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Keywords:

  • DNA purification;
  • ancient bone;
  • PCR amplification;
  • ion-exchange columns;
  • PCR inhibitors

Abstract

A novel method of ancient DNA (aDNA) purification was developed using ion-exchange columns to improve PCR-amplifiable DNA extraction from ancient bone samples. Thirteen PCR-resistant ancient bone samples aged 500–3,300 years were tested to extract aDNA using a recently reported, silica-based aDNA extraction method and an ion-exchange column method for the further purification. The PCR success rates of the aDNA extracts were evaluated for the amplification ability of the fragments of mitochondrial DNA, a high-copy DNA, and amelogenin, a low-copy DNA. The results demonstrate that the further purification of silica-based aDNA extracts using ion-exchange columns considerably improved PCR amplification. We suggest that the ion-exchange column-based method will be useful for the improvement of PCR-amplifiable aDNA extraction, particularly from the poorly preserved, PCR-resistant, ancient samples. Am J Phys Anthropol, 2008. © 2008 Wiley-Liss, Inc.