Title

Species Identification of Oncorhynchus through DNA

Presenter Information

Brenden Barker

Document Type

Oral Presentation

Location

SURC Ballroom A

Start Date

17-5-2012

End Date

17-5-2012

Abstract

When a Northwest Native American archeological site is uncovered, many times there are remains left of various faunal species. Typically, these remains are in severely damaged to a point where simply identifying the genus, much less the exact species, of an individual is a great challenge, but through DNA identification it is possible. Different species of Oncorhynchus (Pacific salmon) have unique and identifiable genetic markers that make them identifiable, where in normal circumstances they might otherwise be indistinguishable from one another. By observing variation in their SMC (structural maintenance of chromosomes) and cytochrome B (mtDNA), one can observe these subtle differences between the species, and thus determine the exact species. This study takes several species of Pacific salmon and, using methods such as PCR and gel electrophoresis, constructs a genetic profile for these individual species and comparing these to already established gene sequences provided by GenBank. It is hoped that this work can be implemented by other local studies, primarily of anthropological archaeology and zooarchaeology natures, in the further identification of remains, both having innumerable possible implications, including furthering other aquatic fauna studies.

Poster Number

32

Faculty Mentor(s)

Joseph Lorenz

Additional Mentoring Department

Anthropology

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May 17th, 8:30 AM May 17th, 11:00 AM

Species Identification of Oncorhynchus through DNA

SURC Ballroom A

When a Northwest Native American archeological site is uncovered, many times there are remains left of various faunal species. Typically, these remains are in severely damaged to a point where simply identifying the genus, much less the exact species, of an individual is a great challenge, but through DNA identification it is possible. Different species of Oncorhynchus (Pacific salmon) have unique and identifiable genetic markers that make them identifiable, where in normal circumstances they might otherwise be indistinguishable from one another. By observing variation in their SMC (structural maintenance of chromosomes) and cytochrome B (mtDNA), one can observe these subtle differences between the species, and thus determine the exact species. This study takes several species of Pacific salmon and, using methods such as PCR and gel electrophoresis, constructs a genetic profile for these individual species and comparing these to already established gene sequences provided by GenBank. It is hoped that this work can be implemented by other local studies, primarily of anthropological archaeology and zooarchaeology natures, in the further identification of remains, both having innumerable possible implications, including furthering other aquatic fauna studies.