Rapid loss of endogenous DNA in pig bone buried in five different environments

A. M. H. Eriksen, H. Matthiesen, I. Kontopoulos, D. Gregory, C. Snoeck, G. Zhang, M. J. Collins, M. T. P. Gilbert

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1 Citation (Scopus)


The rate at which endogenous DNA from differently prepared (butchered, boiled and baked) compact pig bones degrades in five different Danish terrestrial and marine environments over 12 months was investigated. Although > 70% of the estimated endogenous mtDNA is lost after just four weeks of exposure, no cytosine deamination of DNA was recognised. A correlation between the presence of oxygen and the amount of preserved DNA was observed. The results provide valuable information on the interaction between the endogenous DNA and the depositional environment in the early stages of bone diagenesis, which can be a support in the interpretation of the initial diagenetic pathways of archaeological bone.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)827-846
Number of pages20
Issue number4
Publication statusPublished - Aug 2020


  • bone
  • DNA
  • metagenomics
  • diagenesis
  • environment

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