Skip to main content
Article thumbnail
Location of Repository

The experimental degradation of archaeological human bone by anaerobic bacteria and the implications for recovery of ancient DNA

By Ron Dixon, Lucy Dawson and Delia Taylor

Abstract

DNA recovery from human bone has been key to the developing science and\ud technology of ancient DNA studies. The recovery of macromolecules from bone\ud however, does not correlate well with recognisable parameters of preservation and\ud predicting DNA recovery rates from ancient bone can be very difficult. The extent of\ud degradation of buried bones often depends on environmental taphonomy and can vary\ud from virtually none to complete and rapid destruction. Although soil or related\ud microbes are undoubtedly responsible for the majority of this structural degradation\ud over time, exceptionally little is known of the mechanisms or specific bacteria\ud involved. Fungi were previously thought to be responsible for destructive processes\ud (tunnelling) within bone but over the last 30 years the role of bacteria has been\ud increasingly recognised. Our aim was to develop a less complex in vitro model of the\ud destructive effects of microbes on bone which might allow a better understanding of\ud the recovery of mitochondrial or pathogen DNA over time

Topics: C440 Molecular Genetics, C521 Medical Microbiology, C500 Microbiology
Publisher: Giannini Editore
Year: 2008
OAI identifier: oai:eprints.lincoln.ac.uk:2660

Suggested articles

Citations

  1. (1982). A comparative study of the chemical analyses of ribs and femurs in woodland populations, doi
  2. (2004). Characterisation of microbial attack on archaeological bone. doi
  3. (1974). Fungal Osteoclasia: A model of dead bone resorption, doi
  4. (2002). In situ preservation of archaeological bone: a Histological study within a multidisciplinary approach, doi
  5. (1995). Measurements and relationships of diagenetic alteration of bone from three archaeological sites, doi
  6. (1993). Microbial-induced promotion of amino acids racemization in bone: Isolation of the microorgamisms and the detection of their enzymes doi
  7. (1981). Microscopical focal destruction (tunnels) in exhumed human bones,
  8. (1991). Microscopical study on estimation of time since death in skeletal remains, doi
  9. (2002). The long-term survival of bone: The role of bioerosion, doi
  10. (1998). The nature of an archaeological human bone assemblage, The Archaeological Human Bones,
  11. (1986). The occurrence of Actinobacillus actinomycetemcomitans, Bacteroides gingivalis and Bacteroides intermedius in destructive periodontal disease in adults, doi
  12. (1995). The Role of the Environment of Uranium Uptake by Buried Bone, doi
  13. (2002). The survival of organic matter in bone: A review, doi
  14. (1995). The tensile strength of archaeological bone, doi
  15. (2000). Thin sections for hard tissue histology: a new procedure, doi
  16. (1995). Towards understanding of the microbial decomposition of archaeological bone in the burial environment, doi

To submit an update or takedown request for this paper, please submit an Update/Correction/Removal Request.