DNA sequences from the quagga, an extinct member of the horse family

  title={DNA sequences from the quagga, an extinct member of the horse family},
  author={Russell Higuchi and Barbara H. Bowman and M. M. Freiberger and Oliver A. Ryder and Allan Charles Wilson},
To determine whether DNA survives and can be recovered from the remains of extinct creatures, we have examined dried muscle from a museum specimen of the quagga, a zebra-like species (Equus quagga) that became extinct in 1883 (ref. 1). We report that DNA was extracted from this tissue in amounts approaching 1% of that expected from fresh muscle, and that the DNA was of relatively low molecular weight. Among the many clones obtained from the quagga DNA, two containing pieces of mitochondrial DNA… 

Mitochondrial DNA of the extinct quagga: Relatedness and extent of postmortem change

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Mitochondrial DNA from Myotragus balearicus, an extinct bovid from the Balearic Islands.

Phylogenetic comparison with orthologous sequences from supposedly related extant genera from the Caprinae subfamily suggests that Myotragus is related to some of these species, however, the real phylogenetic position of MyotRAGus is difficult to assess, due to the lack of resolution of the present molecular study.

Genetic characterization of horse bone excavated from the Kwakji archaeological site, Jeju, Korea.

The molecular phylogenetic characteristics of the horse bone that was excavated from the Kwakji archaeological site showed that some horse breeds may have existed on Jeju Island, Korea before Mongolian horses were introduced.

Genetic analyses from ancient DNA.

The precautions and criteria necessary to ascertain to the greatest extent possible that results represent authentic ancient DNA sequences are discussed, which highlight some significant results and areas of promising future research.

Human evolution: The Neanderthal in the family

In the past year, researchers have unveiled the two oldest genomes on record: those of a horse that had been buried in Canadian permafrost for around 700,000 years, and of a roughly 400,000-year-old human relative from a Spanish cavern.

Chloroplast DNA sequence from a Miocene Magnolia species

The extraction of DNA from fossil leaf samples from the Miocene Clarkia deposit, the amplification of an 820-base pair DNA fragment from the chloroplast gene rbcL from a fossil of the genus Magnolia, and its subsequent sequencing extend the ability to analyse ancient DNA and may open new avenues into problems in palaeobotany, biogeography, and in the calibration of mutation rates.

Mitochondrial DNA evolution in the genus Equus.

The variation between species supports a divergence of extant lineages from a common ancestor approximately 3.9 Myr before the present, and trees constructed according to the parsimony principle indicate that the three extant zebra species represent a monophyletic group.

Tempo and mode of sequence evolution in mitochondrial DNA of HawaiianDrosophila

The mtDNAs of flies and mammals are alike in the shape of the curve relating the percentage of positions at which there are differences in protein-coding regions to the time of divergence, and the low percentage of hypervariable sites may be a consequence of a functional constraint associated with the low content of guanine and cytosine in fly mtDNA.

An Ancient DNA Perspective on Horse Evolution

Sequencing of short mitochondrial and nuclear DNA fragments and complete genome sequence from archaeological and paleontological material has illuminated the understanding of the evolutionary history of the horse family and revisited the evolutionary tempo of Equus.

DNA from fossils: the past and the future

  • HN Poinar
  • Geography, Environmental Science
    Acta paediatrica (Oslo, Norway : 1992). Supplement
  • 1999
The analysis of ancient DNA may provide new clues about human evolution and answer questions, for example, relating to the diversity of the Neanderthals and the mammoths.



Novel features of animal mtDNA evolution as shown by sequences of two rat cytochrome oxidase subunit II genes.

  • G. BrownM. Simpson
  • Biology
    Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences of the United States of America
  • 1982
It is proposed that the rapid evolution of mtDNA relative to nuclear DNA is due only to silent changes and that amino acid-altering substitutions accumulate in nuclear and mtDNA at comparable rates.

Sequence and organization of the human mitochondrial genome

The complete sequence of the 16,569-base pair human mitochondrial genome is presented and shows extreme economy in that the genes have none or only a few noncoding bases between them, and in many cases the termination codons are not coded in the DNA but are created post-transcriptionally by polyadenylation of the mRNAs.


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In vitro packaging of lambda and cosmid DNA.

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  • Biology
    Methods in enzymology
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Ultrastructure of 40-Million-Year-Old Insect Tissue

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Similar amino acid sequences: chance or common ancestry?

The systemic comparison of every newly determined amino acid sequence with all other known sequences may allow a complete reconstruction of the evolutionary events leading to contemporary proteins.

Efficient isolation of genes by using antibody probes.

  • R. YoungR. W. Davis
  • Biology
    Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences of the United States of America
  • 1983
A sensitive and general technique has been devised for the dual purposes of cloning genes by using antibodies as probes and isolating unknown proteins encoded by cloned DNA using an expression vector that permits insertion of foreign DNA into the beta-galactosidase structural gene lacZ and promotes synthesis of hybrid proteins.

DNA sequencing with chain-terminating inhibitors.

A new method for determining nucleotide sequences in DNA is described, which makes use of the 2',3'-dideoxy and arabinon nucleoside analogues of the normal deoxynucleoside triphosphates, which act as specific chain-terminating inhibitors of DNA polymerase.