Scientific Research and Essays

  • Abbreviation: Sci. Res. Essays
  • Language: English
  • ISSN: 1992-2248
  • DOI: 10.5897/SRE
  • Start Year: 2006
  • Published Articles: 2768

Full Length Research Paper

Species determination of ancient bone DNA from fossil skeletal remains of Turkey using molecular techniques

Hasibe Cingilli Vural1* and Ahmet Adil Tirpan2
  1Department of Biology, Molecular Biology, Selcuk Üniversity, 42079 Selçuklu, Konya, Turkey. 2Department of Archeology, Faculty of Art and Science, Selcuk University, 42079 Selçuklu, Konya, Turkey.
Email: [email protected], [email protected]

  •  Accepted: 08 July 2010
  •  Published: 18 August 2010



The use of genetic technology in forensic science and archaeometry is applied primarily to distinguish between individials who may be the source of biological material associated with archeological remains. DNA sequences from ancient fossils have great potential for studies of phylogeny, biogeography and molecular evolution. DNA from fossils also facilitates the rigorous testing and calibration of mutation rates among related taxa, sex test and molecular divergence time (Cano et al., 1993; Burger et al., 1999). In this study, a rapid and quantitative ancient DNA extaction methods from human skeletal remains was developed for application of forensic science and archaeometry. For that reason, DNA was extracted from ancient human bones from Mugla in Turkey. Furthermore, all the bone samples which are obtained from burial place are subjected to DNA isolation and then interspecific sequence polymorphisms in the mitochondrial cytochrome b gene were analyzed by PCR to determine the species origin of Bronze Age animal and human skeletal remains. Existing techniques were refined by targeted primer design focusing on a DNA fragment shorter than 200 bp, an approach allowing us to identify up to all bone samples at the same time. For routine applications in archaeometry, food or material analyses, PCR may thus provide a simple alternative to sequencing of PCR products, allowing discrimination between species, even if the template DNA is degraded or contains traces of DNA from various species.


Key words: Ancient DNA, species determination, cytochrome b gene, mtDNA.