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Methods Mol Biol. 2012;840:37-42. doi: 10.1007/978-1-61779-516-9_5.

Extraction of DNA from paleofeces.

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  • 1McMaster Ancient DNA Centre, McMaster University, Hamilton, ON, Canada.


Paleofeces are the nonmineralized remains of dung from extant and extinct fauna. They represent a surprisingly large proportion of fossil remains recovered from cave sites across the world. Paleofeces contain the DNA of the defecator as well as the DNA of ingested plant and animal remains. To successfully extract DNA from paleofeces, a balance must be achieved between the minimization of DNA loss during extraction and the removal of coeluates that would otherwise inhibit the Taq DNA polymerase during downstream applications. Here we present a simplified version of a protocol to extract DNA from paleofecal remains.

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