Challenging DNA samples are valuable sources for genetic information of populations and individuals

Thesis event information

Date and time of the thesis defence

Place of the thesis defence

Remote connection: https://oulu.zoom.us/j/67909310528

Topic of the dissertation

Challenging DNA samples are valuable sources for genetic information of populations and individuals

Doctoral candidate

Master of Science Matti Heino

Faculty and unit

University of Oulu Graduate School, Faculty of Science, Ecology and Genetics Research Unit

Subject of study

Genetics

Opponent

Professor Antti Sajantila, University of Helsinki

Custos

Professos Jouni Aspi, University of Oulu

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Challenging DNA samples are valuable sources for genetic information of populations and individuals

This work focused on studying challenging DNA-samples. In common to all the sub-projects is that the target DNA is badly preserved and the contamination risk high. All the samples under study have been in varying environmental conditions for varying amounts of time. We therefore employed ancient DNA methods that have been developed to study poor quality DNA. In all the sub-projects, we were able to gain information that would not have been possible to obtain by studying more conventional biological samples.

In article I, we studied whether non-invasively collected placentas of the Saimaa ringed seal could be utilized in individual identification and population monitoring. The umbilical cord proved to give a reliable genetic information of the pup and therefore placentas can be used in genetic monitoring of the population.

In article II, we investigated the geographical origin of poorly documented tiger samples from the Finnish Museum of Natural History. All the samples under investigation could be identified to subspecies levels, and among them we observed for example a Javan tiger, which is extinct.

In article III, we studied the domestication history of goose using bones collected from archaeological sites in Russia. The majority of the studied samples belonged to genetic lineages that are typical for domestic goose, but we also observed lineages that have not been observed among domestic geese.

In article IV, we studied whether reindeer bones found from two archaeological sites in northern Finland belonged to domestic or wild reindeer. The genetic results suggest that the samples under investigation are more likely to originate from wild forest reindeer than domestic reindeer.

In article V, we investigated whether the reindeer population that lived in the forest region in Tatarstan 4000 years ago had gone extinct or whether there is genetic continuation from this population among modern populations. We observed genetic continuity between the historical reindeer from Tatarstan and the wild reindeer from the taiga zone of northeastern part of European Russia.
Last updated: 6.4.2021