Abstract Detail



Molecular Ecology

Harbert, Robert [1], Moore, Grace [2], Cunningham, Seth [3], Tessler, Michael [3].

Paleo-Metagenomics of Late Quaternary Packrat Midden Plant Macrofossils.

Fossilized packrat (Neotoma spp.) middens are powerful tools in paleoecology. In arid regions of North America these materials preserve plant macrofossils for many thousands of years. Plant macrofossils with well-preserved anatomy and original tissues have been instrumental for the study of species migrations, community assembly, and physiology through time. These materials are preserved such that fragments of endogenous ancient DNA (aDNA) can be extracted and sequenced. We explore the use of shotgun metagenomics to identify the DNA obtained from packrat middens up to 32,000 years old from Idaho and Northern Baja California. Eukaryotic taxa identified belonged primarily to vascular plants and chordates. We focus on the plant fraction for comparison with the dominant plant macrofossil component of packrat middens and the importance of vegetation for paleoecology and paleoclimate.


1 - Stonehill College, Biology Department, 320 Washington St, North Easton, MA, 02357-0001, US
2 - Smith College, Northampton, MA, USA
3 - American Museum of Natural History, New York, NY, USA

Keywords:
metagenomics
packrat midden
Pleistocene
fossil.

Presentation Type: Oral Paper
Number: 0004
Abstract ID:150
Candidate for Awards:None


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