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Ming Zhang, Peng Cao, Qing-Yan Dai, Yong-Qiang Wang, Xiao-Tian Feng, Hong-Ru Wang, Hong Wu, Albert Min-Shan Ko, Xiao-Wei Mao, Yi-Chen Liu, Li Yu, Christian Roos, Tilo Nadler, Wen Xiao, E. Andrew Bennett, Qiao-Mei Fu. Comparative analysis of DNA extraction protocols for ancient soft tissue museum samples. Zoological Research. doi: 10.24272/j.issn.2095-8137.2020.377
Citation: Ming Zhang, Peng Cao, Qing-Yan Dai, Yong-Qiang Wang, Xiao-Tian Feng, Hong-Ru Wang, Hong Wu, Albert Min-Shan Ko, Xiao-Wei Mao, Yi-Chen Liu, Li Yu, Christian Roos, Tilo Nadler, Wen Xiao, E. Andrew Bennett, Qiao-Mei Fu. Comparative analysis of DNA extraction protocols for ancient soft tissue museum samples. Zoological Research. doi: 10.24272/j.issn.2095-8137.2020.377

Comparative analysis of DNA extraction protocols for ancient soft tissue museum samples

doi: 10.24272/j.issn.2095-8137.2020.377
#Authors contributed equally to this work
Funds:  This work was supported by the Chinese Academy of Sciences (CAS, XDB26000000), National Natural Science Foundation of China (41925009, 41630102, 41672021), CAS (XDA1905010, QYZDB-SSW-DQC003), “Research on the Roots of Chinese Civilization” of Zhengzhou University (XKZDJC202006), Tencent Foundation through the XPLORER PRIZE, and Howard Hughes Medical Institute (55008731)
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  • DNA studies of endangered or extinct species often rely on ancient or degraded remains. The majority of ancient DNA (aDNA) extraction protocols focus on skeletal elements, with skin and hair samples rarely explored. Similar to that found in bones and teeth, DNA extracted from historical or ancient skin and fur samples is also extremely fragmented with low endogenous content due to natural degradation processes. Thus, the development of effective DNA extraction methods is required for these materials. Here, we compared the performance of two DNA extraction protocols (commercial and custom laboratory aDNA methods) on hair and skin samples from decades-old museum specimens to Iron Age archaeological material. We found that apart from the impact sample-specific taphonomic and handling history has on the quantity and quality of DNA preservation, skin yielded more endogenous DNA than hair of the samples and protocols tested. While both methods recovered DNA from ancient soft tissue, the laboratory method performed better overall in terms of DNA yield and quality, which was primarily due to the poorer performance of the commercial binding buffer in recovering aDNA.
  • #Authors contributed equally to this work
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