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Proc Natl Acad Sci U S A. 1989 Mar;86(6):1939-43.

Ancient DNA: extraction, characterization, molecular cloning, and enzymatic amplification.

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  • Department of Biochemistry, University of California, Berkeley 94720.

Abstract

Several chemical and enzymatic properties were examined in the DNA extracted from dry remains of soft tissues that vary in age from 4 to 13,000 years and represent four species, including two extinct animals (the marsupial wolf and giant ground sloth). The DNA obtained was invariably of a low average molecular size and damaged by oxidative processes, which primarily manifest themselves as modifications of pyrimidines and sugar residues as well as baseless sites and intermolecular cross-links. This renders molecular cloning difficult. However, the polymerase chain reaction can be used to amplify and study short mitochondrial DNA sequences that are of anthropological and evolutionary significance. This opens up the prospect of performing diachronical studies of molecular evolutionary genetics.

PMID:
2928314
[PubMed - indexed for MEDLINE]
PMCID:
PMC286820
Free PMC Article
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