Featured Research

from universities, journals, and other organizations

DNA sequence of extinct ancient cattle uncovered

Date:
March 1, 2010
Source:
University of Oxford
Summary:
Researchers, based in Ireland and Britain, have found the complete mitochondrial DNA genome sequence of ancient wild cattle using a sample from a 6,700 year-old bone.

This aurochs bone sample was discovered in a Derbyshire cave.
Credit: Image courtesy of University of Oxford

Researchers, based in Ireland and Britain, have found the complete mitochondrial DNA genome sequence of ancient wild cattle using a sample from a 6,700 year-old bone.

They assembled the mitochondrial DNA sequence from the well-preserved foreleg bone of an aurochs, originally discovered in a cave in Derbyshire. The team's findings are published in this latest issue of the journal PLoS ONE.

The researchers, from University College Dublin, Trinity College, Dublin, Oxford University and Sheffield and Leeds Universities, extracted the DNA using recently developed DNA sequencing technology. This new DNA sequencing method can extract vast amounts of genetic information very rapidly and was performed at the UCD Conway Institute of Biomolecular and Biomedical Research at University College Dublin.

The mitochondrial DNA genome sequence traces maternal inheritance but the researchers hope the next stage will be to assemble the full nuclear DNA genome of the aurochs. The researchers' success in determining the first mitochondrial genome sequence raises hopes of reopening the Ancient Biomolecules Centre at the University of Oxford. The centre was mothballed in 2005 but, to further develop this research project at Oxford, the team needs specially filtered laboratories to prevent ancient samples being contaminated by modern DNA.

Co-author Dr Ceiridwen Edwards, a researcher in Ancient DNA Studies at Oxford University, said: 'This finding heralds what we hope will be the start of a very exciting project to explore the evolutionary history of aurochs and modern cattle. We used newly developed DNA technologies that allow us to extract genetic information much more quickly than we have previously been able to do. This area of research could have implications not only for archaeologists but also for farmers engaged in modern day cattle rearing. In time, we hope to work on sequencing the DNA genomes of thousands of ancient cattle breeds.'

Co-author Professor David MacHugh from University College Dublin said: 'Our results demonstrate the incredible promise that next-generation DNA sequencing holds for archaeogenetics.'

Previous studies have suggested that ancient aurochs, which lived in the Near East (modern day Iran, Iraq and Syria) and across Europe and Asia, are the ancestor of modern cattle. However, comparisons of European aurochs mitochondrial DNA with modern European cattle suggests that the level of cross-breeding between domestic cattle and the wild, fierce European aurochs must have been very low.

Professor Mark Pollard, Director of Oxford University's Research Laboratory for Archaeology and the History of Art, said: 'We need more research into ancient DNA if we are to complete the jigsaw of evolutionary development, not only of cattle but also other species. In the long term, we hope that an Oxford led team could conduct an ambitious DNA project into the migration of plants, livestock and humans across Britain, from the end of the Ice Age to the modern day.'


Story Source:

The above story is based on materials provided by University of Oxford. Note: Materials may be edited for content and length.


Cite This Page:

University of Oxford. "DNA sequence of extinct ancient cattle uncovered." ScienceDaily. ScienceDaily, 1 March 2010. <www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2010/02/100227171057.htm>.
University of Oxford. (2010, March 1). DNA sequence of extinct ancient cattle uncovered. ScienceDaily. Retrieved July 28, 2014 from www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2010/02/100227171057.htm
University of Oxford. "DNA sequence of extinct ancient cattle uncovered." ScienceDaily. www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2010/02/100227171057.htm (accessed July 28, 2014).

Share This




More Fossils & Ruins News

Monday, July 28, 2014

Featured Research

from universities, journals, and other organizations


Featured Videos

from AP, Reuters, AFP, and other news services

Did ISIS Destroy Jonah's Tomb?

Did ISIS Destroy Jonah's Tomb?

Newsy (July 25, 2014) Unverified footage posted to YouTube purportedly shows ISIS militants destroying a shrine widely believed to be the tomb of the prophet Jonah. Video provided by Newsy
Powered by NewsLook.com
Richard III's Car Park Burial Site Opens to Public

Richard III's Car Park Burial Site Opens to Public

AFP (July 25, 2014) Visitors will be able to look down from a glass walkway on the grave of King Richard III when a new centre opens in the English cathedral city of Leicester, where the infamous hunchback was found under a car park in 2012. Duration: 00:35 Video provided by AFP
Powered by NewsLook.com
Mobile App Gives Tour of Battle of Atlanta Sites

Mobile App Gives Tour of Battle of Atlanta Sites

AP (July 25, 2014) Emory University's Center for Digital Scholarship has launched a self-guided mobile tour app to coincide with the 150th anniversary of the Civil War's Battle of Atlanta. (July 25) Video provided by AP
Powered by NewsLook.com
Tyrannosaur Pack-Hunting Theory Aided By New Footprints

Tyrannosaur Pack-Hunting Theory Aided By New Footprints

Newsy (July 24, 2014) A new study claims a set of prehistoric T-Rex footprints supports the theory that the giant predators hunted in packs instead of alone. Video provided by Newsy
Powered by NewsLook.com

Search ScienceDaily

Number of stories in archives: 140,361

Find with keyword(s):
Enter a keyword or phrase to search ScienceDaily for related topics and research stories.

Save/Print:
Share:

Breaking News:
from the past week

In Other News

... from NewsDaily.com

Science News

Health News

Environment News

Technology News



Save/Print:
Share:

Free Subscriptions


Get the latest science news with ScienceDaily's free email newsletters, updated daily and weekly. Or view hourly updated newsfeeds in your RSS reader:

Get Social & Mobile


Keep up to date with the latest news from ScienceDaily via social networks and mobile apps:

Have Feedback?


Tell us what you think of ScienceDaily -- we welcome both positive and negative comments. Have any problems using the site? Questions?
Mobile: iPhone Android Web
Follow: Facebook Twitter Google+
Subscribe: RSS Feeds Email Newsletters
Latest Headlines Health & Medicine Mind & Brain Space & Time Matter & Energy Computers & Math Plants & Animals Earth & Climate Fossils & Ruins