Centuries-old DNA from an extinct population of Aesculapian snake (Zamenis longissimus) offers new phylogeographic insight.

Morten Allentoft, Arne Redsted Rasmussen, Hans Viborg Kristensen

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Abstract: The Aesculapian snake (Zamenis longissimus) is distributed in Central and Southern Europe, the Balkans, Anatolia, and Iran, but had a wider mid-Holocene distribution into Northern Europe. To investigate the genetic affinity of a Danish population that went extinct in historical times, we analysed three ethanol-preserved individuals dating back to 1810 using a silica-in-solution ancient DNA extraction method, combined with next-generation sequencing. Bioinformatic mapping of the reads against the published genome of a related colubrid snake revealed that two of the three specimens contained endogenous snake DNA (up to 8.6% of the reads), and this was evident for tooth, bone, and soft tissue samples. The DNA was highly degraded, observed by very short average sequence lengths (<50 bp) and 11–15% C to T deamination damage at the first 50 position. This is an effect of specimen age, combined with suboptimal, and possibly damaging, molecular preservation conditions. Phylogeographic analyses of a 1638 bp mtDNA sequence securely placed the two Danish Aesculapian snakes in the Eastern (Balkan glacial refugium) clade within this species, and revealed one previously-undescribed haplotype. These results provide new information on the past distribution and postglacial re-colonization patterns of this species.
OriginalsprogEngelsk
TidsskriftDiversity
Vol/bind10
Udgave nummer14
Sider (fra-til)1-10
Antal sider10
ISSN1424-2818
DOI
StatusUdgivet - 10 mar. 2018

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title = "Centuries-old DNA from an extinct population of Aesculapian snake (Zamenis longissimus) offers new phylogeographic insight.",
abstract = "Abstract: The Aesculapian snake (Zamenis longissimus) is distributed in Central and Southern Europe, the Balkans, Anatolia, and Iran, but had a wider mid-Holocene distribution into Northern Europe. To investigate the genetic affinity of a Danish population that went extinct in historical times, we analysed three ethanol-preserved individuals dating back to 1810 using a silica-in-solution ancient DNA extraction method, combined with next-generation sequencing. Bioinformatic mapping of the reads against the published genome of a related colubrid snake revealed that two of the three specimens contained endogenous snake DNA (up to 8.6{\%} of the reads), and this was evident for tooth, bone, and soft tissue samples. The DNA was highly degraded, observed by very short average sequence lengths (<50 bp) and 11–15{\%} C to T deamination damage at the first 50 position. This is an effect of specimen age, combined with suboptimal, and possibly damaging, molecular preservation conditions. Phylogeographic analyses of a 1638 bp mtDNA sequence securely placed the two Danish Aesculapian snakes in the Eastern (Balkan glacial refugium) clade within this species, and revealed one previously-undescribed haplotype. These results provide new information on the past distribution and postglacial re-colonization patterns of this species.",
author = "Morten Allentoft and {Redsted Rasmussen}, Arne and Kristensen, {Hans Viborg}",
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Centuries-old DNA from an extinct population of Aesculapian snake (Zamenis longissimus) offers new phylogeographic insight. / Allentoft, Morten; Redsted Rasmussen, Arne; Kristensen, Hans Viborg.

I: Diversity, Bind 10, Nr. 14, 10.03.2018, s. 1-10.

Publikation: Bidrag til tidsskriftTidsskriftartikelForskningpeer review

TY - JOUR

T1 - Centuries-old DNA from an extinct population of Aesculapian snake (Zamenis longissimus) offers new phylogeographic insight.

AU - Allentoft, Morten

AU - Redsted Rasmussen, Arne

AU - Kristensen, Hans Viborg

PY - 2018/3/10

Y1 - 2018/3/10

N2 - Abstract: The Aesculapian snake (Zamenis longissimus) is distributed in Central and Southern Europe, the Balkans, Anatolia, and Iran, but had a wider mid-Holocene distribution into Northern Europe. To investigate the genetic affinity of a Danish population that went extinct in historical times, we analysed three ethanol-preserved individuals dating back to 1810 using a silica-in-solution ancient DNA extraction method, combined with next-generation sequencing. Bioinformatic mapping of the reads against the published genome of a related colubrid snake revealed that two of the three specimens contained endogenous snake DNA (up to 8.6% of the reads), and this was evident for tooth, bone, and soft tissue samples. The DNA was highly degraded, observed by very short average sequence lengths (<50 bp) and 11–15% C to T deamination damage at the first 50 position. This is an effect of specimen age, combined with suboptimal, and possibly damaging, molecular preservation conditions. Phylogeographic analyses of a 1638 bp mtDNA sequence securely placed the two Danish Aesculapian snakes in the Eastern (Balkan glacial refugium) clade within this species, and revealed one previously-undescribed haplotype. These results provide new information on the past distribution and postglacial re-colonization patterns of this species.

AB - Abstract: The Aesculapian snake (Zamenis longissimus) is distributed in Central and Southern Europe, the Balkans, Anatolia, and Iran, but had a wider mid-Holocene distribution into Northern Europe. To investigate the genetic affinity of a Danish population that went extinct in historical times, we analysed three ethanol-preserved individuals dating back to 1810 using a silica-in-solution ancient DNA extraction method, combined with next-generation sequencing. Bioinformatic mapping of the reads against the published genome of a related colubrid snake revealed that two of the three specimens contained endogenous snake DNA (up to 8.6% of the reads), and this was evident for tooth, bone, and soft tissue samples. The DNA was highly degraded, observed by very short average sequence lengths (<50 bp) and 11–15% C to T deamination damage at the first 50 position. This is an effect of specimen age, combined with suboptimal, and possibly damaging, molecular preservation conditions. Phylogeographic analyses of a 1638 bp mtDNA sequence securely placed the two Danish Aesculapian snakes in the Eastern (Balkan glacial refugium) clade within this species, and revealed one previously-undescribed haplotype. These results provide new information on the past distribution and postglacial re-colonization patterns of this species.

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