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Genes (Basel). 2017 Jun 21;8(6). pii: E169. doi: 10.3390/genes8060169.

Identifying Bird Remains Using Ancient DNA Barcoding.

Author information

1
Department of Bioinformatics and Genetics, Swedish Museum of Natural History, Box 50007, SE-10405 Stockholm, Sweden. love.dalen@nrm.se.
2
Department of Bioinformatics and Genetics, Swedish Museum of Natural History, Box 50007, SE-10405 Stockholm, Sweden. vendela.lagerholm@st-andrews.ac.uk.
3
Department of Zoology, Stockholm University, SE-10691 Stockholm, Sweden. vendela.lagerholm@st-andrews.ac.uk.
4
School of Geography and Sustainable Development, University of St Andrews, North Street, St. Andrews, Fife KY16 9AL, UK. vendela.lagerholm@st-andrews.ac.uk.
5
Department of Bioinformatics and Genetics, Swedish Museum of Natural History, Box 50007, SE-10405 Stockholm, Sweden. johan.nylander@nrm.se.
6
Institute of Archaeology, 36 Beaumont St., Oxford OX1 2PG, UK. nick.barton@arch.ox.ac.uk.
7
Institute of Systematics and Evolution of Animals, Polish Academy of Sciences, Slawkowska 17, 31-016 Krakow, Poland. bochenski@isez.pan.krakow.pl.
8
Institute of Systematics and Evolution of Animals, Polish Academy of Sciences, Slawkowska 17, 31-016 Krakow, Poland. tomek@isez.pan.krakow.pl.
9
Sussex School of Archaeology, Mays Farm, Selmeston, Polegate, Sussex BN26 6TS, UK. david.rudling@sussexarchaeology.co.uk.
10
Department of Bioinformatics and Genetics, Swedish Museum of Natural History, Box 50007, SE-10405 Stockholm, Sweden. per.ericson@nrm.se.
11
Department of Bioinformatics and Genetics, Swedish Museum of Natural History, Box 50007, SE-10405 Stockholm, Sweden. martin.irestedt@nrm.se.
12
Faculty of Science and Technology, Bournemouth University, Talbot Campus, Fern Barrow, Poole, Dorset BH12 5BB, UK. jstewart@bournemouth.ac.uk.

Abstract

Bird remains that are difficult to identify taxonomically using morphological methods, are common in the palaeontological record. Other types of challenging avian material include artefacts and food items from endangered taxa, as well as remains from aircraft strikes. We here present a DNA-based method that enables taxonomic identification of bird remains, even from material where the DNA is heavily degraded. The method is based on the amplification and sequencing of two short variable parts of the 16S region in the mitochondrial genome. To demonstrate the applicability of this approach, we evaluated the method on a set of Holocene and Late Pleistocene postcranial bird bones from several palaeontological and archaeological sites in Europe with good success.

KEYWORDS:

16S; Aves; archaeology; biodiversity; palaeogenetics; palaeontology; species identification

Conflict of interest statement

The authors declare no conflict of interest. The funding sponsors had no role in the design of the study; in the collection, analyses, or interpretation of data; in the writing of the manuscript, and in the decision to publish the results.

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