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Nuclear insertion sequences of mitochondrial DNA predominate in hair but not in blood of elephants

Authors

  • Alex D. Greenwood,

    1. Zoological Institute and Max-Planck-Institute for Evolutionary Anthropology, University of Munich, Luisenstrasse 14, D-80333 Munich, Germany
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  • Svante Pääbo

    1. Zoological Institute and Max-Planck-Institute for Evolutionary Anthropology, University of Munich, Luisenstrasse 14, D-80333 Munich, Germany
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S. Pääbo. Fax: +49-89-590-2474; E-mail: paabo@zi.biologie.uni-muenchen.de

Abstract

Hair has become a widely used source of DNA in population genetics, forensics, and conservation biology. Here we report that PCR primers that amplify a segment of the mitochondrial control region from blood DNA amplify primarily integrated nuclear copies of mitochondrial DNA from hair DNA. Thus, in some species, and under some circumstances, DNA from hair may yield unreliable results.

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