Skip to main content

Ancient Epigenomics

Part of the Population Genomics book series (POGE)

Abstract

Recent molecular and computational advances in ancient DNA research have revealed that genome-scale epigenetic information can be retrieved from subfossil material. In fact, it appears that particular features of the chromatin, and its regulatory epigenetic marks at the time of death, are preserved within ancient DNA extracts. The characterization of this additional layer of information, which represents an interface between the genome and the environment and is not coded within modifications of the DNA sequence itself, opens new horizons for ancient DNA research. At the individual level, ancient epigenetic marks can provide novel molecular phenotypes of the age at death, diet restriction, and other stress conditions, including sociocultural changes. At the population level, they can complement classical inference based on genetic information to reveal the regulatory changes underlying divergence, speciation, and extinction. Exploiting such information will nonetheless be challenging, due to the nature of epigenetic data, which can vary across cell types, tissues, sex, and age, and be significantly influenced by genetic variation and environmental exposure.

Keywords

  • Ancient DNA
  • Cytosine deamination
  • DNA methylation
  • Epigenome
  • Nucleosome protection

This is a preview of subscription content, access via your institution.

Buying options

Chapter
USD   29.95
Price excludes VAT (USA)
  • DOI: 10.1007/13836_2018_18
  • Chapter length: 37 pages
  • Instant PDF download
  • Readable on all devices
  • Own it forever
  • Exclusive offer for individuals only
  • Tax calculation will be finalised during checkout
eBook
USD   169.00
Price excludes VAT (USA)
  • ISBN: 978-3-030-04753-5
  • Instant PDF download
  • Readable on all devices
  • Own it forever
  • Exclusive offer for individuals only
  • Tax calculation will be finalised during checkout
Hardcover Book
USD   219.99
Price excludes VAT (USA)
Fig. 1
Fig. 2
Fig. 3
Fig. 4

References

Download references

Author information

Authors and Affiliations

Authors

Corresponding author

Correspondence to Ludovic Orlando .

Editor information

Editors and Affiliations

Rights and permissions

Reprints and Permissions

Copyright information

© 2018 Springer International Publishing AG

About this chapter

Verify currency and authenticity via CrossMark

Cite this chapter

Hanghøj, K., Orlando, L. (2018). Ancient Epigenomics. In: Lindqvist, C., Rajora, O. (eds) Paleogenomics. Population Genomics. Springer, Cham. https://doi.org/10.1007/13836_2018_18

Download citation