View Full Version : Another Neandertal mitochondrial genome

Jean M
02-01-2014, 11:48 AM
Pontus Skoglund et al., Separating endogenous ancient DNA from modern day contamination in a Siberian Neandertal, PNAS, early edition.

Strict laboratory precautions against present day human DNA contamination are standard in ancient DNA studies, but contamination is already present inside many ancient human fossils from previous handling without specific precautions. We designed a statistical framework to isolate endogenous ancient DNA sequences from contaminating sequences using postmortem degradation patterns and were able to reduce high-contamination fractions to negligible levels. We captured DNA sequences from a contaminated Neandertal bone from Okladnikov Cave in Siberia and used our method to assemble its mitochondrial genome sequence, which we find to be from a lineage basal to five of six previously published complete Neandertal mitochondrial genomes. Our method paves the way for the large-scale genetic analysis of contaminated human remains.