Improving genetic profiling techniques for low copy number DNA / by Shana Hayter.
Hayter, Shana Maryon
MetadataShow full item record
The extraction of DNA from ancient samples presents many obstacles to the analyst. These samples are often subjected to many years of harsh environmental conditions and many forms of damage resulting in low copy number and highly fragmented DNA. Furthermore, due to their degraded nature, these samples may only be present in small quantities and thus limit the analysis to only one or two extractions. Therefore strategic methodological approaches must be designed to accommodate these limiting factors, while maximizing the results that may be achieved. The initial stages of analysis are the most crucial, since they are responsible for isolating the DNA. Therefore, the assessment of different decontamination, sample preparation and extraction techniques to determine their ability to yield high quality DNA was conducted. Three types of tissue, 50 bone extractions, 49 teeth extractions and 10 soft tissue extractions were evaluated using two sample preparation methods and four extraction methods. Homogenization or pulverization of the sample increased the overall surface area of the sample, and resulted in a higher success of retrieving DNA for all three tissue types. Both bone and teeth were found to be reliable sources for DNA, however the success of the extraction method was dependent upon the preservation of the sample. Proteinase K and Guanidinium Thiocyanate were determined to be the most reliable methods for aneient samples from all three types of tissue with 45% and 36% success respectively. A novel technique. Pressure Cycling Technology was found to have promising implications for modem samples, with 100% detection. mtDNA sequence analysis concluded these aDNA samples were of low copy number and highly fragmented.