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Microbiome ; 8(1): 62, 2020 05 06.
Artigo em Inglês | MEDLINE | ID: mdl-32375874


BACKGROUND: The archaeological incidence of ancient human faecal material provides a rare opportunity to explore the taxonomic composition and metabolic capacity of the ancestral human intestinal microbiome (IM). Here, we report the results of the shotgun metagenomic analyses of an ancient South African palaeo-faecal specimen. METHODS: Following the recovery of a single desiccated palaeo-faecal specimen from Bushman Rock Shelter in Limpopo Province, South Africa, we applied a multi-proxy analytical protocol to the sample. The extraction of ancient DNA from the specimen and its subsequent shotgun metagenomic sequencing facilitated the taxonomic and metabolic characterisation of this ancient human IM. RESULTS: Our results indicate that the distal IM of the Neolithic 'Middle Iron Age' (c. AD 1460) Bantu-speaking individual exhibits features indicative of a largely mixed forager-agro-pastoralist diet. Subsequent comparison with the IMs of the Tyrolean Iceman (Ötzi) and contemporary Hadza hunter-gatherers, Malawian agro-pastoralists and Italians reveals that this IM precedes recent adaptation to 'Western' diets, including the consumption of coffee, tea, chocolate, citrus and soy, and the use of antibiotics, analgesics and also exposure to various toxic environmental pollutants. CONCLUSIONS: Our analyses reveal some of the causes and means by which current human IMs are likely to have responded to recent dietary changes, prescription medications and environmental pollutants, providing rare insight into human IM evolution following the advent of the Neolithic c. 12,000 years ago. Video Abtract.

Arqueologia , Fezes/microbiologia , Microbioma Gastrointestinal , África Subsaariana , História do Século XV , Humanos , Metagenômica
Science ; 317(5834): 111-4, 2007 Jul 06.
Artigo em Inglês | MEDLINE | ID: mdl-17615355


It is difficult to obtain fossil data from the 10% of Earth's terrestrial surface that is covered by thick glaciers and ice sheets, and hence, knowledge of the paleoenvironments of these regions has remained limited. We show that DNA and amino acids from buried organisms can be recovered from the basal sections of deep ice cores, enabling reconstructions of past flora and fauna. We show that high-altitude southern Greenland, currently lying below more than 2 kilometers of ice, was inhabited by a diverse array of conifer trees and insects within the past million years. The results provide direct evidence in support of a forested southern Greenland and suggest that many deep ice cores may contain genetic records of paleoenvironments in their basal sections.

Aminoácidos/análise , DNA/análise , Ecossistema , Camada de Gelo/química , Invertebrados , Plantas , Árvores , Aminoácidos/história , Aminoácidos/isolamento & purificação , Animais , Teorema de Bayes , Clima , DNA/história , DNA/isolamento & purificação , Fósseis , Geografia , Groenlândia , História Antiga , Invertebrados/classificação , Invertebrados/genética , Plantas/classificação , Plantas/genética , Reação em Cadeia da Polimerase , Tempo
Genetics ; 173(2): 1175-9, 2006 Jun.
Artigo em Inglês | MEDLINE | ID: mdl-16582426


Diagenesis was studied in DNA obtained from Siberian permafrost (permanently frozen soil) ranging from 10,000 to 400,000 years in age. Despite optimal preservation conditions, we found the sedimentary DNA to be severely modified by interstrand crosslinks; single- and double-stranded breaks; and freely exposed sugar, phosphate, and hydroxyl groups. Intriguingly, interstrand crosslinks were found to accumulate approximately 100 times faster than single-stranded breaks, suggesting that crosslinking rather than depurination is the primary limiting factor for ancient DNA amplification under frozen conditions. The results question the reliability of the commonly used models relying on depurination kinetics for predicting the long-term survival of DNA under permafrost conditions and suggest that new strategies for repair of ancient DNA must be considered if the yield of amplifiable DNA from permafrost sediments is to be significantly increased. Using the obtained rate constant for interstrand crosslinks the maximal survival time of amplifiable 120-bp fragments of bacterial 16S ribosomal DNA was estimated to be approximately 400,000 years. Additionally, a clear relationship was found between DNA damage and sample age, contradicting previously raised concerns about the possible leaching of free DNA molecules between permafrost layers.

DNA/genética , DNA/isolamento & purificação , Fósseis , Reagentes de Ligações Cruzadas , DNA/química , Dano ao DNA , Reparo do DNA , DNA Bacteriano/química , DNA Bacteriano/genética , DNA Bacteriano/isolamento & purificação , Congelamento , Sedimentos Geológicos/microbiologia , Técnicas de Amplificação de Ácido Nucleico , Sibéria , Fatores de Tempo
Science ; 300(5620): 791-5, 2003 May 02.
Artigo em Inglês | MEDLINE | ID: mdl-12702808


Genetic analyses of permafrost and temperate sediments reveal that plant and animal DNA may be preserved for long periods, even in the absence of obvious macrofossils. In Siberia, five permafrost cores ranging from 400,000 to 10,000 years old contained at least 19 different plant taxa, including the oldest authenticated ancient DNA sequences known, and megafaunal sequences including mammoth, bison, and horse. The genetic data record a number of dramatic changes in the taxonomic diversity and composition of Beringian vegetation and fauna. Temperate cave sediments in New Zealand also yielded DNA sequences of extinct biota, including two species of ratite moa, and 29 plant taxa characteristic of the prehuman environment. Therefore, many sedimentary deposits may contain unique, and widespread, genetic records of paleoenvironments.

DNA de Plantas/análise , DNA/análise , Sedimentos Geológicos , Plantas , Solo , Vertebrados , Animais , Sequência de Bases , Bryopsida/classificação , Bryopsida/genética , Clonagem Molecular , Cycadopsida/classificação , Cycadopsida/genética , DNA/genética , DNA de Cloroplastos/análise , DNA Mitocondrial/análise , DNA Mitocondrial/genética , DNA de Plantas/genética , Ecossistema , Fósseis , História Antiga , Magnoliopsida/classificação , Magnoliopsida/genética , Mamíferos/classificação , Mamíferos/genética , Nova Zelândia , Filogenia , Plantas/classificação , Reação em Cadeia da Polimerase , Sibéria , Vertebrados/classificação , Vertebrados/genética