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Ancient DNA in paleosols, SW Greenland: A tool for retrospective paleoenvironmental studies?
Umeå University, Faculty of Science and Technology, Department of Ecology and Environmental Sciences.
2018 (English)Independent thesis Basic level (degree of Bachelor), 10 credits / 15 HE creditsStudent thesis
Abstract [en]

Ancient DNA (aDNA) is a useful tool for retrospective paleoenvironmental studies. Paleosols formed in Arctic environments constitute a potential archive of aDNA from terrestrial organisms living in past environments, given that the cold and dry climate prevailing at high latitudes favors DNA preservation and hamper post-depositional mobility of deposited fragments. However, to what extent aDNA is preserved in old buried soil layers (paleosol layers) are not well known. This study asses to what extent DNA older than 100 years is present in a paleosol profile from southwest Greenland. My main hypothesis was that aDNA from both plants and animals could be extracted from old buried soil layers. I found that oldest studied soil layers were more than 800 B.P. yr old. These old layers contained DNA from both plants and animals. The clean sampling protocol used showed no signs of contamination, suggesting that the DNA was from soil layers and not from modern contaminants. I conclude that my hypothesis seems valid and that a majority of the analyzed plant and animal DNA is ancient. Indeed, aDNA could be used to infer species presence in past paleoenvironments and widen our knowledge regarding how Arctic organism coped with climatic perturbations and thus, improve our understanding how they will respond to future climatic change.

Place, publisher, year, edition, pages
2018.
Keywords [en]
Ancient DNA, paleosol, paleoenvironment, Greenland, Arctic
National Category
Other Earth and Related Environmental Sciences
Identifiers
URN: urn:nbn:se:umu:diva-149161OAI: oai:DiVA.org:umu-149161DiVA, id: diva2:1219438
Subject / course
Examensarbete i Naturgeografi för kandidatexamen
Educational program
Bachelor of Science in Biology and Earthscience
Presentation
2018-06-01, NC250, Umeå, 11:00 (Swedish)
Supervisors
Examiners
Available from: 2018-06-18 Created: 2018-06-15 Last updated: 2018-06-18Bibliographically approved

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CiteExportLink to record
Permanent link

Direct link
Cite
Citation style
  • apa
  • ieee
  • modern-language-association-8th-edition
  • vancouver
  • Other style
More styles
Language
  • de-DE
  • en-GB
  • en-US
  • fi-FI
  • nn-NO
  • nn-NB
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  • Other locale
More languages
Output format
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  • asciidoc
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