The evaluation of the integrity and quantity of DNA extracted from archaeological human remains is a fundamental step before using the latest generation sequencing techniques in the study of evolutionary processes. Ancient DNA is highly fragmented and chemically modified; therefore, the present study aims to identify indices that can allow the identification of potentially amplifiable and sequenceable DNA samples, reducing failures and research costs. Ancient DNA was extracted from five human bone remains from the archaeological site of Amiternum L'Aquila, Italy dating back to the 9th-12th century and was compared with standard DNA fragmented by sonication. Given the different degradation kinetics of mitochondrial DNA compared to nuclear DNA, the mitochondrially encoded 12s RNA and 18s ribosomal RNA genes were taken into consideration; fragments of various sizes were amplified in qPCR and the size distribution was thoroughly investigated. DNA damage degree was evaluated by calculating damage frequency (& lambda;) and the ratio between the amount of the different fragments and that of the smallest fragment (Q). The results demonstrate that both indices were found to be suitable for identifying, among the samples tested, those less damaged and suitable for post-extraction analysis; mitochondrial DNA is more damaged than nuclear, in fact, amplicons up to 152 bp and 253 bp, respectively are obtained.

Estimation of DNA Degradation in Archaeological Human Remains

Bonfigli A.;Cesare P.;Volpe A. R.;Colafarina S.;Forgione A.;Aloisi M.;Zarivi O.;Poma A. M. G.
2023-01-01

Abstract

The evaluation of the integrity and quantity of DNA extracted from archaeological human remains is a fundamental step before using the latest generation sequencing techniques in the study of evolutionary processes. Ancient DNA is highly fragmented and chemically modified; therefore, the present study aims to identify indices that can allow the identification of potentially amplifiable and sequenceable DNA samples, reducing failures and research costs. Ancient DNA was extracted from five human bone remains from the archaeological site of Amiternum L'Aquila, Italy dating back to the 9th-12th century and was compared with standard DNA fragmented by sonication. Given the different degradation kinetics of mitochondrial DNA compared to nuclear DNA, the mitochondrially encoded 12s RNA and 18s ribosomal RNA genes were taken into consideration; fragments of various sizes were amplified in qPCR and the size distribution was thoroughly investigated. DNA damage degree was evaluated by calculating damage frequency (& lambda;) and the ratio between the amount of the different fragments and that of the smallest fragment (Q). The results demonstrate that both indices were found to be suitable for identifying, among the samples tested, those less damaged and suitable for post-extraction analysis; mitochondrial DNA is more damaged than nuclear, in fact, amplicons up to 152 bp and 253 bp, respectively are obtained.
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Utilizza questo identificativo per citare o creare un link a questo documento: https://hdl.handle.net/11697/215139
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