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Hunting the Extinct Steppe Bison (Bison priscus) Mitochondrial Genome in the Trois-Freres Paleolithic Painted Cave.


ABSTRACT: Despite the abundance of fossil remains for the extinct steppe bison (Bison priscus), an animal that was painted and engraved in numerous European Paleolithic caves, a complete mitochondrial genome sequence has never been obtained for this species. In the present study we collected bone samples from a sector of the Trois-Frères Paleolithic cave (Ariège, France) that formerly functioned as a pitfall and was sealed before the end of the Pleistocene. Screening the DNA content of the samples collected from the ground surface revealed their contamination by Bos DNA. However, a 19,000-year-old rib collected on a rock apart the pathway delineated for modern visitors was devoid of such contaminants and reproducibly yielded Bison priscus DNA. High-throughput shotgun sequencing combined with conventional PCR analysis of the rib DNA extract enabled to reconstruct a complete mitochondrial genome sequence of 16,318 bp for the extinct steppe bison with a 10.4-fold coverage. Phylogenetic analyses robustly established the position of the Bison priscus mitochondrial genome as basal to the clade delineated by the genomes of the modern American Bison bison. The extinct steppe bison sequence, which exhibits 93 specific polymorphisms as compared to the published Bison bison mitochondrial genomes, provides an additional resource for the study of Bovinae specimens. Moreover this study of ancient DNA delineates a new research pathway for the analysis of the Magdalenian Trois-Frères cave.

SUBMITTER: Marsolier-Kergoat MC 

PROVIDER: S-EPMC4471230 | BioStudies | 2015-01-01

REPOSITORIES: biostudies

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