Coprolites as a source of information on the genome and diet of the cave hyena.
ABSTRACT We performed high-throughput sequencing of DNA from fossilized faeces to evaluate this material as a source of information on the genome and diet of Pleistocene carnivores. We analysed coprolites derived from the extinct cave hyena (Crocuta crocuta spelaea), and sequenced 90 million DNA fragments from two specimens. The DNA reads enabled a reconstruction of the cave hyena mitochondrial genome with up to a 158-fold coverage. This genome, and those sequenced from extant spotted (Crocuta crocuta) and striped (Hyaena hyaena) hyena specimens, allows for the establishment of a robust phylogeny that supports a close relationship between the cave and the spotted hyena. We also demonstrate that high-throughput sequencing yields data for cave hyena multi-copy and single-copy nuclear genes, and that about 50 per cent of the coprolite DNA can be ascribed to this species. Analysing the data for additional species to indicate the cave hyena diet, we retrieved abundant sequences for the red deer (Cervus elaphus), and characterized its mitochondrial genome with up to a 3.8-fold coverage. In conclusion, we have demonstrated the presence of abundant ancient DNA in the coprolites surveyed. Shotgun sequencing of this material yielded a wealth of DNA sequences for a Pleistocene carnivore and allowed unbiased identification of diet.
- SourceAvailable from: Alejandro A Schaffer[show abstract] [hide abstract]
ABSTRACT: The genome sequence (1.9-fold coverage) of an inbred Abyssinian domestic cat was assembled, mapped, and annotated with a comparative approach that involved cross-reference to annotated genome assemblies of six mammals (human, chimpanzee, mouse, rat, dog, and cow). The results resolved chromosomal positions for 663,480 contigs, 20,285 putative feline gene orthologs, and 133,499 conserved sequence blocks (CSBs). Additional annotated features include repetitive elements, endogenous retroviral sequences, nuclear mitochondrial (numt) sequences, micro-RNAs, and evolutionary breakpoints that suggest historic balancing of translocation and inversion incidences in distinct mammalian lineages. Large numbers of single nucleotide polymorphisms (SNPs), deletion insertion polymorphisms (DIPs), and short tandem repeats (STRs), suitable for linkage or association studies were characterized in the context of long stretches of chromosome homozygosity. In spite of the light coverage capturing approximately 65% of euchromatin sequence from the cat genome, these comparative insights shed new light on the tempo and mode of gene/genome evolution in mammals, promise several research applications for the cat, and also illustrate that a comparative approach using more deeply covered mammals provides an informative, preliminary annotation of a light (1.9-fold) coverage mammal genome sequence.Genome Research 12/2007; 17(11):1675-89. · 14.40 Impact Factor
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ABSTRACT: We sequenced 28 million base pairs of DNA in a metagenomics approach, using a woolly mammoth (Mammuthus primigenius) sample from Siberia. As a result of exceptional sample preservation and the use of a recently developed emulsion polymerase chain reaction and pyrosequencing technique, 13 million base pairs (45.4%) of the sequencing reads were identified as mammoth DNA. Sequence identity between our data and African elephant (Loxodonta africana) was 98.55%, consistent with a paleontologically based divergence date of 5 to 6 million years. The sample includes a surprisingly small diversity of environmental DNAs. The high percentage of endogenous DNA recoverable from this single mammoth would allow for completion of its genome, unleashing the field of paleogenomics.Science 02/2006; 311(5759):392-4. · 31.20 Impact Factor
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ABSTRACT: Modern felid species descend from relatively recent (<11 million years ago) divergence and speciation events that produced successful predatory carnivores worldwide but that have confounded taxonomic classifications. A highly resolved molecular phylogeny with divergence dates for all living cat species, derived from autosomal, X-linked, Y-linked, and mitochondrial gene segments (22,789 base pairs) and 16 fossil calibrations define eight principal lineages produced through at least 10 intercontinental migrations facilitated by sea-level fluctuations. A ghost lineage analysis indicates that available felid fossils underestimate (i.e., unrepresented basal branch length) first occurrence by an average of 76%, revealing a low representation of felid lineages in paleontological remains. The phylogenetic performance of distinct gene classes showed that Y-chromosome segments are appreciably more informative than mitochondrial DNA, X-linked, or autosomal genes in resolving the rapid Felidae species radiation.Science 01/2006; 311(5757):73-7. · 31.20 Impact Factor