Ancient DNA

Volume 840 of the series Methods in Molecular Biology pp 37-42


Extraction of DNA from Paleofeces

  • Melanie KuchAffiliated withMcMaster Ancient DNA Centre, McMaster University
  • , Hendrik PoinarAffiliated withMcMaster Ancient DNA Centre, McMaster University Email author 

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Paleofeces are the nonmineralized remains of dung from extant and extinct fauna. They represent a surprisingly large proportion of fossil remains recovered from cave sites across the world. Paleofeces contain the DNA of the defecator as well as the DNA of ingested plant and animal remains. To successfully extract DNA from paleofeces, a balance must be achieved between the minimization of DNA loss during extraction and the removal of coeluates that would otherwise inhibit the Taq DNA polymerase during downstream applications. Here we present a simplified version of a protocol to extract DNA from paleofecal remains.

Key words

DNA extraction Feces Ancient DNA Silica DNA-purification