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Ancient DNA techniques: Applications for deep-water corals

Waller, Rhian G. and Adkins, Jess F. and Robinson, Laura F. and Shank, Timothy M. (2007) Ancient DNA techniques: Applications for deep-water corals. Bulletin of Marine Science, 81 (3). pp. 351-359. ISSN 0007-4977.

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The potential applications of ancient DNA (aDNA) techniques have been realized relatively recently, and have been revolutionized by the advent of PCR techniques in the mid 1980s. Although these techniques have been proven valuable in ancient specimens of up to 100,000 yrs old, their use in the marine realm has been largely limited to mammals and fish. Using modifications of techniques developed for skeletons of whales and mammals, we have produced a method for extracting and amplifying aDNA from sub-fossil (not embedded in rock) deep-water corals that has been successful in yielding 351 base pairs of the ITS2 region in sub-fossil Desmophyllum dianthus (Esper, 1794) and Lophelia pertusa (Linnaeus, 1758). The comparison of DNA sequences from fossil and live specimens resulted in clustering by species, demonstrating the validity of this new aDNA method. Sub-fossil scleractinian corals are readily dated using U-series techniques, and so the abundance of directly-dateable skeletons in the world's oceans, provides an extremely useful archive for investigating the interactions of environmental pressures (in particular ocean circulation, climate change) on the past distribution, and the evolution of deep-water corals across the globe.

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Adkins, Jess F.0000-0002-3174-5190
Additional Information:© 2007 Rosenstiel School of Marine and Atmospheric Science. The authors would like to thank the captains, crew, and scientists of two cruises to the NW Atlantic that brought back samples for this study—AT7-34 (Lost City, Chief Scientist D. Kelly, University of Washington) and AT7-35 (New England Seamounts, Chief Scientist J. Adkins, Caltech). We would also like to thank D. Scheirer (USGS), M. Taviani (CNR), and K. Scanlon for discussions during the initial development of this project. Support for this project was provided by National Science Foundation grants OCE 0096373 (JFA), OCE 0095331 (Daniel Scheirer, USGS), OCE 0136871 [D. Yoerger (WH OI) and (TMS)], OCE 0624627 (TMS and RGW) and NOAA’s Office of Exploration grant NA05OAR4601054 (TMS, RGW, and JFA). We are also grateful for the enabling support of the Ocean Life Institute and the Ocean and Climate Change Institute of the Woods Hole Oceanographic Institution, without whose assistance the ongoing pursuit of this project would not be possible.
Funding AgencyGrant Number
NSFOCE 0096373
NSFOCE 0095331
NSFOCE 0136871
NSFOCE 0624627
National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA) Office of ExplorationNA05OAR4601054
Issue or Number:3
Record Number:CaltechAUTHORS:20100820-132119162
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Usage Policy:No commercial reproduction, distribution, display or performance rights in this work are provided.
ID Code:19561
Deposited By: Tony Diaz
Deposited On:20 Aug 2010 20:46
Last Modified:24 Feb 2020 10:30

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