alicia Catherine (2016)Retrieving ancient DNA (aDNA) from fossils in warm, tropical environments remains a challenge. This thesis describes the development and application of next generation sequencing technologies in the search for warm-climate ...
An assessment of ancient DNA preservation in Holocene-Pleistocene fossil bone excavated from the world heritage Naracoorte Caves, South AustraliaGrealy, Alicia; Macken, A.; Allentoft, M.; Rawlence, N.; Reed, E.; Bunce, Michael (2016)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. ...